Joseph started shooting when he was 7 years old in his backyard with his Dad and his friends. They would shoot targets off a hand thrower Joseph would stand there with his slingshot and a bucket of rocks trying to hit the clays before they would with the shotguns.
Eventually this actually happened! At first they didn’t believe it, but as it happened more often they realized Joseph was hitting them his Dad decided it was time to put a shotgun in his hands. As soon as Joseph broke the first single bird with a shotgun he immediately wanted to shoot DOUBLES! This is more than likely where his love for doubles trap began. He started shooting ATA registered trap in 1998 when he was 11 years old. In 2002 he started taking it quite a bit more serious traveling around the country to major shoots. Since then he has won many events including the Ohio State Doubles Championship four times, he has been on the All-American Team six times and Captain of the All Ohio Team the last three years.
He has shot for Blaser for four years now and just loves the shooting sports and hunting. When he is not shooting he is working at Air Control Products as a Salesman for HVAC Equipment, hunting with his friends, or drag racing his diesel pickup.
At a young age I started his competitive career and has continued to follow his passion. Travis has competed on many different levels within the sport. He started with the youth shooting programs and then moved on to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO as a scholarship shooter. He now performs at the professional level in Sporting Clays and is an established Professional Exhibition Shooter. Travis Mears found himself at Lindenwood University in 2005 eager to compete at the collegiate level. After five years, 12 National Championship rings and an MBA; it was time to move back to Texas.
Travis' love of the shotgun sports has led him to the art of shotgun exhibition shooting. This mix of entertainment and marksmanship is a great way for Travis to share his love of the sport with many people around the country. Travis often comments that he owes all of his success to his extremely supportive parents Lonnie and Lynda Mears, his two sisters, Katie and Kelly, and his biggest cheerleader, childhood sweetheart and wife, Raelynn.
Samantha “Sam” Joy Smith was born and raised in Spring Hill, Tennessee...a great little place to call home. Along with her mom, Jackie, she also has 2 older siblings; sister Leslie and brother Adam. Sam's interests ranged from soccer, gymnastics, and figure skating, to shooting. It was common for Sam to tag along with her family, especially her cousin Cody and go shooting on the farm.
In Sam's family, fulfillment is going to church and finding a place to serve. Sam is a Christian and her faith in God has strengthened her. Sam will tell you that from a young age she wanted to be an Olympian, she just wasn't always sure which path would lead her there. Becoming a Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Champion in the multiple disciplines of Trap, Skeet, & Sporting Clays (while shooting RIO) was a step in the right direction.
Purusing her Olympic dreams, Sam transitioned over to International Olympic Bunker Trap in 2013 and climbed the ranks quicker than anyone could have expected. After just one year Sam earned a spot on Team USA’s National Junior Team and the World Championship’s Team. With the RIO Elite high performance shot shell by her side she will compete oversees internationally in Germany & Spain in 2014. She had the honor of representing the USA in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2016 and will compete in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.
Gil & Vicki Ash
As a couple, as individuals and as teachers. Both are avid hunters and love the outdoors. Together they offer the benefit of both male and female perspectives, as well as flexibility in working with all types of personalities and learning styles.
Gil and Vicki are both full-time, professional shooting instructors. They are NSCA Level III certified and insured by SASI. With a regular column in the official publication for the National Sporting Clays Association, they are the shooting editors for Sporting Clays magazine. Together they teach some 2,000 people of all levels each year in their personal lessons, group clinics, and seminars. They witness an excess of 500,000 shotgun shells each year and as a result ever year brings new additions to their teaching regime.
Abel started shooting clay targets when he was 8 years old. His grandfather had bought an old clay thrower and started throwing his some clay targets, after two and a half years he said I had exceeded what he could teach me. Abel loved shooting clays and talked his parents into getting him in to completive shooting. That’s when a family friend introduced Abel to sporting clays. The first couple years he shot mostly all local monthly tournaments and started traveling to larger tournaments. His first major tournament was in 2004 at Elm Fork it was the Zone Championship. He has never looked back still loves every opportunity he gets to shoot sporting clays. When he is not shooting he works for an oilfield supply company in Cushing, Oklahoma. Recent accomplishments include: 2015 Krieghoff Cup Champion • 3 Time Oklahoma State Champion • 2015 North Central Regional FITASC Mater 1st • 2015 South central Regional FITASC Master 2nd • 4 Time Team USA FITASC Junior Team • 10 Time Junior and Sub Jr. All- American
Keith Garcia has been a police officer in California for the past 24 years. During that time he has developed a love for shooting and outdoor sports. As a SWAT team member he honed his shooting skills and became exposed to competitive shooting. It wasn’t long before his drive to compete brought him to 3 gun. Keith is a six time Law Enforcement National Champion and four time National 3 gun Champion.
Keith enjoys training new officers in the police academy and sharing his knowledge of the shooting sports with students all across the country. Keith’s greatest joy is exposing his two daughters to the outdoors and the sport he loves.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Kalani became an avid outdoorsman and big game hunter at an early age. He started competing in the exhilarating sport of 3Gun in 2009. By 2011, he had established himself as a talented, consummate professional and qualified for the inaugural season of the 3Gun Pro Series where he still competes today. He has enjoyed great success in the world of 3Gun, earning multiple podium finishes at competitions across the country, including the challenging nighttime matches.
Currently National Champion, Kalani is a bonafide self-taught shooter and is quick to pass on his training techniques to law-abiding citizens, Law Enforcement Officers, and military personnel. In his free time, he enjoys teaching youth shooters the finer points of marksmanship and firearms safety.
Nick Atkinson is a full time professional competition 3Gun shooter, who competes at the highest levels of the sport. Nick has competed on the 3Gun Nation Pro Series since 2014, in addition to traveling the country shooting National level Outlaw 3Gun matches.
Since 2012, Nick has collected multiple championship wins, over a dozen podium finishes and countless top 10 finishes among the biggest names in the sport.
By day, Rick is an engineer in Detroit’s resurging auto industry, but as soon as he clocks out he becomes a fierce 3-Gun competitor. He began competing at a national level in 2011 and has been shooting on the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series since the 2013 season.
After a meteoric rise in 2014, Rick has cemented himself among the top professionals in the sport. Rick has been an absolute powerhouse in his division for the past two seasons and after an exciting shoot-off run in the 2016 3-Gun Nation Championship and back-to-back National Championships, he is poised for another successful season in 2017.