By Lars Dalseide | January 30 2012 08:46

There's more than Top Shot for Zavalla's Dustin Ellermann

Top Shot Dustin Ellermann shaking hands at the 5.11 Tactical booth at the 2012 SHOT ShowTop Shot Dustin Ellermann shaking hands with a fan at the 5.11 Tactical booth during the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dustin Ellermann was one of the many Top Shot alumni who made an appearance at the 2012 SHOT Show. It took a little doing, but on the final day, we walked through the show talking about his life, his camp and his time on Top Shot.

Las Vegas, Nevada - Getting through the SHOT Show door can be a tricky thing. You have to be either a retailer, a dealer, a sponsored celebrity or a writer covering the industry. Turns out reigning Top Shot Dustin Ellermann had two of those bases covered for this year's event.

"I'm out here doing appearances for 5.11, LaRue Tactical and covering SHOT for Texas Fish & Game magazine," said Ellermann. "I've actually had a couple of interesting interviews." A fair turnabout considering that Ellermann has been cornered and cajoled with countless questions since his Top Shot victory. But why Texas Fish & Game?

"They came to me first," explained Ellermann. "Set me up with a blog to cover the Top Shot and I had fun getting a little more details out to the fans. It was a heck of an experience."

Even though he's enjoying his initial foray into the literary world, that doesn't mean he's about to abandon his first love … Camp His Way in Zavalla, Texas.

Taking Top Shot to Camp His Way

"We're in our off-season right now so this (attending SHOT Show) is perfect timing. It's all been pretty good timing. We filmed the show before our summer season, I couldn't talk about it during the summer season and in our last week it all came out."

Remembering our interview last year with Chris Reed, I assumed that Camp His Way was experiencing a sudden influx of applications. Maybe a little, but not so much as to make a difference.

"We were already booked to capacity when the news broke," said Ellermann. "It's only $135 for the week and we have a great volunteer staff that makes it all possible. That says a lot considering we run around 2,000 kids through the camp every summer."

Overseeing days filled with hikes, swimming, canoes and horseback rides, one wonders if there's room for any Top Shot related activities.

"We have archery and a zipline, but we're looking another program to introduce the Top Shot stuff," he said with a laugh. "A Youth Marksmanship camp during the off season. Maybe about two dozen kids with a more hands on approach to Top Shot style events. We're thinking boomerangs, tomahawks, blowguns and work our way up from there."

I know what you're thinking … what about the dreaded rocks?

"I am definitely going to have a rock throwing stage," he proclaimed. "I never know that such a skill was going to be so darn important."

We'll be running more of our 2012 SHOT Show interview with Ellermann over the next few weeks. If you'd like to appear on Top Shot, but don't have any firearms training, then sign up for one of our basic courses on NRAInstructors.org.

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