July 11th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

Hunting Missouri Turkeys With Shotgun World-Record Holder Dave Miller And CZ-USA’s 612 Magnum

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY CASE

OK, I confess: I may not be the best traveler in the world. To be honest, I’ve never traveled much until recently when I started down the outdoorwriting trail. What I find now is that while I may enjoy the destination once I get there, usually for hunting or a gun-related activity, getting there is not my cup of tea. Airports and flying don’t seem to be on my list of favorite things, but it is all part of traveling and what we have to endure. Sometimes I just want to stay home, work at being my usual grouchy self and hunt on my home turf in West Virginia. When I get home from a trip, I usually vow that it will be a long time before I leave again. But before I know it, I am looking at the horizon and dreaming.

 A chance to hunt with world-record holder and CZ USA product manager Dave Miller was too much to say no to for author Larry Case, here inspecting their decoy set in Missouri’s spring woods.

A chance to hunt with world-record holder and CZ USA product manager Dave Miller was too much to say no to for author Larry Case, here inspecting their decoy set in Missouri’s spring woods.

This is what happened a few months ago when I ventured west to the Show Me State for some turkey hunting. I had been discussing this for a while with Dave Miller, the shotgun product manager at CZ-USA, a firearm manufacturer headquartered next door to Missouri in Kansas City, Kan. CZ-USA is the US-based subsidiary of the Czech Republic company that makes a long list of firearms, including rifles, pistols, submachine guns and some very fine shotguns. Many of their scatterguns are made in Turkey, which, if you didn’t know, has a long history of making firearms. CZ-USA also owns Dan Wesson Firearms, which has produced excellent revolvers and pistols for years, including some very nice 1911s.

I have talked to you about Miller in these pages before. Last year I reported on a feat he accomplished that I do not expect to be equaled anytime soon. Miller broke no less than 3,653 clay targets in one hour, squarely putting him in the Guinness Book of World Records. I was there, I saw it and, to say the least, it was impressive.

Miller is what I would call a rabid shotgun shooter. He lives and breathes it. Besides handling the shotgun product line for CZ-USA, he is also their demonstration and exhibition shooter. I don’t know how many days a year he spends on the road shooting shotguns, but it is way more than I want to be away from home. Saying that Dave Miller shoots a shotgun is like saying Michelangelo painted a few pictures.

So, when Miller called me last spring and invited me to go hunt some Missouri turkeys, I was all for it. But secretly I was a little nervous. If this guy went after turkeys the way he does clay targets, I wasn’t sure I could keep up with him, but there was only one way to find out.

When it comes to hospitality, Miller takes the cake, or in this case, the turkey. He secured an absolutely beautiful piece of property for us to hunt – many thanks to J.W. Page, the owner – not far from Kansas City. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Miller found a stunning bed and breakfast a mile from there: the Laurel Brooke Farm B&B. We were set!

The combination of a CZ USA 612 shotgun, a Trijicon MRO optic and Winchester Longbeard XR loads set up Larry Case and Dave Miller for a successful hunt.

The combination of a CZ USA 612 shotgun, a Trijicon MRO optic and Winchester Longbeard XR loads set up Larry Case and Dave Miller for a successful hunt.

THE DAY I ARRIVED Miller drove me out to the hunting area to check it out and unlimber the shotguns we would be using. We elected to use the CZ 612 Magnum Turkey Shotgun, and by the end of our shooting session I was glad we did. Any shotgunner needs at least one good pump gun and the CZ 612 may be perfect. This shotgun only weighs an amazing 6.8 pounds – that’s light. It has a 3½-inch chamber for those who want to shoot the big shells, and it also takes 3- and 2¾-inch shells. What I appreciated was an action that is not equaled by any shotgun in the same price range.

“This is the smoothest, most reliable action on a pump shotgun since the Model 12,” Miller told me. “It is very durable and easy to operate.”

After carrying and hunting with it for five days, I had to agree. The shotgun is hydro-dipped in Realtree Xtra Green camo and comes with an extra-full choke just for turkey hunting. I would have no problem taking this shotgun upland-bird hunting or waterfowl hunting, for that matter.

When you take all of this into consideration, as well as the retail price of $429, this shotgun is hard to beat. If you can find a better made pump shotgun at this price – you won’t – you should buy it!

I DECIDED TO PUT AN OPTIC on one of the shotguns we carried and chose the Trijicon MRO red-dot sight. You have heard me talk about the MRO before, and I believe this is an excellent optic for a turkey gun. This sight allows for lightning-fast target acquisition, has a five-year battery life and is extremely rugged, as Trijicon optics are built to military specs. Miller and I did not baby the shotguns or the optic on this trip, and they came through it just fine.

While the hospitality of all the people in Missouri I met was wonderful, the Missouri turkeys I came across were not as friendly. They were acting a bit snobbish and did not want to just walk in and be shot like a respectable bird. On the first morning, after a very long ordeal with a particularly uppity gobbler, Miller pulled a rabbit out of his hat. We spent over an hour crawling on our bellies like reptiles, watching a typical field turkey march around out of range. With a strategic decoy placement Miller coaxed the old reprobate gobbler to come right in.

I would be lying if I said that I was not afraid I might miss in front of a shotgunner like Miller, but the Trijicon MRO really helped on a shot that was closer to 50 than 40 yards. I was also glad to have a Winchester Longbeard XR load in the chamber, as I have seen these shells excel when a hunter stretches the yardage. The CZ 612 spoke and the turkey went down as if struck by lightning (whew!). I think Miller was as happy as I was.

The CZ 612 Magnum Turkey Shotgun is an excellent all-around fowl-hunting shotgun.

The CZ 612 Magnum Turkey Shotgun is an excellent all-around fowl-hunting shotgun.

Good friends, beautiful country, a good shotgun and some turkeys to talk to – it doesn’t get much better. Think about Missouri if you are considering a road trip for turkeys. I think the annual harvest is something like 45,000 per year.

Me? I’m glad to be home, but you know, I have been thinking about a little trip somewhere. ASJ 

Editor’s note: For more on the products mentioned in this story, see cz-usa.com, trijicon.com and winchester.com.

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April 23rd, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

BREAKING NEWS

World Record SHOOTING Attempt

CZ-USA’s Dave Miller will attempt to shoot a world record number of flying target in one hour.
The initial requirements to succeed:

30 CZ Shotguns
16 Target Throwers
5000 Shotgun Shells
6400 Clay Targets
1 hour
Immense logistics

CZ-USA Pro-staffer Dave Miller spoke to us at the NRA show and gave us an insider view of what it will take make it into the Guinness Book Of World Records.

Miller stated that in order to make the world record, he is attempting to shoot over 3025 flying clay targets in 60 minutes. This will require 16 target throwers to be operating at all times, not to mention an army of people loading and handing him shotguns as needed. The throwers will have to maintain four airborne clay targets each second during the course of fire. Let me repeat that. There will be a steady stream of clay targets shot from 16 throwers wherein four clay targets will be airborne at any given time. This is the level of stress Miller will be facing to make the record. To add insult to injury Miller is going to do this shooting from the hip! (Throwing my clipboard, papers and pen in the air). Whoa! Here is an OODA-loop exercise most mortals would never survive.

When: May 16, 2015 at 8PM CST
Where: Heartland Trap and Wobble Skeet Range in Harrisonville, Mo.
Visit them at: heartlandtrapandwobbleskeet.com

DMCZ

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