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The Duck Hunting Journal - Xtreme Flyways


The other day I was catching a flight on a small plane to another airport to board another. Now, the redneck in me should have named this airline "Backwoods Air." I say this because as I boarded this commercial airliner, the seats looked like them old fabric lawn chairs that grandma used to sit in on the fourth of July. You know you're on a small plane when the pilot looks back at you mid flight and says, "hope you don't mind us spraying a few fields on the way." That's when the thought hit me...I wish I had the money to buy this plane. HA! I'm just kidding. I was so nervous I didn't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt.

Filming duck huntsDuck season is right around the corner and we are busy filming new episodes of Xtreme Flyways. This month we will be chasing blue-winged teal, trying to lay down great footage of our hunts (with a few tips and techniques along the way). Filming a duck hunt takes a good amount of patience, which is something that I'm missing. When the season is in, I'm wound up tighter than a jock strap on a preacher. I just can't slow down. But once we get a few hunts under our belt, things seem to run smoother.

The weather has been cool all summer.  Now all of the sudden, right here at the beginning of teal season, it wants to get hotter than two hamsters farting in a wool sock. I tell ya, if a cool front doesn't come through up north pretty soon it's going to be tough. But we are so dedicated that we never give up or give in. If the teal won't come to us, we'll go to them. Sometimes you have to press the envelope a little to be a successful duck hunter. A wise man once told me, "Adam, if there is a mountain to be climbed than damn-it, start climbing." I have no idea what he meant by that, but it made me think of all those tough duck hunts that I've had and how great they turned out. If I would have stayed home in the bed on those hot days in September I would not be where I am today.

It's during this time of year that we basically fine tune everything from dogs working, communication in the blind, shotgun techniques to how to cook bacon and eggs while hunting. We do all of this before regular duck season hits so that our mistakes are minimal. Teal only fly for a few hours in the morning so its not so hard to beat most of the heat. Don't stay home. This is the perfect time of year to Adam Brassfieldtake your family and kids to the duck blind and enjoy duck hunting. Us duck hunters where born for such a time as this. We will prevail and we will succeed.

Over the next several months I'll use this blog to give updates or journal entries on Xtreme Flyways, where we are hunting, and how things are going. Our Beretta shotguns will be doing most of the talking, but every now and then we'll let you in on how our team is doing in the blind. Until then I hope your season starts well and, for crying out loud, if you are killin' ducks and I ain't, then email me where you are hunting!

You can follow Adam and Xtreme Flyways at

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Impossible Expectations in Self Defense – Part 2


Statistically, it is unlikely that law enforcement officers or armed citizens will ever find themselves in a situation that requires them to use deadly force. For those who do, they will face a grand jury that determines whether or not that force was justified. If it’s determined to be unjustified, an indictment, criminal prosecution, and civil suits will likely follow. Their trial will consist of a jury of their peers, which is composed of citizens. 

JurorsThese jurors will have their own personal beliefs and opinions about appropriate use of force. Even with legal guidance and the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, there is no guarantee that an acquittal with be forthcoming. Juries have been known to erroneously apply their beliefs of guilt or innocence by applying hindsight.




    Photo Copyright: Craig Robinson/Londondeposit

Some of those beliefs include that the victim could’ve or should’ve:

  • Known whether or not there was a bullet in the suspect’s chamber
  • Shot the threat in an extremity
  • That it is never appropriate to use deadly force women, pregnant women, children, or the elderly
  • Fired a warning shot before utilizing deadly force

Empty Chamber

The only people who are capable of knowing if there is a bullet in the chamber of a firearm is the suspect, God, and Superman. To expect anyone else of making this determination is preposterous. Still there are many who believe that this is possible. It’s unfair to expect an officer or citizen to risk their life by waiting to see if a round is actually chambered.  Case law does not require a wait and see strategy.Suspect Pointing Gun

Is it Loaded, or Empty?

Photo Copyright: Pio3

Deadly force case law is similar to any use of force application, allowing the use of preemptive strikes, so long as there is legal justification. How this burden of is justified is different for police officers and citizens. Both standards, however, include the necessity to show that the individual using force was in fear of death or great bodily harm.

For law enforcement officers, the application of deadly force is more lenient than for citizens because of the duties they are expected to perform such as affecting an arrest. Officers are expected to use only the force necessary to overcome resistance. Considerations the courts take into account include; the severity of the crime, prevention of a violent offender’s flight, and the reasonable belief that the suspect would cause death or great bodily harm to the officer or others. For the armed citizen, however, the standard of reasonableness is not included. Citizens must be able to prove that a felony was being committed or about to be committed - mere suspicion is insufficient.

Shoot to Injure

Shooting to injure in a deadly force scenario is absurd. Few people possess the marksmanship skills to make such a shot. To shoot a limb is like threading a needle. It is also not going to stop the deadly force encounter (see an upcoming article on stopping a deadly threat). Suspects move and extremities move more than a torso. Shooting under the stress of a life or death encounter significantly increases the danger. Recreating stress in training, practice, and competition is different from the stress experienced when one’s life is in danger. Inoculating oneself against stress helps in reaction time, but will not guarantee effective shooting of a limb. As a matter of fact, when this does occur it is most likely the result of the shooters fixation on the threat held in the suspect’s hands – such as a knife or gun. The adage that where the eyes go the hands will follow certainly applies.

See the upcoming article addressing the belief that women, pregnant women, juveniles, and the elderly do not pose a bona fide threat.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Hunting the Honey Hole Tree



Thompson Center RenegadeMy dad bought me my black powder rifle when I was 12 years old, which was my first deer rifle (before this I had been using a 20 gauge shotgun). We were in the sporting goods section at the store, when I noticed it on sale. I don’t remember how much it was, but it was too good a price to pass up. I ended up with a .54 caliber Thompson Center Renegade.

I got the rifle after deer season was over, and I spent the months leading up to the next muzzleloader season practicing with it. I was extremely excited about hunting that year because it was going to be my first time getting to deer hunt in a stand alone. By the time muzzleloader season arrived, I was a crack-shot with my new rifle.

We loaded up the Jeep and headed to the woods the Friday before opening morning (Dad took me out of school early to go hunting). When we got to deer camp we were greeted with my uncle, Paul, telling us about a bear that came under his tree while he had been bow hunting that morning. He said the bear caught his scent and came right up to the tree he was in then stood up and leaned on the tree on its hind legs and watched him for about five minutes before moving on. After giving the bear time to move on, Paul climbed down and hightailed it back to camp.

There were a lot of hunters in camp that weekend so I ended up hunting with Dad opening morning because all the stands were taken. We didn’t see anything. Paul killed a buck about daylight. He field-dressed the buck, dragged it back to camp then went back to his stand and killed another buck about an hour later. Since he was tagged out, Paul suggested that I hunt his stand that evening. My chance had come.

I got in Paul’s stand about 2 o’clock that afternoon and settled in to wait. I didn’t see anything all afternoon, and I had watched like a hawk due to that bear being around. The sun started to dip down behind the top of the mountain behind me, so I decided to call it a day. I removed the cap, tied my string to my rifle and started lowering it out of the tree. My rifle was about halfway down when I heard a noise. I looked up and saw a spike coming down the trail towards me.

shooting tce muzzleloaderI have no idea how that deer didn’t see or hear me trying to get that rifle back up the tree. However I did it, that spike kept coming at me. I jammed a new cap on the nipple with trembling fingers, drew down on Spike and dropped the hammer. Smoke and fire blew out the end of the barrel as the rifle boomed, and I couldn’t see a freaking thing because of all the smoke. I heard the deer running then a crash.

I reloaded with shaking hands and probably spilled half the powder then hustled out of the tree. After a little bit of looking I found him. He had run about 30 yards down the bench and keeled over. I had killed my first deer with a perfect heart shot.

About 5 minutes later, my dad came walking down the bench from the direction the spike had come. Dad had pushed Spike along the bench ahead of him on his way to get me. I am not sure who was more proud, Dad or me.

Three bucks were taken from that tree in one day that year and that was how the legend of the Honey Hole Tree started. That may not sound impressive compared to where you hunt but that never happens hunting in the Ozark Mountains, where a deer camp of 10 men might tag 2-4 deer on a good Opening Morning or sometimes all season depending on the year.

We killed more deer out of that tree over the next several years, but never again so many in one day. We don’t hunt in that area anymore, but one of these days I plan on going back. Those memories are some of my most treasured.

How old were you when you first went hunting?


You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks and Instagram @jason_parks_brothers_farm.

Second image via


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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

What does it mean to be well armed?


describe the imageYes, another Jeff Foxworthy take off, but I just could’t resist. The responses to this “fill in the blank” astonished me. Most made me laugh out loud while others made me realize just how significant it is to be A Well Armed Woman. There were hundreds and hundreds and the task of selecting a few to share with you was daunting and frustrating as I would have loved to share them all with you, but here we go...

You know you’re a Well Armed Woman When...

Keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction has nothing to do with your German short haired pointer!

Your husband is using the 409 cleaner and you tell him to keep his finger off the trigger unless he is ready to fire.

You know what frog lube is!!!

When digging in the bottom of your purse for change, you pull out a handful of stray spent casings from the range

You have more guns then shoes!

describe the image

22-9-45-38 are not your lottery picks!!!

You walk into the gun store and everyone knows your name. 

Wearing purple makes you feel like you should be at the range.

The guns you got in the divorce were yours to begin with.

If you’re now on YouTube more than your teenager

Your kitchen is a mess but your Ammo is stacked neatly & arranged by caliber & load 

When remembering your “First Time” has a whole other meaning...

You turn on the blow dryer and wonder if you need hearing protection on.

Your idea of feminine protection isnt tampaxWhen you have a holster to match each outfit

Your husband's friends call  to ask YOUR advice on gun purchases and shooting drillsdescribe the image

When your husband leaves for deployment and tells you to defend this house and family if needed.

You are not afraid to enter a gun shop and buy ammo BY YOURSELF...

You prefer Hoppes #9 to Chanel #5You shop & dine where it's legal to carry

When you don't have any more room in your gun safe!

You'd rather go to the range than the mall

Your husband thanks you for protecting him all day.

When you prevent yourself from being the victim.Your carjacker runs!I read all of these wonderful answers and celebrate the fact to SO MANY WOMEN are gun-savvy and carrying nowdays.describe the image

Yes, this is fun stuff but the thought of so many women, living their lives with the knowledge and skill to protect themselves is really profound.

Just think about it - if  women could be armed in every sense of the word to defend themselves, just how different things would be.  

So, how would you finish this statement? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook or Twitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

If our guns could talk...


A few things our guns might say if they could talk:

I don’t care what your buddies said about that gun.  You do not need to get your hands on her to see how she shoots.

I am not going to fit into that holster.  How long have we been together, and you still don't know what size I am?

No, that's ok, I don't need any attention.  I'll just keep working no matter dirty or tired I am, because you need me to.  It's ok.  Really.  Don't worry about little ole me.

Those are most certainly aftermarket accessories.  She didn't leave the factory with those sights.

I’m trying to watch what I eat.  Could I maybe have some of the top shelf ammo once in a while?

Let’s see if her finish is that nice after being in your holster for 10 years. 

Who taught you how to lubricate?  Oil doesn’t go there.

Are you ever going to clean out this range bag?  It stinks in here. 

You're obviously lost, so be a real man and ask directions.  The match starts in 20 minutes and I don't want to be late. 

Oh, the match is over?  No, I don’t mind if you go hang out with your shooting buddies.   I’ll just sit here patiently waiting for you, in this filthy range bag.

How would you like to spend the day stuffed in your pants?

I know you would like to play with two of us at the same time, but that only works in the movies.


Her action won't be that smooth after 20 years and 300,000 rounds.

These scratches will not buff out and the finish is wearing off my frame.  Sigh.  Will you still love me when I’m old?

What do you mean I could use a new set of "springs?"  What exactly is wrong with the ones I have? 

It’s no big deal to let other people squeeze my trigger.  I’ll still come home with you.

You're very good with me dear, but some projects might be beyond your abilities.  Why don't you just call the gunsmith?

Every time you time you miss a shot, I laugh a little.

I saw you looking at that other gun.  Am I not good enough for you?  What does she have that I don’t?

Do these grips make me look fat?

Behind every good shooter is a good gun. Don't you forget it Mister.

Maybe if you kept your eyes on my sights, you would hit the target.

I can smell that gun oil on you.  Where have you been?

Don’t blame me for the score sheet.  You were the one pulling the trigger.

I know you don't like commitment, but we would both be much happier if it was just the two of us.  What do you need those other guns for?

How was your day?  Mine was fine.  I just sat here in the safe waiting for you to pay some attention to me.

Yes dear, you are the best shooter I’ve ever had.

this is it

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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Testimony of Beretta to the State of Maryland


Second AmendmentRecently, Maryland Governor Maryin O'Malley presented Senate Bill 281 to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. This Bill, which you can read here in its entirety, includes, among other things, a ban on the transport, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of certain commonly owned semi-automatic centerfire rifles, a ban on any magazine containing more than 10 rounds, and a required state permit for the purchase, rental or possession of a handgun.

On Fabruary 6, the Maryland Legislature held a hearing on this Bill. The hearing was attended by what some estimates put at over 1,000 people, who voiced their disagreement with the Bill.

Beretta addressed the Legislature, during this hearing, in a testimony by Beretta USA Corp. General Counsel, Jeff Reh. Though Mr. Reh's testimony was capped at four minutes, the entire written testimony was introduced formally.

As a service to our readers, followers, fans and Second Amendment supporters, I have asked Mr. Reh to provide us with the complete document. 

You can read Beretta's complete Testimony here.

Beretta continues to be committed to the safeguard of law-abiding citizens and to their Second Amendment Constitutional rights. 

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

3 Concealed Carry Tips For People With A Disabilities

I was diagnosed and treated for a rare muscle tumor when I was 17. The cancer was so rare that I was only the 7th person diagnosed with it and the first person to ever survive it. I was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN which is an awesome hospital and I strongly recommend that you help support they hospital with donations or fundraisers.

I spent 6 months in treatment and have been in remission since December of 1997. Eventually the side effects of the radiation treatment set in and the scar tissue in the radiation area set up like concrete. I reached the point where I couldn’t move my left hip or knee. I walked with a very pronounce limp.

In March 2010, I broke my bad leg. My femur snapped where the good bone and the irradiated bone met and the bad bone shattered into 3 pieces. Two years, ten months, two surgeries, a bone graft and two titanium rods later (the first non-slip rod slipped), and I am still on crutches and will be for the foreseeable future.

The bone started mending after the second surgery but the healing is slow due to the poor circulation in the radiation area and also due to the poor condition of my femur bone. The doc was shocked when what looked like dead bone started healer. I guess it was just mostly dead. Thanks to God for the miracle of the human body.

I’ve told you all of that so that you can know that I know what it is like to live with a physical disability. As you know from my previous posts Crutching Around With A CCW and 3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches I now have a concealed carry permit and have been working out the best way for me to carry a concealed weapon.

Here are 3 Tips for folks with a disability that conceal carry:

Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You What Is Best For You – talk to people, get opinions but when it comes down to it, you need to carry what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you should be carrying a .45 for the stopping power when your arthritis will barely let you use a .22. The choice of a carry pistol has to be what works best for you.

When is comes to how you will carry concealed, you will need to figure out what works best for you with that too. In your case, a lot of the recommended conceal carry techniques and holsters may not work for you. Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for you. You need to work it all out in a way that best suits your needs.

Practice Your Way – Once you have the best method that fits your situation, practice, practice, practice. This applies to everyone but more so to someone with a disability that might impede their ability to draw their weapon. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.

Don’t Carry a Gun – I know that sounds radical but hear me out, if your disability doesn't allow you to draw or shoot your pistol or allows an attacker a more than average chance of taking your pistol away from you, don’t carry one. You are responsible to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. If your disability makes carrying a pistol a danger to others either by your inability to fire the weapon safely and accurately or by the potential of your weapon being used against others then you should seriously consider not carrying a pistol.

Instead, you could carry a knife and tactical flash light. In a pinch, those two items are quite effective. I am not sure where I heard this saying but is has stuck with me (I am paraphrasing): Someone can take a gun away from you without getting shot, but no one can take a knife away from you without getting cut.

What do you think? Anyone else have some tips that you want to add?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can check me out on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram Instagram

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Smoke Sticks


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

Smoke sticks, better known as black powder rifles or muzzle loader rifles, are a fun and challenging way to deer hunt. You can also hunt squirrel or dove hunt with a black powder shotgun if you want to diversify a little, or even hunt with black powder pistols.

For what is supposed to be a primitive weapon, black powder rifles have come a long way in the last decade. Now you have breach open rifles with shotgun primers, pyrodex pellets and sabot bullets. Granted you can reach out a lot farther with these rifles than you can with a traditional muzzle loader  but I am not a big fan of the new in-line muzzle loading rifles. I just like old guns I guess. I have considered upgrading to a flint lock but have never gotten around to it.

I assume that most of you know what a muzzle loaderrifle is, but just in case, a muzzle loader is exactly what is sounds like: a rifle you load from the muzzle that is fired by an external hammer and primer cap. This is pretty much what every gun was before the invention of paper and cartridge ammunition and the new guns to shoot them. The more well known muzzle loaders in Americaare the Pennsylvania and Kentucky hunting rifles and the Springfield military rifles which were later converted to breech loader rifles.

My muzzle loader is a Thompson Center Renegade .54 caliber rifle. Why .54 caliber? It was on sale. Most in-line black powder rifles are .50 caliber as are most traditional muzzle loaders  However there are a lot of other calibers available in the traditional style muzzle loaders such as .36, .45, .58 and even .72 caliber.

To shoot a black powder rifle you need some supplies: powder (powder flask is optional), power measure, caps, patches, lubricant, bullets, ball starter and a cleaning kit. Most hunters have what is called a “possibles bag” that they use to carry a lot of this around in.

Loading and shooting a black powder rifle is fairly easy. The best way to learn how is to get someone who does it to show you. There are probably some YouTube videos you can watch. However you learn, I would like to encourage you to give it a try.

I would also like to encourage you to go the traditional route to help preserve the spirit of primitive hunting that in my opinion is lost when you use a modern in-line black powder rifle.

Here are some tips that I have learned through the years:

  • Make sure your rifle is empty before you load it. You can do that by popping a cap with the rifle pointed down range in a safe direction.
  • Fire a cap on an empty barrel to prep your rifle for loading by drying out the nipple. I like to add a little powder in the barrel to help dry out the barrel on damp mornings.
  • Another way to make sure your rifle is unloaded is to mark your ram rod to show “Empty”.
  • Mark your ram rod to show loaded as well. I have mine marked to show when the bullets seated all the way for different grain loads i.e 60 grains, 90 grains etc.
  • Some (maybe all) traditional black powder rifles (like mine shown) will probably shoot round balls more accurately than sabots compared to in-line muzzle loaders that will shoot sabots better than round balls. Mine does.
  • Never, ever stand over the barrel of your rifle when you pour in your powder especially after you have just shot it. Having a stray spark lighting up the powder while you are standing over the barrel will ruin your day.
  • Always use a powder measure. Never pour you powder straight into the barrel.
  • You need to lubricate the patch so that the patch and ball goes in easier. There are commercial lubricants available. I put the patch in my mouth and get it wet with saliva instead of using messy lubricants. It works. Unsanitary? Probably, but it hasn't killed me yet.
  • When you are ramming the bullet down the barrel, be sure not to grip the ram rod too high. You will most likely break the ram rod if you do. A grip about 6-12" above the barrel works best. Also you will eventually accidentally pull the rod too far out and will jab your hand with it so get ready for it. 
  • Always make sure your bullet is properly seated in the barrel, tight against the powder. When ramming your bullet in you will eventually get to a point where you do not have enough ram rod to grip properly. When you get to this point, take your ram rod, place it in the barrel, raise it about half the length of you barrel and throw it like a spear down the barrel. Do this multiple times. This basically taps the bullet into place with the momentum of the ram rod. When the bullet is seated, the ram rod will bounce.
  • If you fire the rifle and the cap pops but the rifle does not fire, KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION! Sometime the rifle will go off a second or three after you have pulled the trigger. I have had it happen to me several times and have seen it happen several more times.
  • If the rifle does not go off after about 10-15 seconds, replace the cap with the rifle pointed in a safe direction and try again. Wet weather and condensation is usually the culprit when this happens.
  • Keep your rifle's hammer in the half-cocked position while you are in your stand so that  if you happen to snag the hammer and it snaps down it will stay in half cock and you will not accidentally discharge the rifle. The half-cocked position of the hammer will keep the hammer from striking the cap and will not fire if the trigger is pulled. Basically, it is the "safety" of the black powder rifle. 
  • Never, ever carry your black powder rifle loaded with the hammer down on a cap. Snagging the hammer and snapping the cap with fire the gun. See the previous note.
  • Hard core black powder shooters clean their rifles after every shot. Muzzle loader rifles are dirty and that will affect your accuracy. I don't do that. I clean mine after about 8-10 shots or every 3-5 years whichever come first.
  • Lastly, I do want to encourage you to try hunting with a muzzle loader if you don’t already but I also want to encourage you to practice and hunt with someone who has experience with muzzle loaders until you get the hang of it.

That’s all I have on black powder rifles for now. As I finish this up today (October 19, 2012), muzzle loader season opens tomorrow and my truck is loaded and ready to go. I will see you all when I get back hopefully with a buck and if not, a lot of pictures.

Do you have any tips or lessons learned that you want to add to my list?


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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram @jason_parks_brothers_farm 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Here Birdie, Birdie!!!

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

One of the most misused and abused items in a duck hunter's blind bag is the duck call (or kazoo depending on who's blowing it).  We have all heard it plenty of times, off in the distance that dreaded sound of "Barney" tooting his horn and the only thing on this planet it sounds good to is himself.  What "Barney doesn't understand is that many times less is more.

When to call is at the utmost priority when it comes to duck hunting.  Second in line is how to call closely followed by what to call with.  I am fortunate enough to have a good friend that is also a very well known call maker.  Here are some things to look for when you are trying to pick a call that is right for you.

  1. Know the basics of calling.  If you don't know how to properly blow a call then there is absolutely no sense of spending the money on a quality call.
  2. If at all possible, meet the call maker.  If you can't meet them personally then read some testimonies on the internet.  most call makers have a website or have been talked about on forums.
  3. Customer service!  Service after the sale should always be a phone call away.
  4. Find a call maker that is fairly local if at all possible.  This will help when you run into problems with your custom call.  If you ahve never owned a custom call, trust me when I say you will eventually need some help.
  5. Look for craftsmanship and attention to detail.  If a maker's "name" is Chang, Ching, or Chong then you are buying mass produced calls from China.  Don't settle for cheap imitations!

Pair this outstanding craftsmanship and customer service with a little bit of know how, and you too can improve your outcome in the duck blind.  Stay tuned for a future entry outlining some of the basics of duck calling.

Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Going Through The Change


by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Photo: Change of seasons by Silveryn

I suppose I could be writing about the change of seasons as we all are invigorated by the crisp weather and the changing leaves. Or, I could even be writing about THE CHANGE. You know: the change that involves hormones and hot flashes! 

No, I won’t go there; not today.  The change I am talking about is the very profound change that a woman goes through after making the decision to own a firearm, goes through the very important process of deciding which firearm is right for her and training to properly, safely and proficiently learn how to shoot it to defend herself. 

It changes us profoundly. We feel different and we move through our daily lives differently. We in fact are different. How so? We have confidence. With this new sense of confidence we start to look people in the eyes more when we are out and about. We scan the environment with new keen sense of awareness of possible risks and people out of place. We walk through parking lots, restaurants and other public places more prepared and with the confidence that given the worst possible case scenario, we know we are fully prepared to give it all we’ve got to defend ourselves. This not only changes us in the realm of self protection, it also effects every aspect of our lives and relationships.

I believe society breeds high levels of insecurity in women, socially, emotionally and physically. We seem to always be the “weaker one” or the one “not good enough”. The ability to level the playing field, or more appropriately the battle field, is extremely significant for a woman. We feel less like a victim and more like an empowered, fierce force. 

The role of self protector doesn’t come naturally for most women. We are raised to believe we are protected by others. Today, this just isn’t an option for it is not possible in this crazy world, with out crazy schedules to be protected by our men, our police or others all of the time. Women are taking on this role with courage, intelligence and passion.

So we are changed on the outside because we now carry a firearm and are equipped to defend ourselves, but we are also changed on the inside because we carry a new sense of confidence that impacts every area of our lives. 

Has it changed you? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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