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Old August 26th, 2013 #1
Leonard Rouse
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Leonard Rouse
Default Homeschooler Goes Berserk, Wreaks Havoc With Shotgun

Teenager’s skills with shotgun are unprecedented

By Mike Marsh
[email protected]
Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.

Victoria Stellato competed at the North Carolina Open skeet matches at Buccaneer Gun Club last week. Photo by Mike Marsh

Last weekend, 39 shooters gathered at Buccaneer Gun Club in Winnabow to test their skills against fast-moving clay targets, as well as each other. They were competing in the North Carolina Open, a National Skeet Shooting Association-registered event that records scores over a run of 100 targets thrown from a high and low house.

A skeet field has eight stations, with single targets thrown for each station, plus a double target from stations one, two, six and seven for a total of 24. The first time a shooter misses, he or she tries it again. A few shooters made it all the way through, taking their option target at the low house of station eight for a perfect round of 25. It takes four rounds of 25 targets to complete a stage of competition.

Competing in a class all her own was 14-year-old Victoria Stellato of Mocksville, midway between Winston-Salem and Statesville. She was the only sub-junior competitor, but she competed in all-gun events that are open to shooters of any age and gender. She took second in the 20-gauge open competition and was waiting to compete in the .410-bore open event. She was going to be tough to beat because she is the reigning world champion at women's .410-bore skeet.

"I've been shooting skeet for two years," she said. "I practice at the Rowan County Wildlife Association skeet range. I'm home-schooled now, but when I went to public school, they had a trap machine. During the summer, there was no one else to shoot with so I began shooting skeet at the wildlife association."

Like most competitors, Victoria shoots all four gauge-events. She has a set of tube inserts for her 12-gauge Krieghoff over-under that allow her to use the same shotgun for the 20-gauge, 28-gauge and .410-bore competitions. She had to beat three other competitors in a shoot-off to break a tie score for second place in the 20-guage open event. She was in a tie for second place and awaiting a shoot-off in the 28-guage open event. Therefore, it was going to take at least 600 shells to compete in the North Carolina Open, assuming she would not be in another shoot-off in the .410 event. She also had to pay for transportation, lodging and entry fees.

Some kids have soccer moms. Kelly Stellato is a skeet mom.

"I load all of her shells," Kelly said. "I drive her to all of the events and help offset some of the cost by being an associate referee, which helps because they waive her entry fee. She practices two or three times a week and shoots in at least one tournament a month."

A single mom, Kelly Stellato is a personal trainer and works for a company that sells nutritional supplements. She doesn't shoot, but makes sure her daughter gets the chance whenever possible. She also made sure the expensive shotgun was under the Christmas tree.

Not only is her daughter a world champion, she is also the youngest to hold the title. She won in a four-woman shoot-off at the world championships in San Antonio last year. Before that, the youngest female shooter to hold the title was 15.

"The first time she picked up a shotgun, it knocked her on her butt," Kelly Stellato said. "But she loved it. She has even laid out a scale model of a skeet field in our living room, so she can visualize shooting anytime she wants.


NSSA Lady's .410 Skeet Championship From 2012. Interview with young lady near end.


champion, homeschool, homeschooler, shotgun, skeet, victoria stellato


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