Dave Miller hopes to be in the Guinness Book of World Records by the time Saturday night is over.
Miller, a professional shooter, will come out with shotguns a-blazing when he toes the line at Heartland Trap & Wobble Skeet Range in Harrisonville. His goal? To break 3,000 clay targets in an hour.
That breaks down to a target per 1.2 seconds, a daunting task. But Miller, project manager for the CZ-USA firearms company who will be using his company’s shotguns, is confident he will be in the world-record books by the time the night ends.
“The planets have to align. Everything has to go just right,” said Miller, 41, who lives in Grain Valley. “But it can be done.
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“I’ve done it before in practices. Now I just have to do it when it counts.”
Miller, who travels the country giving shooting demonstrations, broke 3,607 targets an hour during practice rounds. And that was shooting from the hip.
To accomplish such a feat, it takes a coordinated effort. Miller will use 30 shotguns and 24 volunteer loaders during the event. The CZ semiautomatic shotguns he will use can hold up to 16 shells.
Miller used his knowledge as an electrical engineer to devise the bank of clay-target throwers. Each target will travel at a speed of about 42 miles per hour. And those clay birds will come out nonstop.
The idea for the world-record attempt came to Miller one evening when he and his girlfriend and her children were watching a television show.
“A guy was using his elbow to crack open coconut shells, trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records,” Miller said. “Will, my girlfriend’s 9-year-old son, turned to me and said, ‘Why don’t you try to set a world record for breaking targets with your shotgun?’
“We kicked that idea around and decided to approach the people at Guinness. We came up with a difficult but attainable number, and they went with it.”
There is no existing record, so Miller’s mark would be the first. It has become a fundraiser for Pheasants Forever, a national conservation organization. Chapters of Pheasants Forever have made pledges, and funds raised will go to the “No Child Left Inside” program.
Miller will have a gallery when he attempts to set the record. He expects several hundred spectators to attend. The event is open to the public, with shooting expected to take place at nightfall.
A successful turkey season
The harvest statistics for the Missouri spring turkey season continue to trend upward.
Hunters shot 43,991 birds during the regular season that ended May 10. Add the 4,441 birds taken during the youth season, and the overall take stands at 42,226. That represents the fourth consecutive year that the harvest has increased.
Franklin County east of St. Louis was the leading county with 897 birds checked in. Texas County in the south-central part of the state was second with 858. St. Clair County in west-central Missouri was third with 771.
There were four accidents in the three-week season, one of them fatal.
Free Fishing Days
Looking for a free deal? You can find it the weekend of June 6-7 in Missouri and Kansas.
That’s when both states will offer Free Fishing Days, meaning you don’t have to buy a state fishing license to try your luck those days. The promotion is part of a national effort to encourage people to try fishing without having to invest in a license.
Other fees at city, county or private lakes may still be in effect, so check ahead of time.
National Safe Boating Week
Going into the busy weeks of summer, water-safety officials are reminding boaters to play it safe.
Leading up to National Safe Boating Week, which will begin Saturday, the BoatUS Foundation reminds boaters of four basics:
▪ Wear your life jacket. The newest inflatable models are comfortable and not confining. At the very least, keep life hacks readily accessible within arm’s reach. That doesn’t mean behind compartment doors buried under different items.
▪ Instruct your passengers where to sit and how to move about the boat safely.
▪ Make sure that all passengers are aware of where emergency equipment is kept and how to use it.
▪ Share your float plan with others. Let someone ashore know where you’re headed and when you expect to return.