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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 www.berettausa.com/xtremeflyways

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

Let's Go Duck Hunting

 
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

Duck season is here! Seems like it has been forever. I know you have not heard from me in a while but I have been traveling all over the U.S. conducting hunting seminars. It is funny because in certain places people are so excited about the sport of waterfowl hunting then there are others that it goes over like a pregnant pole vaulter.

Yes, everyone has their sport or hunting adventure but if you have never experienced the sound of wings whistling eight feet over your head or watching a group of mallards fall in your duck hole then you are missing it let me tell you.

Many of us have had to listen to all of our wonderful politicians lie like two dogs fighting over a bowl of green beans. I would rather stare at the sun with my binoculars than to sit and listen to that mess. That is why I am so glad hunting season is here. My Beretta Xtreme is itchin' to bark and bark is what it is about to do.

Have you seen the duck reports this year? They are unbelievable! Mallards have had a huge increase and just about every duck has high counts. It is going to be a great year for all of us. This is our opportunity to get someone into the sport that has never experienced what you and I have in the duck blind. Over the course of the seminar season I have met more people who have never been duck hunting. This is not good.

We have to step up to the plate this season and give them a good reason to quit watchin' what the hell is wrong with all the Kardashians! Our sport is incredible, the outdoors are beautiful and we should start acting like it. Take a friend, your children and, God forbid, take your wife to the duck hole. Let's not put it off until the next year.

Adam can be found on Facebook.


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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.

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.

Swapping Guns With Social Media

 

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

About a year ago I joined two Facebook groups that were formed for the purpose of buying, selling and trading sporting goods locally. One group focuses on a closer geographic area to me while the other has a wider geographic reach.

At first the pages mainly listed guns then gradually as more people joined the groups I started seeing other items like tree stands, boats, ATVs, trucks, golf clubs and even dogs.

I have purchased two guns from individuals listing on these sites and both times were a lot of fun. I was a little hesitant at first about buying a gun from a complete stranger, but you can tell a lot about a person when you are haggling with them.

Here is a sample of one of the posts:



I have made several observations about the sites that I want to share with you.

First, these swapping pages on Facebook are a great way to bring sportsmen together. The only other time you might get even part of this group together is at a gun show.

Second, listing on these pages is more advantageous than classifies ads due to the ability to post multiple pictures which allows potential buyers to get a good look at the seller's items.

Third, these pages are a seller's market. Items are usually listed at or above fair market value. Based on what I see, the majority of the people selling don’t come off their posted prices, but there is a lot of haggling via personal messages between buyers and sellers that you can’t see so there is no way to tell how much people are negotiating or coming down off listed prices.

Note: trolls that are abrasive or verbally abusive are usually quickly blocked by the page admins so members don't have to deal with them. Here is the definition of an internet troll according to UrbanDictionary if you don't know what a troll is.

Fourth, these sites provide a free service by allowing their members to list items to sell or trade. At no cost, it is also cheaper than exhibiting or attending a gun show.

Last, since these pages have started I have noticed a sharp decline in gun related classified ads. I think we will see a complete migration away from classified ads on guns in the future and any other items listed in classifieds as soon as someone creates the page for it. I can even see the potential of how pages like these could replace local gun shows if done correctly.

Facebook gun trading pages are a great way for folks to buy, sell and trade guns, bows, knives and other sporting goods and will probably continues to grow as a medium for sportsmen and gun enthusiast to connect...

...as long as "they" will allow the sites to operate.

What do you think about this sudden growth of these pages?

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You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks


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

First Lady of Duck Hunting

 
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

Painted nails, pretty earrings, gorgeous lips and an itchy trigger finger. She is a knock out in a dress and a sharp shooter from the blind. Her Beretta Xtreme is her instrument and killin' greenheads is her passion. Yes, she is absolutely amazing!

For so many years it was never a thought. I mean: the one where you could see a female, day in and day out, in the duck blind. With all the nasty weather and mud, the thought of ever seeing a woman showing me up was a long shot. Then I met Natasha and my whole world changed. Seriously, when you think of a lady duck hunting you think of a backwoods, tobacco spitting woman whom you may or may not mistake for Clay Aiken. But I have to be the first to tell you: I was floored.

The first time she went duck hunting with me I thought it was a nice way to "give back" and something real good to look at, other than the other three mildly disgusting gentlemen that work with me. She shot a wood duck and a few others and looked as though she belonged out there, but I wanted to put her to the test so, the next week in our duck boat, we three guys let her come again...big mistake! She out-shot all of us and she is an incredible professional of the sport. What? I did not know if I should ask her to marry me or throw her out of the boat. I did both.

Watching this beautiful lady shoot greenheads out of the sky, give commands for the dog to retrieve them then load her Beretta without even asking, did nothing short of making me want to have kids all over again! The other two guys are ugly enough to burn a wet mule, so I knew I had a chance. She has changed our company and she has changed this industry.

Natasha is living proof that women have a place in the gun and hunting world. Not only are they coming but they have already arrived. Have I mentioned she shoots a Beretta? I have died and gone to duck hunting Heaven.

Adam Brassfield is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Facebook.
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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.

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.

Did You Say Duck Dog?

 
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

When you think waterfowl retriever you think Labrador. For years and years this has been the choice for most duck hunters. A few may have gone with the stubborn Chesapeake Bay retriever but, for the most part, black, yellow or chocolate has been the question. Labrador breeders have been busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck funeral.  Fasten your seat belt because there is a new bread of retrievers coming.


Meet Joey. He is a full blooded English Springer Spaniel. Now, I know what you're thinking: "this guy is dumber than a wedding invitation!" Listen closely: I would put him up against any Lab any day in a hunting situation. I got him when he was around 12 weeks old and started training him myself. At a year old he entered his first hunting season. He absolutely blew me away, as well as everyone else who hunted with me. Never broke, never got cold, never whined and he retrieved over 300 ducks in his first season. At a year and a half he is on full hand signals.


Let me be clear, I am not taking anything away from the mighty Labrador. They are amazing dogs, when well trained. But the intelligence and longevity of the Springer is unmatched. I have owned several duck dogs and this is the first that I am writing about, so that ought to tell you something. They are smaller, quicker, smarter and live longer than the Labrador. When it comes to ice or severe weather, I have Joey on film breaking ice for over 200 yards retrieving a Mallard that sailed on a guy that couldn't hit water if he jumped out of a boat. It was colder than a brass toilet seat in the Yukon!


The art of duck hunting is ever-evolving with the new guns like the Beretta A400 Xtreme, new duck boats, new decoys, new shells, and I could go on and on. It is obvious that, somewhere down the line, a new duck dog was coming. I took a chance on Joey and it was the best decision that I have ever made, when it comes to a hunting dog. The look on your face after reading this is probably like a rat eating guts off a wire brush, but focus. A wise man once told me to do something you have never done in order to see something you have never seen. To get information on where I got Joey go to Upland Meadows Springer Spaniels.

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Adam Brassfield is a professional guide and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached at H.U.N.T.E.R.S. 24/7 WATERFOWL and on Facebook.

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

Let's Talk Shot Selection

 
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

Have you ever been hunting with someone who just takes the world's worst shots? How about someone who messes up the easiest of hunts? Well, I know a few people like that, too. Some of them can't help that they are dumber than a coal bucket. I mean nobody wants to spend theis hard-earned money on guns, shells, dogs, decoys, waders and maybe a guided hunt just for someone to mess it all up at the moment of truth. Sometimes there is no help for someone who would screw up a one car funeral.

Shot selection is the most important part of duck or goose hunting. Being able to figure out when the best opportunity is to smoke that duck or goose is sometimes a big challenge. In most groups a single person is elected to do this job and make the call for everyone to shoot. No pressure, but don't screw up or you will be swimming with the fishes! Patience is the key, which is something that I have none of. In every aspect of life patience is not an option. For me to learn this conduct of life in the duck blind was at first impossible. However, as a youngster, the first time that I pulled up too quickly and found a boat paddle connected to my ear, I kinda learned the idea.

The thought that waterfowl hunters would even think about not letting that bird get close enough to read their mail before they shot was as scarce as duck teeth. Oh, but they are out there. If duck or goose hunting were just about seeing how far I could shoot then sail a bird and getting busted because I pulled up too quickly, there would be a lot more pros out there. Waterfowl hunting is an art. It is painting a picture in your mind of what you will shoot at or move to and then carrying it out with passion. I get so frustrated with people who take 50 and 60 yard shots with choke tubes the size of a .50 caliber mortar shell, then get aggravated when they can't find their duck or have trouble shooting a limit. 

Practicing the art of back-paddling and having a little patience will help any waterfowl hunter. For crying out loud, go hunting with someone who knows what they are doing. Watch when they give the signal to shoot. See where the birds are and how they got there, then start putting your own plan in place. Shot selection is easy but we can make it very difficult if we develop bad habits. Trust me: some hunters have two brains; one is missing and the other is looking for it. Excellence is your best "plus one." Find that one thing that you do well and add good shot selection to it. It will make you a better hunter.

Adam Brassfield is a Guest Contributor for Beretta. You can follow him on Facebook.

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

It's your time to tell me what you think

 
You guys are social-media-savvy, so I might be preaching to a well-educated choir, but, from time to time, I'm asked why Beretta is so active in social media.


The answer, in my opinion, is easy: contact. Contact with our customers, with those who use (or are thinking about using) our products.
Beretta Nation was born to allow people like you to be a step closer to us. Gone are the days of a brand being a distant "entity" that people only partially knew.

The advent of social media for Beretta is deeper than one would think. The vision for a more open, accessible and interactive Beretta came from the office of Mr. Franco Beretta himself. As someone who is holding the rudder of a 500-year old company, he knew that Beretta exists thanks to its customers. Feedback and contact has always been at the root of how Beretta operates: in the 19th Century, in Gardone Val Trompia, the Beretta family created a showroom that would be the place where business was conducted. People would literally walk in and see the World of Beretta. This showroom (today it is the site of the Beretta Museum) sits attached to the Beretta villa where the family lived.
Today, with business in all Continents, conducted in dozen of languages and including millions of transactions every day, the Beretta showroom needs to move from a physical place to a digital one. But the sentiment behind it is the same: it is the desire to be in direct contact with the customer, to understand what the Beretta Nation needs and wants, how they like our products. It is a deep understanding of the importance of transparency in what we do, of keeping the promises we make, and of giving employees a way to communicate with every customer in a way that is as personal as possible.

I see our Facebook account not as a way to push product, but as a way to connect, seek feedback and - as importantly - listen. Our Twitter activity is a tool that lets us tell you about our day-to-day activities: meetings, decisions, funny stuff that happens at the espresso machine (our form of water cooler,) cool pictures and shared ideas.

I have learned more in the past six-or-so months of activity than I had in over a decade of trade and consumer shows, of press conferences and meetings.

Beretta Nation is a community, now; one that I value and one that, I trust, will always give it to me straight. There's no wrong opinion. People are usually very complimentary. Sometimes they are not, and that's ok: our social media activity is also a way to make things right, when we drop the ball.

YouTube is another wonderful community. We do have a lot of fun, filming our how-to videos, our product overviews and our presentations. There is a reel of out-takes that I'm always tempted to show. Should I?
I also dabble in forums. These aren't "Beretta turf" and so I walk in as a guest. I will give my opinion, sure, but I let other people talk. The enthusiasm and honesty that reigns in forums is truly heart-warming. (PS: check out the Beretta Forum!)
So... why social media? Because we can't fit all of you in our Accokeek factory, or we would. We want to hear from you. We want you to be the driving force behind our next Five Centuries of business and success.
But I do want to hear from you: do you follow us on Twitter? Are you a Facebook fan? Have you seen our videos? In other words: are you Beretta Nation?
What do you expect out of social media presence? Did we deliver? What do you like best about what we do in this area? Where can we get better?
After all, blogs are made just for this!

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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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