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10/06/2011

Conover blows through windy conditions to win shooting title


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Steve Conover's title in the 12-gauge Open Division was his ninth NWTF world championship.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Steve Conover's skill and experience helped him conquer difficult conditions Oct. 1 as he successfully defended his title in the 12-gauge Open Division at the NWTF's 2011 Wild Turkey World Still Target Championships.

Conover, from Jamestown, Ky., claimed his ninth overall world Still Target championship and his fourth career victory in the 12-gauge Open Division. He also owns titles in the 20-gauge Open and Hunter divisions.

Shooters faced some of the most difficult weather conditions that the Still Target Championship has seen in recent years. Gusting winds, widely fluctuating temperatures and varying humidity added an extra level of complexity for competitors.

"It makes it one to treasure more," Conover said of the victory in the challenging conditions. "I have never shot in wind like that in my life. There were times when the wind was blowing my gun barrels."

After dozens of rounds of qualifying competition on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Conover joined other finalists later in the day on Saturday as the competition's drama unfolded in the finals. Conover shot a Browning Citori with an Indian Creek .675 choke tube using two ounces of HEVI-13 No. 6 shot.

Still-target shooting simulates turkey hunters shooting a wild turkey gobbler at 40 yards with a shotgun. Winners are determined by the number of pellets a shooter is able to put in a 3-inch circle on a paper target.

Originally known as a "turkey shoot," the NWTF's Still Target Championships were conceived 19 years ago as a conservation effort to help turkey hunters better understand the point of aim and point of impact of their turkey guns.

"The competition's primary goal is to reduce crippling loss and misses in the field," said Rhett Simmons, NWTF director of special events. "But it's also proved to be a valuable tool for equipment manufacturers to use to improve their turkey hunting products."

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