A Hope boy bested some of the nation's top juvenile shooters at the National Muzzle Loaders Long Rifle Association championship held recently in Friendship, Ind. 

11-year-old Griffin Artis, the son of Dan and Charity Artis, won the overall national title, beating out children as old as 17. The competition involves five scored events -- air rifle, .22 rifle, muzzle-loader, shotgun and .22 hand gun -- and several more unscored events such as tomahawk throwing, archery and paint ball gun. Griffin aced all of the scored events, except for the air rifle, where he came up five points shy of perfect, Dan Artis said. 

Griffin competed against about 125 others, Artis said. Last year he finished third in his division and was eighth shooter overall, in what was his first year of competition. 

Artis said his son gets the talent naturally.

"Of course, we own a gun shop so he gets a lot of practice," Artis said. 

Griffin has already started practicing for next year's event, Artis said. He will compete in several smaller shooters later this year.

For his part, Griffin said that after last year's success, he decided to buckle down and go for the big prize. 

"I didn't think I was going to do as good as I did last time, but I tried a lot harder than I did last time," Griffin said.

"Next year is going to be a little different. I have to shoot freehand next year. But I am going to try 110 (percent):

Griffin said that the shotgun event, which fires at clay pigeons, is his favorite of the various disciplines.

"It is fun mainly because I like the big guns," Griffin said. "They kick a little more. 

Artis said that the family doesn't yet know what the future holds for Griffin's shooting skill.

"Right now, he is honestly just having fun," he said. 

Other local competitors included Waylon Harper who finished fifth place overall and Michal Greenlee finished sixth place overall and was the second ranked girl.