Christian Camp Director
- "I'm from Zavalla, Texas, a small town of 647 people."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
- "I'm a nice guy, but I can be too outspoken and honest—if I don't like you, I won't hide it."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
Dustin is a Christian Kids Camp Director residing near Zavalla, Texas, where he operates his camp: Camp His Way. Dustin's favorite hobby is shooting, with hunting as a close second. He and his wife, Brittany, live at the camp with their two young boys (2 and 5-year-olds) and are also foster parents to kids needing a loving home year round. Dustin is mainly a self taught shooter, growing up with a small BB range in his attic and extending to firearms as a teenager. He had only had one pistol-shooting class, where his instructor was astonished at his abilities. In addition to shooting, Dustin enjoys reading about guns and using them to make himself a better marksman. Other than firearms, Dustin has experience with the compound bow, tomahawk, and throwing knives.
Dustin arrived for Season Three of Top Shot along with the other fifteen contestants. Here, Colby Donaldson, the host of the competition, stated that a Preliminary Challenge would determine the placement of each individual. In pairs, they would shoot head-to-head with the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum at three targets. Whichever of the two was able to hit all of their targets before their opponent would be victorious and join the Blue Team, while the loser became members of the Red Team.
Dustin, as one of the youngest competitors, was called to shoot against another youthful competitor, Phil Morden, forming the last pair. Both men hit the first target simultaneously, but Phil was able to connect with his targets moments before Dustin. After missing on the final target, both contestants were forced to reload; however, Dustin managed to reload his weapon faster than Phil and was able to hit the final target, resulting in his victory and spot on the Blue Team. Colby then allowed the contestants to head to the house they would be living in during their stay in the competition. The members of Red Team arrived here first, claiming all the bottom bunks of the bed, giving members of the opposing team a limited choice on where to sleep. After this, the Blue Team met outside, where they jeered some members of the Red Team for their performances in the first challenge.
The following day, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to participate in the first Team Challenge. Here, they noticed that there were a number of platforms set up with targets in the distance. After all of the contestants had gotten situated, Colby explained that for the challenge, two contestants would be assigned to one of the four shooting platforms for their team. Once on these, each would destroy a target using the Larue Tactical OBR before their team could advance to the next station. Whichever team finished the course first became victorious. Afterwards, Colby stated that to get onto the platforms, the contestants would not be climbing the ladders built on, but a sixteen-foot pole which would have to be carried to each station. Before participating in the challenge, both teams decided their shooting order, with the Blue Team choosing Dustin and Billy Rogers for the first station. Once here, Dustin got the pole before Billy, and once his teammate had climbed onto the platform, Dustin took his time, aiming at his target, and managed to hit it in one shot. Soon after, Billy also hit his target on the first shot, giving the Blue Team a lead. This lead lasted until the third station, where Jarrett Grimes and Sara Ahrens were having a difficult time hitting their targets. At the final station, the Blue Team was only slightly behind the Red Team, but managed to win, just as the last shooter for Red Team was about to fire at his target.
After the teams returned to the house, the Red Team held a team meeting while the Blue Team met in the kitchen. Here, Dustin read aloud some verses from the Bible that he had found that morning, and concluded by saying that when he read those verses, he thought, "sucks to be Red", which was found humorous by some members of his team. Soon after, the Red Team left the house to nominate two people to send to the Elimination Challenge. When they returned shortly after, it was revealed that Amanda Hardin and Mark Schneider were to compete to remain in the competition. The following day, after Mark and Amanda had attended a Practice Session for the challenge, the Red Team departed once again to witness the first Elimination. They returned a while later with Mark, who nailed a target bearing Amanda's name to the wall, in tribute to her.
After Amanda's elimination, both teams were given a night of rest. The following morning, Blue Team member, Jake Zweig, had members of his team perform a walkthrough of the previous challenge, using a golf club as a rifle and a bench as a platform, while the Red Team watched for amusement. Afterwards, the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range to attend their first Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that during the practice, they would need to get accustomed with using the AK-47 by shooting prone, under guidance by expert, Craig Sawyer. After the Red Team had finished, the Blue Team was given their chance at practicing. Dustin did well with shooting the weapon, and in the end, the Blue Team felt satisfied with their performance.
The next day, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range for the second Team Challenge. Here, they immediately noticed the obstacles and targets set up. Once the contestants got situated, Colby announced that the challenge would be a race between the teams. Two contestants would be assigned to each station, with an exception of the last, in which one would be assigned. To get to these stations, they would need to endure the obstacles standing in their way. The first obstacle was a narrow pipe, measuring twenty feet long, which would have to be crawled through. Next was a mud pit, which was followed by crawling through mud and finally a crawl through sand under barbed wire. Once at these stations, each contestant would destroy a target, with an exception of the last, where one individual would take out two targets, before their team could proceed to the next station. Whichever team finished first would be victorious. Before the challenge, the Red Team had to decide who to sit out on the Blue Team, due to them having an extra member after Amanda's elimination, and chose Jarrett Grimes. Then, both teams broke off to determine their shooting orders, with the Blue Team choosing Dustin and Billy for the first station. Once the challenge began, Dustin and Billy rushed towards the pipe, with Dustin making it through first. As soon as Billy hit his target when he arrived at the station, Dustin commenced firing at his target, managing to hit it on his first shot. Sara Ahrens and Alex Charvat then made their way through the pipe, took the AK-47's from Dustin and Billy, and rushed towards the second station. At the third station, the Blue Team ended up behind the Red Team, and it was up to Jake to run through the course and let the final shots off for the victory. However, Jake was unable to do this, resulting in Blue Team's defeat.
- "The hardest thing about losing this challenge is that we can't blame anyone."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
When the Blue Team returned to the house, they washed off before holding a team meeting. Here, the contestants were having a difficult time deciding who to send to the Elimination Challenge. After a while, Jake stated he would vote for Sara, which motivated others to vote for her as well. A few hours later, the Blue Team arrived at the Nomination Range for their first time to vote two people into the Elimination Challenge, by each individual shooting the target of who they wanted to nominate. When Dustin was called to vote, his target had already been shot at by Mike Hughes and Billy. He decided to shoot Billy's target, just to call things even, for appearing to have shot at Dustin's target without reason. However, in the end, it was Dustin and Sara who were voted to compete in the Elimination Challenge.
After being nominated, Dustin and Sara arrived at the Shooting Range the following morning to attend a Practice Session before the Elimination Challenge. Here, Colby stated that the two would be shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P .45 at targets under guidance by returning expert, Craig Sawyer. During the practice, Dustin was given a suggestion about reloading by Craig, and he shot very fast and accurate. Later that day, the Blue Team returned to the Shooting Range again for the second Elimination Challenge. Here, a large, rotating cylinder, slightly concealed by a wall, was set up, bearing red foe targets and blue friend targets. Using the Smith & Wesson .45, the two would attempt to gain as many points as possible while firing at the targets when they were not concealed. Hitting a foe target would add a point to the total, while hitting a friend target would lead to a one point deduction on each occurrence. In the end, Dustin was victorious, having gained a total of 23 points in comparison to Sara's 11. Afterwards, the Blue Team returned to the house, where Dustin nailed a blue target bearing Sara's name to the wall. At the house, Dustin was complimented on his performance before the Blue Team went outside once again to perform another walkthrough.
The morning after Sara's elimination, the contestants headed to the Shooting Range once again to attend a third team Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that during the practice, they would be shooting slugs with the Benelli M4 Super 90 at paper targets, under guidance by speed-shooting expert, Taran Butler. The Blue Team devised a plan to shout and yell at each other to induce the feeling the feeling of stress. Despite this, Dustin was able to hit his targets very well. As soon as the Blue Team returned to the house, they began training using a golf club as a "firearm", similar to their first walkthrough.
The following day, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range, where they instantly noticed an array of mason jars filled with red and blue liquid. For the challenge, the teams would be shooting head-to-head in an assigned order. Using the Benelli M4 Super 90, the contestants would destroy the jars filled with liquid of their team color. Whichever team hit all fifty targets first would be victorious. Before the challenge, the teams were allowed to determine their shooting order, with the Blue Team choosing Dustin to shoot second, after Billy. As soon as the latter had ended his first run, Dustin was up, and managed to hit five targets with five rounds. When Dustin was up for his second run, the Blue Team had destroyed 27 targets, and he brought the total up to 31 by hitting four targets. After a third rotation, Blue Team managed to hit all of their targets, while Red Team still had 19 targets left, resulting in the former's second victory.
After returning to the house, the Red Team held another difficult team meeting, while the Blue Team relaxed, feeling great after winning prior to a defeat. Shortly after, the Red Team left to vote two people into the Elimination Challenge, and when they returned, it was revealed that Drew Shprintz and Cliff Walsh were sent to this challenge. The following day, after Cliff and Drew had attended a Practice Session, the Red Team departed once again to witness the third Elimination Challenge. They returned a while later with Cliff, who nailed Drew's target to the wall.
The morning following Drew's elimination, the thirteen remaining contestants returned to the Shooting Range for another Practice Session. Here, Colby announced that the next few challenges would incorporate historical weapons, starting with the Remington 1875. To help prepare the contestants for the challenge, they would be shooting at paper targets under guidance by expert, Spencer Hoglund. When Dustin was up to shoot, he performed well with the revolver, and had fun while doing so.
The following day, while approaching the Shooting Range, the contestants noticed an array of six large dice. Each die made up one station, and below each were two smaller dice with the same number of targets represented by the numbers of the large dice. One individual on each team would be assigned to each station, and attempt to hit all of their targets before their opponent. Every target hit would add a point to their team total. Whichever of the teams ended with the most points would be victorious. Before engaging in the challenge, the Red Team needed to decide who to sit out on the Blue Team, and they ultimately decided on Mike Hughes, due to his handgun skills. Afterwards, the teams broke off to determine who would be shooting at which stations. Highly expecting of Dustin, the Blue Team chose him to shoot at the sixth station. By the time it was Dustin's time to go up, Blue Team had thirteen points to Red Team's ten, and he had to make sure he did not fall behind Cliff Walsh, who was the last up for the opposing team. With his first six rounds, Dustin was able to hit five targets. He then had to unload the Remington and decided to reload it with two rounds, both of which were misses, giving Cliff time to rebound and finish the station. However, in the end, Blue Team scored more points than the Red Team, resulting in another victory.
When the contestants returned to the house, the Red Team held a team meeting, and left for the Nomination Range soon after. When they returned, it was announced that Michael Marelli and Mark Schneider would vie to continue in the competition. The following morning, the two men attended a Practice Session, and when they returned, announced that they would be shooting a Gatling gun, to the envy of several contestants. The Red Team departed later that day for the Elimination Challenge, and returned with Michael, to the Blue Team's disappointment, who nailed Mark's target to the wall.
- "I didn't actually expect we were going to be throwing rocks in the competition."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
Two days following Blue Team's victory, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range for their fifth team Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that for the next challenge, the contestants would be using three primitive weapons. After revealing the tomahawk and throwing knife, Colby asked if there were any guesses on what the third weapon would be. To the surprise, and humor of the contestants, he announced the final weapon would be a rock. To help the contestants get accustomed to throwing these objects was primitive weapons expert, Jack Dagger. With the rocks, Dustin was able to accurately engage his target, even though his form was considered "gangly" by some of his teammates.
As the contestants were approaching the Shooting Range the following day, they noticed the six stations set up. Colby announced that the first two stations involved the tomahawk, while the next two involved the knife, and the last two involved rocks. At the first four stations, the contestants were given three trials to gain a point for their team, while the rock stations were head-to-head, and whoever fulfilled their objective first would add a point for their team. At the first station was a target on a pendulum, and whoever could stick the most tomahawks in the target would win. Next was a spinning target, which involved the tomahawk again. At the third station, there was a target behind two swinging beams, and whoever could stick the most throwing knives in the target would win. At the following station, a target was set up with 52 playing cards. With three knives, the contestants would attempt to stick them in the cards, and whoever ended with a better hand would be victorious. For the first rock station, there were two matching window frames with nine targets. Whichever of the two at that station that could hit three in-a-row first would win. At the final station, five cans were set up on a railing for each contestant, and each can hit would add a point to their team's total. Whichever of the teams ended with the most points would be victorious. Colby announced that for the challenge, the contestants would also be given an opportunity to call each other out. However, before engaging in the challenge, the Red Team needed to decide two members of the Blue Team to sit out, and ended up choosing Alex Charvat and Paul Marinaccio. Having not competed in the first five stations, Dustin was called to throw rocks at the final station against Cliff, but only managed to hit one before Cliff hit all five, bringing the Blue Team's point total to three, and the Red's to eight, resulting in the former's second defeat.
After returning to the house, the Blue Team held a meeting to decide who to nominate. Instantly, Jarrett Grimes stated he wanted to go, due to his oh for performance at the Team Challenge. Dustin then volunteered himself also because of his performance, but nobody wanted to vote for him based on his performance in previous challenges. After nobody else stepped up, Mike said he would go to the Elimination Challenge with Jarrett, but then Paul suggested that he take Mike's place. Shortly after, the Blue Team arrived at the Shooting Range. Once here, Dustin voted for Jarrett, after receiving two votes, sending the latter and Mike, who received two votes, to the Elimination Challenge.
The following day, after Jarrett and Mike had attended a Practice Session, the Blue Team left for the fifth Elimination Challenge. Here, six wooden water towers were set up, three for each contestant. Using the Hotchkiss mountain gun, Jarrett and Mike would need to attempt to hit all of their towers first to stay in the competition. In the end, Mike was victorious, and returned to the house, where he nailed Jarrett's target to the wall. Afterwards, while in the kitchen, Jake began making comments towards Michael, which Dustin considered to be unsportsmanlike and without character.
The morning following Jarrett's elimination, the Blue Team didn't perform any walkthroughs before heading to the Shooting Range. Once here, Colby stated that the contestants would be shooting the Vltor TS3 at targets under guidance by former Navy SEAL, Jeff Gonzales. The former then stated that Season One winner, Iain Harrison, and Season Two winner, Chris Reed, would be serving as honorary team captains for the upcoming challenge and that they would be present at practice, to the contestants' surprise. Iain was chosen to captain the Blue Team, while Chris captained the Red Team. Due to not performing a walkthrough or creating a line-up list for shooting, the Blue Team's practice was very disorganized which affected the team's performance.
When the teams returned to the Shooting Range the following day, they noticed five stations connected by ropes with targets set up in the distance, as well as Chris and Iain, who were each standing near a bench for their team. As soon as the contestants got situated, Colby asked the captains how they believed the practices went. Iain claimed that the Practice Session went well for the Blue Team, as did Chris for the Red Team. Colby then stated that for the challenge, each contestant would be assigned to take out two targets at one of the five stations, while starting on the station before and waiting for the shooter to take out his targets before climbing the ropes to reach their designated station. Whichever team could finish the course in a quicker amount of time would be victorious and also help contribute five-thousand dollars to a charity chosen by their team's captain. Before the challenge, the Red Team needed to decide who to sit out, and chose Dustin, to his disappointment. He witnessed as his team performed, and gave them a thumbs-up once done. However, the Blue Team ended with a time of 3 minutes and 12 seconds, while Red Team finished the course in 2 minutes and 27 seconds, resulting in the former's defeat.
Once the Blue Team returned to the house, they held a meeting to decide who to nominate. After a short period of silence, Dustin asked if anybody wanted to go to elimination, and Billy said that based on his performance that day, he felt eligible. Jake then stated he would probably vote for Paul, and then Mike said he was thinking of voting for either Billy or Jake. A while later, the Blue Team returned to the Nomination Range for the third time. Here, Dustin voted for Jake, stating he had concerns with his marksmanship. After everyone had cast their votes, Jake had a total of three votes, Paul had two, and Billy had one, resulting in Jake and Paul being sent to the Elimination Challenge. When the Blue Team returned to the house, they revealed the results of the Nomination Range to the Red Team, and Jake complained to his teammates about being sent.
The following day, after Jake and Paul had attended a Practice Session, the latter claimed that for the Elimination Challenge they would be using the CornerShot, which surprised Dustin. Later that day, at the challenge, there were nine targets that needed to be hit while the CornerShot was bent at awkward positions. Whoever hit all of their targets in the quickest amount of time would be safe from elimination and receive a $2000 gift card. In the end, Jake was victorious, with a time of 48 seconds compared to Paul's 2 minutes and 34 seconds. The latter said goodbye to his team before his departure. Once the Blue Team returned to the house, Jake held a meeting, stating he didn't want to be voted into every Elimination Challenge in a similar manner as Season One contestant, Kelly Bachand, just because his teammates didn't like him. Alex, Dustin, and Mike claimed he had his feelings hurt, but Jake denied this, and stated he was going to begin sleeping outside and subsequently performed this action.
After the elimination of Paul, the contestants were given a night of rest, which Jake attempted to ruin by making noises and giving his fellow competitors nightmares. The morning prior, the teams returned to the Shooting Range. Before announcing the weapons and expert, Colby asked Billy what was going on at home. The latter stated his wife was pregnant and that he would be removing himself from the competition. Before his departure, he said goodbye to his team, and due to deciding to leave, Red Team had an extra member, and would be able to decide who to sit out. Colby then announced that in the next Practice Session, shooting legend, Jerry Miculek would be giving the contestants guidance. After that, he also announced the weapons for the upcoming challenge: the Smith & Wesson 686 and the Volquartsen .22 Semi-Auto rifle. At practice, the contestants engaged in the art of trick shooting. The Volquartsen was used to shoot at small dots on a board as well as dowel rods, requiring extreme accuracy. For the 686, the contestants would shoot at targets, at one station while holding it upside-down, and at the other shooting blind-folded. Dustin did well with the trick shots, especially shooting the dowel rods.
- "Fff. Cotton. That was cool."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
The following day, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range. Once here, Colby stated that there were four stations for each trick shot, and for one for each contestant competing. Whoever could fulfill their objective the most at each station would gain a point for their team, with an exception of the final station, where there was an opportunity to gain six points. At the first station, the two chosen contestants would shoot the 686 upside-down at three beer bottles. At the two following stations, the Volquartsen rifle would be used. For the first, it would be fired to hit three cotton swabs, while at the next, it would be used to shoot bullets through the holes of three compact discs without damaging them. For the final station, one contestant from each team would attempt to shoot at six water jugs blind-folded with the 686, and for each target hit, a point would be added to that person's team. Whichever team ended with the most points was victorious. Before starting the challenge, the Red Team needed to decide who to sit out on their team, and ended up choosing Chris Collins. Dustin was chosen to shoot the cotton swabs with the Volquartsen at the second station. After Jake was unable to gain a point for Blue Team at the first station, Dustin was up to shoot. On his first shot, he missed the swab, but managed to hit the second and third swabs. Phil Morden of the Red Team then went up to perform, but he was only able to hit one swab, giving Blue Team their first point. In the end, it was the Blue Team that was victorious, with a point total of four compared to Red's one.
After the Team Challenge, the teams returned to the house. Soon after, the Red Team held a team meeting before heading to the Nomination Range. When they returned later, it was revealed that Cliff and Michael would be competing for their spot at Elimination. The following day, after Cliff and Michael attended a Practice Session for the challenge, the Red Team departed to witness. They returned later with Cliff, who nailed Michael's target to the wall.
The morning following the elimination of Michael, the contestants returned to the Shooting Range for another Practice Session. Here, Colby stated that for the next Team Challenge, the contestants would be shooting the recurve bow. During practice, they would skip arrows off a metal ramp and onto a target, under guidance by renowned archer, Craig Palmer. Dustin did well with shooting the recurve bow and also had fun with it. Once the contestants returned to the house, they talked with Jake about his game plan, which involved taking out the best shooters first, and attempted to persuade him that his plan was unjust, to no avail.
The following day, as the contestants arrived at the Shooting Range, they noticed two spinning wheels with six targets each, set up before a ramp. For the challenge, the teams would be going head-to-head in a lineup. When each contestant was up, they had three chances at most to skip an arrow off their ramp and onto one of the moving targets before going to the back of their team's line. Whichever team hit all the targets first would be victorious. Dustin was chosen first for the lineup, and on his first run, he fired all three of his arrows without gaining a point. As soon as Jake, Alex, and Mike had gone, both teams had two points each. On the first shot of Dustin's second run, the arrow skipped off the target, and the next two were also misses. After another rotation, both teams had four points. Dustin went up for his third time, but was still unable to hit a target. In the end, after an intense challenge, the Blue Team was victorious, having hit all of their targets while the Red Team had one left.
- "I think Jake's a coward, and I think the only way he's gonna eliminate Mike is by technicality."
- ―Dustin Ellermann[src]
After the challenge, both teams returned to the house and each held separate meetings. The Blue Team's meeting was held by Jake, who was still angry after his team voted him into elimination a few days before. This eventually evolved into an argument between Mike and Jake. Dustin and the other contestants witnessed this, and for a portion, Dustin had his ear muffs on, to muffle the sound of the argument. The Red Team departed afterward for the Nomination Range, and when they returned, it was announced that Cliff and Chris would need to compete to stay in the competition. The following day, after the two had attended a Practice Session, the Red Team left to witness their fifth Elimination Challenge. They returned later with Chris, who nailed Cliff's target to the wall.
After the competition, Dustin has continued to lead Camp His Way, along with his wife Brittany. He appeared in the Season Five finale, along with past winners Iain Harrison, Chris Reed, and Chris Cheng.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dustin Ellermann. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:57, July 19, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/top-shot/bios/dustin-ellermann .
- ↑ Top Shot: Behind the Bullet
- ↑ Note: This is a user-made calculation.
- ↑ Note: Some information regarding personal life was added by Dustin or somebody that personally knows him.
- ↑ Psalm 44:6 and 7