Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

Continued: Dennis Anderson: Knapp a worldwide shooting star

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 24, 2007 - 9:41 AM

Knapp holds three world shooting records. One, set in 2000 when he tossed eight clay targets into the air and broke them individually, was accomplished with a pump shotgun. The other, involving the 10 broken clays, was completed with a semi-auto scattergun.

But Knapp wasn't always "A Shooting Star," as he is now billed.

For 25 years, he worked for Hennepin County Parks, mostly in maintenance, all the while nursing his shooting dreams.

Back then, the cost of pushing as many as 150,000 rounds a year through his shotgun, some for practice, some for show, was his alone to pay.

"I traveled around, giving un-sponsored shooting shows for seven years," he said. "Those were pretty hard times, financially."

But Knapp had just enough of Parsons-the-showman in him to figure out that the media -- TV in particular -- could help him get where he wanted to go.

"I had a lot of TV guys come out to film me, some of them reluctantly at first," he said. "I remember Tom Ryther, the sportscaster, came out quite a few years ago. I broke clays in the air, vegetables, everything. Then, at the very end, I shot a gallon of gas I had rigged with a detonator. That got him excited."

On the road, Knapp often called a local TV station to tell them "you might want to send a cameraman" to his show.

When he had amassed enough video clips, Knapp packaged them for potential sponsors.

He caught a break in 1989 when Federal said it would supply him with shotgun shells. In 1991, Winchester offered the same booty, plus a little cash.

Knapp rode a bigger updraft still a couple of years later, when Benelli took him on. And he's now back with Federal.

These days, he travels nearly every weekend, leaving from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday mornings, or sometimes Thursday nights, flying to California, New York, and everywhere in between.

Accompanying him are four shotguns, a patch-laden shooting vest, a pair of amber shooting glasses, special hearing protection -- and a knack for busting clay targets.

"Most weekend shooting exhibitions involve Benelli dealers advertising ahead of time that I'm coming to town," Knapp said. "I come in, put on an exhibition, and the dealers have shotguns for everyone to try."

In Italy, he said, he's considered by many shooters to be a modern American John Wayne. Recently at the Italian Game Fair, he was mobbed by people trying to get his autograph.

"I was pushed up against a tractor," he said. "Finally, the only way I could escape was to crawl underneath the tractor and get out the other side,"

Minnesota kids who grow up with a knack for shooting usually also are hunters. Knapp is no different. The owner of two Labrador retrievers, he loves to chase birds, a fitting interest now that he is also host of "Benelli's American Bird Hunter," a TV show that airs weekly on the Outdoor Channel.

"We do 26 episodes, and when we begin filming in the fall, I arrange to film on the Monday, Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday after I do a shooting exhibition," he said. "Then I fly home, change clothes, and fly out again."

  • related content

  • The Tom Knapp file

    Saturday June 23, 2007

    Hometown: Maple Plain, Minn.Present home: Twin CitiesAge: 56World records: Three, all with a shotgun. The only person to break 10...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Washington 0
Baltimore 2 Top 4th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Kansas City 2 Top 5th Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Toronto 1
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Detroit 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 5th Inning
Miami 1
Pittsburgh 1 Top 4th Inning
Atlanta 2
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Cincinnati 2
Tampa Bay 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Boston 0
Houston 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Minnesota 0
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 2nd Prd 9:52
Buffalo 0
Pittsburgh 0 2nd Prd 9:11
Columbus 0
Boston 2 2nd Prd
Montreal 1
Nashville 0 2nd Prd
Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd
Toronto 1
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close