This is the final episode of Top Shot Season 3. There are no more experts or practices (or drama). Only one action packed challenge after another to find out who is the Top Shot.
This didn’t make the air, but before the first challenge, Colby asked all the other guys who they thought was their biggest threat to victory, Mike, Gary and Chris all named me. I just laughed and shook my head because I still see myself as a little guy from east Texas among these highly trained shooters. Colby tells me I’m the most laid back contestant in all three seasons. I guess “shooting my best and trusting God with the rest” has done me well.
We start on a moving dueling tree, 4 tracks run 4 trees, each with 3 targets on them that switch sides and colors with every hit. We are using the Salient Arms Glock 34 as we shoot side by side. For the first challenge Gary and I go to shoot against each other. Gary is a firearms instructor for Homeland Security and I know I will really have my hands full. The best strategy for dueling trees is to get the jump on your opponent and keep flipping his targets back onto your side. Gary did very well and beat me 9:2. Next, Chris looses to Mike, which leaves me to compete one last time against Chris for elimination, and then the looser goes home. As Colby sends Chris and me up, I simply tell him, “We get to play twice!” and I meant it. This might have intimidated him, but I honestly was just happy to get to shoot again. Gary told me that I looked like a different person shooting that second time, I didn’t feel anything special, but obviously I performed well. My reloads were once again very fast and ¾ through the challenge I was simply waiting on him to shoot one and I’d send it back. When Chris reloaded his empty gun, I would top mine off with a tactical reload. My weapons handling once again gave me an advantage in this competition. I won 12:0.
The Top Shot game of H-O-R-S-E is always interesting. Being able to pick your weapon, range, position, target, and distance can play to some shooters strength as well as exploit others weaknesses. As we walk to up the challenge, Gary mentions to me – “Hey Dusty, there’s your golfballs.” I had always talked with the guys how golfballs are my favorite target, they are cheap, reactive, and small enough to be challenging. When Colby calls my name to pick first, I choose the golfball, and Volquartsen 22 at 300 feet. When I’m the only one to hit it, everyone is somewhat amazed. I almost felt like I was cheating since I knew nobody else could pull it off, but in the end this is what gave me a ticket to the final challenge. On my next turn I chose the other rifle, the Winchester ’73 at tumblers at 100 feet. Gary misses this shot. He was a lever action hunter, I thought he would have it so that surprised me. Then Mike pulls a crazy scenario – one handed AK-47 like a pistol at whiskey bottles 100 feet away. Both he and Gary hit it, but the rifle goes off before I was ready when I was firing. I had been taking up trigger slack and put too much pressure on that trigger while holding the 8 pound rifle one handed. After I shot all I said was “I wasn’t ready”. To close the game of horse, Gary misses with the Infinity Site Tracker which leaves Mike and I for the finale. Honestly I was hoping to compete in the finale against Gary, especially when you consider the how Mike already was eliminated once before. At the house after nailing up Gary’s target, I recollect with Mike about how he agreed in sending me to the elimination challenge in episode 2 because I “Don’t fit the mold for a shooter.” We share a laugh and head to the finale elimination.
My 100 yard golf ball shot with the Volquartsen I-Fluted 22LR
The final gauntlet is why I came to Top Shot. The single challenges are cool, but the 7 station multiple weapon challenge is just way too much fun. Colby explains the stations and objectives to us and then shocks me by bringing out my wife and hunting buddy Chester Moore. It has been 6 weeks since I’ve seen or talked to her so that really through off my game for a bit. I was all focused on shooting then I get to see Brittany. I lose my focus a little but I’m so glad she got to see the finale live and share this secret with me for several months.
At the first of the challenge we start with the 1875 revolvers. Mike is a pistol guy so it’s no surprise that he finished that stage first. The rock throwing station is next, but at least it’s not at tiny cans. I have been practicing rock throwing every day since my failure in episode 5. I finish that station before Mike and take the lead. At the Benelli station it takes me 13 rounds to hit all 10 targets. I pass Mike up and see he doesn’t have half of his targets broken yet.
The arrow deflecting off of the ramp was yet another challenge that I was not very skilled at. Fortunately the targets aren’t moving this time and I learned my lesson episode 8 so I simply focused on the ramp and my first shot hits. I carefully climb up the log to another favorite weapon of mine – the LaRue OBR. Colby had asked what I was looking forward to shooting the most and when I told him the OBR he responded with, “Really? 200 yards is a long way”. I couldn’t help but laugh and ask him if he remembered the golf ball shot. No surprise it only took 2 shots for those 2 targets. Mortars exploded as I climbed to my VLTOR tower. This is the weapon my team was hammered with in Episode 6. Red had decided to sit me out, and afterI shot with 100% accuracy with on this station it’s very evident that my opponents made the correct decision. I hopped down to fun to the finale station, and Mike is still struggling with the Benelli M4. I give my wife a big smile and a thumbs up and after my 4th shot the 3rd target explodes and I am proclaimed History’s Top Shot!
My plans with the money haven’t changed since the finale. Of course I’m giving a percentage to my camp and another ministry. But I want to put it towards a house for my wife and kids. We live in a small 1,100 square foot mobile home on the camp property which gets crowded with a few kids. We have had up to 5 boys before with our foster care and need a little more space. The Wednesday after the finale aired a property down the road went up for sale so looks like God is opening up doors yet again!
My favorite verse for a while has been Psalms 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Now this is a two way promise, but I feel that I have delighted myself in God, and this Top Shot victory was His way of rewarding me for that. The desires of my heart were just to come and play, winning was the icing on the cake. I’m just in awe of God, how real He is, and how he uses everyday people to do big things for His glory. I’m traveling around speaking for churches, schools and men’s groups. If you would like to book me, simply visit www.topshotdustin.com. In the meantime – Shoot straight, and Follow His Way.