Northwoods Spotlight - Rhinelander Sharp Shooter July 10Submitted: 07/10/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

RHINELANDER - Some hunting enthusiasts like to stay sharp be shooting sporting clays. A few even compete in area competitions.

And then, there's the elite shooters.

Rhinelander's Jim Sarkauskas is one of the top shooters in the state. He's earned his second All-American team honor in three years.

"The points tallied not unlike NASCAR," Sarkauskas said. "The bigger events you get more points The high you finish, the more points you have."

Joe: Jim has been competing for 25 years. He's also the owner of Rancho del Zorro shooting academy. Teaching others the sport is almost as fun as winning.

Jim will typically shoot about 500 rounds each week to stay sharp. A Typical competition may have between 600-800 rounds. Jim put the ultimate test to his teaching skills and had Joe Dufek take a couple of shots.

"The key is hitting the targets where they're headed, not where they are," Jim explained.

At first, Sarkauskas almost had Joe shooting like a pro. "I got it."

But ultimately, Joe does need a little work. "Knew I wasn't going to hit them all."

"What I enjoy is the individual competition just like in golf," Jim says. "It's you against the ball. It's you against the target. I prefer to shoot."

Last weekend, Jim won the senior veterans title at a state competition in Hudson. He connected on 111 of 150 targets. In 1999, he won a world championship in 20-gauge shotgun.

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