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Field Hunting Mallards

Field Hunting Mallards
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

WhenI was a kid, I hunted with old timers who did not believe in spending money ondecoys, opting instead to save three dozen 2-liter bottles and paint them blackand green. Nowadays there are so many good decoy companies with good color andshape that it is a job just picking one out that you like best. I like a decoythat is at least 17 inches long with bright backs and dark heads, especially ifI am hunting mallards. Also, the length of the anchor line should be at least 20 inches above the water level that you are hunting. This insures propermovement of the decoy in breezy winds.

Duckhunting in a field unit can be tricky, especially if your decoy placement isincorrect. Wind, sunlight and other factors come into play. Most duck huntersare in a hurry and do not take these things into consideration. Hopefully thiswill help.

WhenI hunt a field, the first thing I think about for set-up is that I want my backor left shoulder to the sun. A duck’s eyesight is very keen and the last thingthat I need is to get busted on final approach because I can’t see to make thecorrect judgment with my Beretta Xtreme shotgun. Once this is accomplished, mydecoy set-up is important. Again, if you process this before the hunt begins itwill reduce multiple movements, which can be a disaster. If you do not hunt fora living, you are limited to mainly weekends or a few days here and there,which is exactly why this is even more important.

Ido not believe in leaving decoys in the same pattern every day. Your decoyplacement should take into consideration both where you want ducks to land andwind direction. I have heard and read stories about aerial patterns on decoys,but I have to be honest and tell you that I have had no luck with this. Notbecause it does not work, but that I am not interested in trying to workmallards that are so high they are wearing oxygen masks. However, in a fieldunit, there is one set-up that has never failed me… if the ducks are there.Then I unleash the Beretta Xtreme!

Ilike to hunt with the wind off my left shoulder, blowing out in front of me, ifat all possible. I never want the wind in my face. This allows the ducks tosail over my head and I take a high risk of my blind or my boat being pickedoff. So, with the wind right, the decoys are placed like so: I use around fiveto seven dozen decoys in a broken “J” style set-up. The longest side of the “J”is determined by the wind direction. What I feel this does is give me atargeted landing zone with a back stop to prevent over-flight. This normallykeeps the ducks from passing up my shooting lane. See the picture for anexample. Good luck and smoke those mallards with your Beretta!

For more information on the new Beretta A400 Xtreme please feel free to contact me anytimeat my website or 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.

What Is Hunting About For You?

(by Brad Wilson - guest contributor)

Have you ever just sat back and asked yourself why you hunt? Have you ever wondered what it is all about with the expensive leases, high price of ammo, $1000+ guns, ATVs, boats, dogs, and so on?
I have hunted most of my life and sometimes I have to stop and ask myself what it is really all about. There was a time when all I cared about was getting that bull pintail sporting a pair of 8” sprigs or that mallard drake that had 4 curls, fully plumed out, with some jewelry on its leg. I have to admit I was caught up. I was more worried about showing off my accomplishments than being thankful for what I had been blessed with.
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago while I was at a Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries event that I realized that this “game” that we all take part in is more than we sometimes give it credit for. It is about sitting in a duck blind, brushed in by the natural habitat that had grown up around it. It is about watching the sun rise over the bay that has a thin layer of fog over the top of it and seeing a wad of early morning teal come buzzing into the decoys. It is about the smell of gunpowder when you pull the trigger on that brand new Beretta A400 Xtreme shotgun that you were so forunate to receive. It is about watching your dog work to retrieve the bird you shot but didn’t know was banded until you got it in your hand. It’s about friendships, camaraderie, and brotherhood that you share with some of the closest friends in your life. It’s about watching your first-born child shoot his or her first duck with your grandpa’s old Stevens single shot .410 and seeing the huge smile on their face. It’s about being able to share that same first duck with your brothers in the blind. It’s about taking your 70 year old grandpa hunting with you and soaking in his “infinite wisdom,” quietly, because one day he won’t be there to share it with you.
All-too-often we get caught up in the rat race of life, whether it be work, home, or these great outdoors that we were so graciously blessed with. All-too-often we need to stop, take a step back, and realize the money, time, and effort we spend has its own rewards that are far beyond what we sometimes give credit for.
So what is hunting about for you?

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

Embarking On A Waterfowl Journey

(by Brad Wilson - guest contributor)

It was a warm September morning. The sun was due up in a couple of hours, and what we like to call “The Rebirth of an Addiction” was about to take place. The boat was parked in a cane break that harbored what we would soon find out to be a waterfowler’s dream. About an hour to legal shooting time, we decided to go ahead and throw out the decoys and get set up. The spread was going to be large and very inviting. We had just over 15 dozen blocks of various species tossed out and bobbing up and down with every ripple of the salt water beneath them. As time grew nearer, the feeling inside was comparable to your first kiss but with a slight difference. See, this feeling was familiar but never ceases to change when this time of year rolls around. It is a feeling that you have been looking forward to since the last day of the previous season, and it is something that non-hunters could never understand. An addiction. A feeling. A passion. The morning ended with full straps of Blue Wing Teal and little did we know was a true sign of things to come.

My name is Brad Wilson, and I am just your average Joe that grew up in an industrial town just outside of Houston, Texas called Baytown. I was raised as an outdoorsman by an outdoorsman. My dad was an avid deer hunter and we shared many cool Texas mornings in a deer stand in the piney woods of deep East Texas chasing that elusive wall hanger that so many have a yearning for. It wasn’t until the age of 21 that I was introduced to waterfowl hunting by a really close friend that I worked with. Matt is still like a brother to me, and we are blessed to be able to get out in the field together a few times a season. From then on there was no looking back. I have hunted ducks and geese all along the Texas Coast every season since. I am also an avid fisherman and will get a line wet every chance I get whether it is chasing speckled trout and redfish in Trinity Bay or black bass and crappie on Lake Sam Rayburn. I have an extremely understanding, beautiful, and loving wife, 2 awesome sons that I share my passion for the outdoors with religiously, and 2 labrador retrievers that are not only my duck dogs but family as well. I shoot a Beretta A400 Xtreme, have recently been drawn to reloading my own shells, and run a JB Custom duck call on a Cut Em Custom Lanyard that I made myself. God, family, my country, hunting, fishing, and guns are the things in life that I love in that very order with the last three running hand in hand with each other.

I was very blessed to be asked to write for the Beretta USA Blog, and I look forward to sharing as I “Embark On A Waterfowl Journey” over the next few months. I hope you enjoy!

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

A day at the range

From time to time, we receive questions about how we come up with some of our videos. Today, for example, we went to the Prince George's County Trap and Skeet facility to shoot some footage of Brian operating the A400 semiauto and Silver Pigeon over and under.

Our followers on Twitter and Facebook asked us to explain why Beretta is known as one of the best over and under products on the market. So, we decided to go to the range and shoot some video footage about it.

You could not have asked for a better day: the sun was not too bright, the temperature not too hot, and the clouds were just enough to give our video footage the perfect light. We first shot some footage indoor, with Brian presenting an overview of the Silver Pigeon and the entire line of Beretta over and unders.

We then moved out to Station 12 to shoot footage of Brian smoking targets left and right. I have to admit he's a pretty talented shot.

Even I got to do some shooting. What impressed me the most was exactly what Brian said about our over and unders: they really have a low profile, and allow for very instinctive shooting!

In addition to the Silver Pigeon I, we also shot the A400 Xcel and Xtreme.

I have to admit: I am having a hard time deciding which one is better. The Silver Pigeon certainly has the traditional, high-level lines that I think of when I think of quail hunting. The A400 series, however, has virtually no recoil, which is obviously important when you're firing hundreds of rounds or three and a half inch cartridges.

Here's the good news. I don't really have to choose! Come next week, when Brian and I go back to Prince George's County trap and skeet to shoot more video footage, I'll be able to use any one of these guns once again.

Life at the Beretta doesn't get any better than 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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