By Lars Dalseide | February 8 2012 11:28

While filming Top Shot, Ellermann and the gang turned to darts and rocks to fill their time

Top Shot Dustin Ellermann in the Benelli booth at the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

When walking the floor of SHOT Show with reigning Top Shot champ Dustin Ellermann, we were stopped about a dozen times in the first five minutes. Dustin - being the guy he is - stopped, shook hands, answered questions, posed for pictures and wished them well. It's that exact attitude that made him a fan favorite while vying for the Top Shot crown.

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Before getting into the meat of the competition, I had to go back to the rocks and what went wrong.

"I'm not a rock throwing guy," Ellermann laughed. "My wife can attest to that. I can skip a rock good but beyond that ..."

That didn't explain, however, the awkward delivery system. The overhand, bend at the elbow toss instead of an all out throw. After all, what American boy doesn't grow up throwing rocks, a baseball or a football? He laughed again and provided what I found to be a reasonable explanation.

"We were throwing darts constantly at the house. Then, after eating, we'd set up cans and throw pebbles at them. We found that we were more accurate and more practiced up throwing them like darts so that's the way we threw it. It looked a little girlie. At least I wasn't alone."

Unproductive and boring by design

Drama in the house in season three of the History Channel's Top Shot was a constant. What I eventually came to understand is that the drama wasn't necessarily due to personality conflicts – it was due to boredom.

Top Shot's Dustin Ellermann trying out a Benelli during the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas "Unproductive and boring," said Ellermann. "There was a lot of that."

Producers of the show remove any and all outside stimulus. There's no television, no radio, no magazines, books or newspapers. But that didn't stop the competitors from digging through the house for a little extracurricular excitement.

"We actually found a couple of real books," Ellermann smiled. "There was a dictionary and a government book that was pretty good. Ah, we found an algebra and chemistry book that kept Mike and Alex busy. Then I found some children's books that Gary and I fought over."

Turning to Jake's meltdown on the History Channel show

"I have to claim a thumper rule here. If you can't say something nice then don't say anythingl."

Eventually Dustin talked about Jake. About the competition, the rivalries and more. But for that you'll have to wait until next week when Season 4 of Top Shot debuts on the History Channel.

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