Californian Dennis De Mille, a former chief warrant officer and member of the U.S. Marine Corps rifle team, outdueled both the defending champion and a legendary rifleman to win the national high-power rifle title at the National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.
De Mille, of Oceanside, Calif., fired a 12-match aggregate score of 2385-119X out of a possible 2400 to earn the right to reign as rifle champion for a year. The X-score refers to perfect center-shot bull's-eyes and is tallied to break possible ties.
Defending 2004 champion Norman Houle, of West Warick, R.I., fired 2383-119X over the four-day shooting marathon. Third place went to the legendary David Tubb, of Canadian, Texas, 11-time national high-power champion, who fired 2376-123X.
"It's a victory I have wanted for quite a while," said De Mille, who was 2002 and 2003 Service Rifle champion. "And I'm glad that the Don L. could be here to see me get the trophy," he added, referring to retired marine Don L. Smith, his father-in-law, who with his wife, Kay, drove from their Indiana home for the awards ceremony.
As a marine staff sergeant in 1953, Smith won the first post-World War II national high-power rifle championship.
A total of 594 riflemen competed in the 12 20-round high-power aggregate matches, fired at varying range and shooting positions.
Toledo rifleman Kent Roach was top gun in two of the 12 matches, the aggregate score of which determines the national high-power champion.
Roach won the Appreciation Cup Match last Wednesday, 200 yards, 20 rounds, rapid-fire, sitting position. He fired a 200-15X out of a possible 200-20X, and went on to win in a tie-breaking shootoff.
Last Thursday he won the Cavalry Cup Match, 300 yards, 20 rounds, rapid-fire, from the prone position. He fired a top score of 200-14X.
Roach said he has been competing at Camp Perry for 21 years and is a member of Adams Conservation Club in Holland, where he does some of his training. He shoots a modified .223 AR-15 with metallic sights, tricked out to national match-rifle standards.
The National Rifle and Pistol Matches conclude this week with long-range competition and a long-range rifle school.
Special drawings for early teal and early Canada goose hunts are being set at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area and Maumee Bay State Park, respectively.
The early teal draw, for hunts at Magee during the Sept. 3 to 11 season, are set for tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Magee check-station, behind the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, Ohio. Register by 6 p.m. For other details call Bill Roshak at Ohio Wildlife District 2, 419-424-5000.
A drawing for the early Canada goose hunts at Maumee Bay State Park is set for Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. for hunts Sept. 6, 7, 8, and 9, from sunrise to 10 a.m. each day. Two hunters will be allowed per blind.
Applicants should submit a postcard with name, address, and telephone number, plus name and address of a guest. No substitutes or transfers are allowed with one postcard per hunter. Successful applicants will be notified of hunt date by telephone. Mail postcards to: Special Goose Hunt, Maumee Bay State Park, 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon, OH 43618.
In a related hunting note, requests for information on area hunter education courses flood the outdoors desk this time of year, and space and time do not permit individual handling.
However, a master schedule of upcoming hunter education courses, which are required for first-time hunters, is easily accessed on the state Web site at www.ohiodnr.com. Click on fish and wildlife, then click on the link to hunting resources, then the link to hunter education courses. County by county listings are provided by map.
Russell Lamp, who collects stinging insects for use in vaccine manufacturing by the pharmaceutical industry, is offering free removal of nests of bald-faced hornets and in-ground nests of yellowjackets, plus nests of paper wasps on farms where large collections of nests are concentrated. For details call Lamp at Integrated Pest Control, 419-243-1212.