In short, it’s awesome. My arrangement with Bass Pro Shops is very flexible, and they cover most of my equipment, match fees, and travel costs for 3-gun competitions and appearances. There’s also minimal pressure from Bass Pro for me to win additional competitions, so the only pressure is the pressure I put on myself. I have always wanted to excel in whatever I throw myself into, and shooting is no different. Finally, my contract doesn't really have an expiration date, and I can pick and choose what I want to do.
In contrast, some of my other sponsored marksmen peers are locked into a particular schedule. They have XX number of matches to shoot in each year. They have a training schedule. If they don’t win or at least perform at a super high level, their sponsor might drop them.
In addition to shooting matches, I've done special events such as Bass Pro Shops store appearances across the country where I’ve done exhibition shooting with a compound bow and signed autographs and taken pictures with Top Shot fans.
Then there are the random fun things that have come about. I was invited to a private shooting event for industry folks in Tennessee, where we just shot a bunch of cool guns for a day and socialized.
I am often asked how frequently I shoot, and it really depends. In the past year, I had a two month stretch (Thanksgiving/Christmas) where I didn't fire a single round. However, I’m often dry firing or doing some sort of maintenance/upgrade/research on a gun related item. Writing my book and blogging are other items which consume my time when I’m not shooting. I got really interested in trap shooting for about two months earlier this year, and I was at the range almost three times a week on average shooting about 500 rounds a week.
The part I’ve enjoyed most is the people I’ve met along this journey. Before winning Top Shot, I didn’t know many other shooters, but now that I’ve traveled the country and met all sorts of gun aficionados I can say that the shooting community is a really warm and welcoming one. People are helpful, kind, generous, and courteous- qualities that define gun culture and often betray some negative stereotypes about gun owners.