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Exclusive: Hands-on with the New Benelli 828U Over/under Shotgun

January 21, 2015

The author shouldering the Benelli 828U.

I felt my face flush with nervous anticipation as I stepped up to the designated shooting area. Taking a deep breath, I tried to relax while I surveyed the scenery in front of me: a snow-covered cliff overlooking the Missouri River. I checked my stance and bounced slightly, bending my knees. I held the shotgun at low ready. I could feel the eyes of the eight men who were behind me, watching to see how I would shoot. It’s now or never, I thought, as I yelled, “Pull!” I caught sight of the pair of clays, quickly shouldered the over/under and snapped off two shots, turning both...

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Exclusive: Hands-on with the New Benelli 828U Over/under Shotgun

January 21, 2015

The author shoulders the Benelli 828U. Image by Brian Sheetz.

I felt my face flush with nervous anticipation as I stepped up to the designated shooting area. Taking a deep breath, I tried to relax while I surveyed the scenery in front of me: a snow-covered cliff overlooking the Missouri River. I checked my stance and bounced slightly, bending my knees. I held the shotgun at low ready. I could feel the eyes of the eight men who were behind me, watching to see how I would shoot. It’s now or never, I thought, as I yelled, “Pull!” I caught sight of the pair of clays, quickly shouldered the over/under and snapped off two shots, turning both...

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A Shotgunner Looks Ahead to the New Year

December 29, 2014

lookingtonewyears

Shotgunners of every persuasion share a common passion to improve their games, expand their skills, and better their scores. With the calendar turning to a new year, everyone’s about making resolutions to help us enjoy better health, more prosperity, and happy living in the year ahead. Shotgunners ought to do the same to get more enjoyment out of their pursuits. Here are some ideas. CloseRange_300x250...

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Video: This Mesmerizing Film Shows How a Beretta Shotgun is Made

December 15, 2014

A tremendous amount of work goes into the manufacture of a premium Beretta shotgun--as this video shows.

Have you ever wondered how a Beretta over-under shotgun is made? This short film from Ancarani Studio titled Human Technology follows the production of the one of these luxury firearms from start to finish. The manufacture of a Beretta shotgun is a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional. "Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology," Beretta writes on its website. If you've ever wondered where every dollar goes on a Beretta...

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Photos: A Bucket List Bird Hunt with Pheasants Forever

December 11, 2014

In this photo from day three of the author's SoDak pheasant hunt, Jodi and Sophie Stemler "block," a method used to keep birds from flying out of the opposite end of a field as hunters walk through it.

Taking a road trip with my bird dog to South Dakota in hopes of connecting with wild ring-necked pheasants has been at the top of my upland bucket list for quite some time. I recently fulfilled that dream while on a media hunt and conservation forum sponsored by Pheasants Forever, during which I also learned about the positive impact farming can have on pheasant habitat. Below are photos from our trip. After arriving in Aberdeen, South Dakota, I spent the first afternoon of our trip hunting Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and...

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A Shotgun and a Promise: The Story of My Grandpa’s Ithaca

December 4, 2014

Sometimes the stories behind the guns we carry into America's woods and fields are just as amazing as the new memories we make with them.

Grandpa was a funny man. He was a small man, tough and wiry with quizzical eyes. He never really said too much until his final days, and hell, even then his sentences were short, exact, and to the point. But I’ll never forget the light in Grandpa’s eyes when he talked about the days after the Korean War had ended, and how he came to own an Ithaca shotgun that has since become my own. He’d been fighting somewhere around the 38th parallel. Like some soldiers who didn’t have anyone waiting back home, he stuck around for a bit, mainly drifting through the streets of Seoul and partaking...

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There Were Pheasants Forever

November 29, 2014

Since 1982, Pheasants Forever has been doing more for the ring-necked pheasant than any other organization

Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs. - Pheasants Forever Mission Statement There were pheasants forever just outside the little town where we hunt in South Dakota. There was cackling throughout the days, mornings, and evenings, and thundering out of the fields as the dogs forged ahead. A few newcomers where there and fared well, even as hens and roosters exploded underfoot and into the endless blue sky. It’s a trip we look forward to...

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A Soft Spot for Side-by-side Shotguns

November 24, 2014

Got a soft spot for the side-by-side? It's well warranted.

For a day-in-day-out, hunt-everything, and shoot-every-kind-of-clay-target shotgun, I’m sold on a quality semiauto. They’re just too good these days. They help reduce felt recoil. They are light and easy to carry. It’s easy to find one with slight weight-forward balance to promote follow-through. They make it easy to take a follow-up shot without breaking contact with the gun, added motion, or losing sight picture; and will provide another shot if you need it. And, today, they are made so well, they’ll rival the pump or over/under for reliability. Yet there’s still a place for the...

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4 Shotgunning Drills You Can Do at Home

November 10, 2014

As winter (and the off-season) approaches, don't let the cold temps get you down. Give these four at-home shotgunning drills a try to keep your skills sharp.

Winter’s coming. For a lot of us, that means shotgunning becomes a pain in the...thermometer! I tend to think I love all forms of shotgunning more than the next guy, but in zero or below-zero temps I find I love them a lot less. If I work up the fortitude to shoot trap in January or go on a last-day-of-the-season pheasant hunt, there’s always the inconvenience of accommodating bulky jackets with shorter stocks. Even if you don’t live in the North Country, getting to the range can be tough to squeeze into a busy day---and shooting (or even drilling) in the backyard might earn a...

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Utah Residents “Foster” Pheasant Chicks to Protect Hunt

November 7, 2014

Utah residents are raising pheasant chicks to help boost the population ahead of the November hunting season.

Earlier this year, the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gave out thousands of pheasant chicks for state residents to raise. The Day-old Pheasant Chick program was meant to boost success and participation in this year's pheasant hunt, which opened in the state on November 1. The state bought the chicks from a commercial grower for as little as $1.20 each, and the program seems to have been a hit with families. "Raising a pheasant, from a chick to an adult, is a terrific activity that helps kids and adults understand some of the challenges wildlife face as they grow," Dean Mitchell,...

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