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Conceal Carry Handguns - Rehearsal and Responsibility


Mia Anstine shares a story about the possible use of conceal carry resized 600

I thought I was going to actually have to use my Conceal Carry (CC) gun a while back. My daughter and I had just returned from hunting. We were parked more than twenty miles from town on a highway in the high country. We had just loaded the horses in the trailer and gotten into our truck. 

We sat in the truck at the trailhead parking lot eating a sandwich and warming up. A white mini-van with no license plates drove up. As it parked in front of us we noted two men were in the front seats. They sat in their vehicle for several minutes as a trooper ticketed someone else on the other side of the highway. After the trooper pulled away the men got out of the van and approached our truck.

I thought the situation was very strange so I mentally prepared. In my mind I rehearsed lifting my jacket, unbuckling my holster and pulling my pistol. This is a situation I have practiced at the range a number of times. Although I had prepared for it, this is a situation I had hoped to never be in.

Without saying a thing my daughter immediately locked her door. I took out my cell phone and as the men headed our direction. I snapped a picture of them and their vehicle. I pressed send and texted just the picture to a police officer who is a family friend. My daughter asked me why I was doing that. I explained it probably wasn’t the best picture, but at least if something happened, someone would know who to look for.

We were in a one-ton truck with a trailer load of horses. A quick get-away would not be an option if things turned bad. My heart rate increased as I feared the worst.

The two made their way to my side of the truck. One man was on a cell phone and the other waved hello. I cracked my window about a half-inch. The man said they had broken down and asked if I would drive them to town to get transmission fluid. I declined, lying to them that we were waiting for my husband and friend who were hunting, but told them I would call for help. I immediately pressed a speed dial button phoning my officer friend whom I had just sent the picture.

I gave the officer a description of the events and our location. He immediately called dispatch to send an officer our way.

I told the strangers help was on the way.

My daughter and I waited as the men walked back to their vehicle. Once they were in I put the big diesel in gear and we drove away as quickly as we could.

In the end there was no immediate threat - so the CC remained on my belt. 


The moral of the story

There are many people in our country who are embracing their Second Amendment right and purchasing a gun for protection, including Conceal Carry guns. I hope these individuals are taking a certified Conceal Carry firearms course in conjunction with their purchase.

Carrying concealed is a huge responsibility. I hear a lot of questions about what model, what caliber, revolver or semi-auto. The answer to these questions is “It is a matter of personal preference.” I mentioned in the story above that the situation is one I hoped to never be in. As you are strapping your new pistol to your belt, chest, ankle or other location stop for a moment. Think about it. What would you do if you had to use this weapon to take the life of another?

Yes. I said “take the life”. That is what the firearm is for. It is for protection when you feel your life is in eminent danger. As you stop and ask yourself the question, what feelings or emotions arise? Do you feel confident in what you are undertaking by strapping the firearm to your body?


Refuse to be a victim

There are the more important questions everyone should be asking themselves. During firearms courses, you are taught to never point a gun at anything you do not intend to destroy. This means that if you pull your conceal carry gun, you better intend to use it. If you have assessed this notion and believe you are capable of using your conceal carry, there will be work ahead.

  1. Always be prepared to use your conceal carry. 

  2. Practice loading, reloading and shooting your gun on a regular basis.

  3. Rehearse pulling your firearm from your purse or holster so you are not caught up or have an accident while trying to manipulate it. 

  4. Run through scenarios while you are at the range including what you would do in a life threatening situation.

Lastly, think about consequences. Research your state laws to learn what will happen if you brandish your weapon. Think about how actually using your gun is going to affect not only you but your family. Think about how you will be treated after your life has been threatened and then you have taken the life of another. First guess? Regardless of the situation, you will not initially be treated as a hero. Take the time and be prepared. Carrying concealed is a serious matter.


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

Breathe, Breathe, BREATHE!!!

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

You have gone out and spent $1600 on a new shotgun, $25 on a box of the "best" shells, and $2000 on a prime duck lease.  Opening morning rolls around and that first group of blue wing teal completely commit to your $750 decoy spread.  You pull up, stick a bead on the beak of a bird, and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM...nothing falls!  What's the problem?  I mean you bought the best of everything so shouldn't the birds just drop like rain?  One thing you forgot which happens to be the only free thing in your arsenal, AIR!  After the jump we will talk about how breathing, or not in most cases can determine a kill or a whiff.

When I first started hunting waterfowl really hard, I had a good friend that just so happened to be an excellent shotgunner.  When I say excellent, I mean the guy doesn't miss.  I have seen him have 3 shells loaded up with a 4th in his hand and limit out on teal during our early season with 4 pulls of the trigger in about 4 seconds flat.  My jaw dropped on that hunt.  Matt happens to be an excellent mentor to a lot of folks including myself when it comes to the outdoors.  One thing he taught me early on in our ventures is that my breathing was what makes me miss.  I would get so frustrated after a volley and only having 1 bird drop from my 3 shots.  What Matt pointed out to me was that when I would go to pull up, I would actually hold my breath.  Concentration is actually lost by doing this.

Now one might compare this to the breathing techniques of a sniper.  Honestly you would be comparing apples to oranges.  A sniper's breathing techniques require him to hold his breath between inhaling and exhaling for up to 10 seconds at times.  In this frame set the shooter is attempting to get himself into a relaxed state and thus connect with his target.  If he can not get himself into a relaxed state then his breathing exercise is repeated.

In a waterfowling situation, the shooter is actually very active and does not really have time to pause his breathing.  What is actually done is repetitious and uniformed breathing during the shooting process.  Holding your breath from the time you pull up to the time you take the last shot could potentially be 5-10 seconds.  Now sitting at your desk, recliner, or whatever it is that you are sitting in while reading this I want you to start holding your breath and stand up and act like you are taking shots at decoying birds.  Don't worry, we're waterfowlers and everyone thinks we are crazy to begin with.  I'm sure that duck call hanging from your rear view mirror gets a look from people every day.  Now how do you feel after the "shots" you just took.  I bet there are some that have no change, some that have to take a relief breath or 2, and then there are probably a few of us bigger boys that need to sit back down.  Relate this to your concentration in the blind while taking your shots and you can now see why breathing is important.

Next time you are in that layout blind in the stubble of a corn field, remember to take those breaths.  After all, your freezer depends on it!

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.

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.

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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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Why do I shoot Beretta?

by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

As I travel all over the country I get asked the same question time and time again: "Why do you shoot Beretta?" While there are other logical questions to ask, such as "why does a bear poop in the woods," or "why does a Lion chase a gazelle," or "why does it take air to breath," I am a redneck and this is the best I can come up with. As a professional duck hunter I demand the best firearm made. One that can go through the nastiest conditions, the toughest storms and the roughest elements. Now, I understand those who shoot certain guns because their grandfather shot it or their mom baked it but the difference between us is I HUNT EVERY DAY!! I have to be able to depend on a gun that outlasts even me.

The common answer to most hardcore duck hunters is that they bought the gun and now they display the sticker on the back window of their truck. Let me just say this: tough hunts don't last, but tough guns do. That is why I shoot Beretta, and the fact that I would rather jump bare foot off a 6-foot step ladder into a 5 gallon bucket of porcupines than to shoot another waterfowl shotgun. I would challenge every waterfowl hunter to take the Xtreme challenge: go to your local gun dealer and shoot the knew Beretta A400 Xtreme and then tell me that your other gun is better. By the way this blog prohibits liars.

In closing, I just want to say that all duck and goose hunters work hard for the equipment they purchase and, like most hunters, not everyone can purchase a shotgun in today's market. However, I would much rather spend my hard-earned money on the best - and I mean the best - waterfowl shotgun EVER made than to go hunting like a bird dog trying to point in a field full of elephants. Again, I am a full believer that the new Beretta Xtreme is the best gun money can buy and I would not be caught dead without one in my hands.

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 necessarily represent Beretta.

Concealment is the key

by Brad Wilson - Guest contributor

Many folks tend to believe that waterfowl hunting doesn’t require the concealment that other forms of hunting demand. Contrary to that popular belief, concealment could make or break that “once in a lifetime” hunt. Following are a few tactics that I use personally that could potentially help you in the field.
Most late season birds that make it down to the Gulf Coast have been shot at, called at, and have seen just about every type of J hook diver line decoy spread that could possibly be thrown at them. They have been what we like to call educated. Adam already touched on decoy set ups for Field Hunting Mallards, and he or I one will post a separate in depth blog about decoy placement in the near future, but you do need to understand that your spread can aide in your concealment tremendously.
Whether I am in a blind in a rice field or a boat blind in the salt marsh, one thing I will do is get out while everyone is set up in the blind, walk out about 50 yards and look at the set up. If the blind seems to stick out like a sore thumb or someone is not concealed in the blind, then one of 2 things has to happen:

A) the blind needs to be concealed better within the natural habitat in the field or marsh, or

B) we ditch the blind and opt for natural concealment from grass, tree stumps, or any other natural cover.

On many occasions, I had to trade the comfort for a cypress tree, in order to fool the birds into the spread. Don’t be afraid to change your concealment mid-morning if what you are currently doing is not working.
The next misconception is camouflage selection. Many guys think that if their shirt, pants, jacket, waders, socks, and underoos aren’t all the same pattern, they won’t kill ducks. I have guys in my crew that wear anything from the newest stuff to old school camo and hats. Facemasks are another tool that you may want to utilize in certain situations. Your main concern is to have your silhouette broken up. As long as you don’t look like one solid color to the bird then you should be fine. Be resourceful once again and use your natural surroundings to help in your concealment.
One thing that I normally see when I step out to survey my hunters is gun barrels. Your number one concern while hunting should be safety, so if someone is out in front of the blind, by all means have your gun barrel pointed up and away from others. While you are in an actual hunting situation, keep your gun barrel pointed out at the decoys, low, and away from everyone else. One thing my guys tend to practice is "no hands on the gun" until you are ready to “Cut 'Em” and the shot has been called. My personal preference for my Beretta A400 Xtreme was Max4 camo. One reason was the durability of the coating that Beretta uses and its ability to resist rust, which is a huge issue on the Gulf Coast. The other reason is the ability that I have to further conceal myself and my tools.
Remember: you can have the fanciest clothing, highest-end custom duck or goose call, and the best looking decoys on the market, but if you aren’t hidden well, the guy that is will be the one killing the birds. Concealment is 90% of the game so don’t hide from it!

Brad Wilson is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube. You can also Subscribe here.

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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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