Tim Bradley had no idea he would someday get paid to shoot a gun.
But now he does.
Something that started on the family farm in Weiner when he was a child is now his profession.
“I shot a gun because that is just what we did,’’ he said. “I would come home from school, my dad had an old .22 and I would take it outside and shoot it. That is just what we did.”
From there, he advanced from shooting at stationary targets to flying objects and hunting as he grew older.
“I got my start hunting ducks on our farm where were grew rice and [soy] beans,’’ he said. “I really didn’t start that young, about 11 or 12. I don’t think I started as young as some have thought. My dad was a huge duck hunter.
“But I shot the guns every day after school. That is just what we did. I just love shooting I would go through several cases of ammo a year. I just shot my dad’s .22.”
These days, Bradley, 54, is an exhibition shooter for Team Benelli USA, touring the country and sometimes going overseas to show off his shooting skills.
Bradley uses a .22 pistol and scoped rifle in his exhibits and can shoot either left- or right-handed.
Bradley was always a good shot and has taken a rather creative route to this point. Before he landed with Benelli, he was serving as a bounty hunter in Jonesboro, where he has lived the past 20 years.
“I had a detective come up to me with a stack of warrants about a foot high and asked me if I wanted to go serve them,” said Bradley, who has a background in boxing and karate. “I became a bounty hunter.”
While shooting a video for fun, he started trying new things and more trick shots. Exposure from that video opened the door to exhibition shooting.
Bradley was discovered by the late Tom Knapp, a member of Team Benelli USA and a world champion.
Bradley joined the team in 2006 after one year with another organization.
His advice for others:
“Just because you are a good shot does not mean you are going to be a good teacher,” he said. “Two things that are key is to keep moving, and to mount the gun the same way every time.”