Steve Conover’s victories at the 19th annual NWTF World Still Target Championships may not seem special considering he’s tied for the career record with 11 world titles.
But the Jamestown, Ky., marksman said he had his most enjoyable weekend ever at the Oct. 5-7 event at NWTF Headquarters in Edgefield, S.C.
Conover won the 12 Gauge Open and 20 Gauge Open divisions and fell only one pellet short of forcing a playoff with Brian Sloan, who also has 11 career titles, in the Black Powder division.
“I felt the best this year that I’ve felt in a long time,” said Conover, who owns four world titles in both the 12 Gauge Open and 20 Gauge Open divisions and three in the 12 Gauge Hunter division.
“Usually I don’t sleep for three or four days before the competition and during the competition.
This year, I was relaxed. Maybe I’ve done it so many times the experience is kicking in,” he said.
Champions won shotguns. Conover received a Browning BPS 12 gauge and a Mossberg 500 Grand Slam 20 gauge.
From 40 yards out, Conover put 27 pellets in the 3-inch circular target in each of his rounds in the 12 Gauge finals. He scored 20 and 26 in the 20 Gauge finals, but scored 33 in a preliminary round. Conover said he faced stiff competition in both of his victories, noting that the 12 Gauge division featured some preliminary round scores in the 30s.
“The competition at this event is so strong that I was never able to take anything for granted,” Conover said.
Sloan also won the 12 Gauge Hunter title. Mother and son Amanda and Alex Fox, teammates of Sloan’s from Statesville, N.C., won the Ladies 20 Gauge and 20 Gauge JAKES (Youth) divisions, respectively.
Conover used a Remington 870 Super Mag with 3″ Hevi-13 1 1/4 oz. No. 6 shot ammunition and an Indian Creek .665 choke in the 12 Gauge Open. He fired a Gun Works Pro Stock Ithaca with 3″ Hevi-13 1 1/4 oz. No. 6 shot and a .562 choke in the 20 Gauge Open.