By Lars Dalseide | December 19 2011 08:07

Top Shot runner up Mike Hughes with an M1 garand Last week, we told you about Top Shot runner up Michael Hughes' trip to NRA headquarters. The NextLevel Training Founder explained how he first started shooting, and this week we have more from that interview:

The competitions we watched during the last season of Top Shot tested competitor's skills in a variety of fashions. Whether firing flat footed or while streaming down a zip line, there was always a twist in the mix, no matter how slight, that favored one shooter over the other. Odds were that someone like Mike Hughes, then ranked 7th nationally in Action Pistol Shooting, would have an advantage over most ... until you learned about his preparation.

"I did not prepare properly for Top Shot," laughed Hughes. "Being a mono-maniac, I only shot one gun. Not one type of gun, but just one gun in the prior 18 months – a Glock 17. Well there was a M&P for about a month, but really just the Glock."

But that wasn't enough to slow him down. He fought from the pack of original sixteen until eliminated seventh overall. The question is – what happened next?

"I walked over the hill, cursed, kicked the ground ... I was upset for a lot of reasons. Once home, I got closure, went on a big hike with the family and received a call from the casting producer. Hey we have an issue, can you come back? Like now. I was on a plane the next morning."

Receiving the call only two days after his initial ejection, there was no clue as to why they wanted Big Mike back. Upon his return, they miked him up, walked him to the range and hid him behind a bush – completely oblivious to the recent turmoil that was Jake.

"(The producers of Top Shot) keep the show organic," said Hughes. "They want all the reactions to be raw when they happen. This was one element where they did just that. But I figured out why they brought me back when I didn't see Jake."

Next time out, we'll head deeper into Top Shot and the drama that ensued.

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