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10/06/2011

Statesville marksman wins ninth NWTF world shooting title


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Brian Sloan's victory in the Black Powder Division gave him a ninth career NWTF world title.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Brian Sloan's skill and experience helped him add another world shooting title to his impressive resume Oct. 1, when he was crowned champion in the Black Powder Division at the NWTF's 2011 Wild Turkey World Still Target Championships.

The first to win all four of the adult divisions in the annual competition, the Statesville, N.C., competitor, won his ninth overall world title. He also has coached six of the past eight JAKES youth champions at the event, including this year's winner, Caleb Gilreath.

"I've done it all," Sloan said. "I had the experience to know the best load. The wind was swirling, so I really had to be careful. It was most important to know which way the wind was blowing at the target."

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.

After dozens of rounds of qualifying competition on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Sloan joined other finalists later in the day on Saturday as the competition's drama unfolded in the finals.

Sloan fired a custom-built, muzzleloader with a CenterPoint scope, an Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike choke tube and 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.

"While the competition is a great way for turkey hunting equipment manufacturers to improve their products, the primary goal of the competition is to reduce crippling loss and misses in the field," said Rhett Simmons, NWTF director of special events.

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