Posts Tagged ‘Beretta’

A Round of Applause for Beretta Women’s Vest & Sweater

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Beretta Women’s Wax Cotton Upland Vest is idea for pheasant, grouse or quail hunting. Photo by Nancy Anisfield / Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography

The Beretta Women’s Wax Cotton Upland Vest is ideal for pheasant, grouse or quail hunting. Photos by Nancy Anisfield / Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography

Get several women bird hunters together and at some point, guaranteed, they’ll talk about how difficult it is to find good women’s upland clothing. Fortunately, several manufacturers have acknowledged that downsizing men’s clothes – vests, brush pants, chaps, etc. – won’t work in terms of functionality or style. Women obviously need clothes proportioned to women’s bodies. In his search for quality women’s hunting gear, my husband, Terry Wilson, owner of Ugly Dog Hunting Company, has too often found a great product, put it in the catalog and online only to have it discontinued a year later. Finding really good women’s brush pants, for example, is particularly frustrating. Only Pointer Brand’s brush jeans have stayed tried and true.

Unfortunately, without naming names, some of the companies making women’s hunting clothing have taken their products to offshore manufacturers with less quality control. Others have found that given economic challenges, the upland market isn’t big enough to support profitable production, so they choose to cut their upland lines altogether, sticking with the broader camo audience.

On a happier note, Pheasants Forever has found two great women’s items backed by the quality and reliability of Beretta. One is the Beretta Women’s Wax Cotton Upland Vest. Pheasants Forever sells the vest for $163.95, and it’s worth every dime. The sturdy wax cotton is pliable and has none of that oily feel or smell a lot of wax cotton products have. There’s plenty of blaze orange visibility with two large blaze shoulder patches and the ample blaze game bag (removable) on the back. It’s got a breathable mesh lining, interior pockets (perfect for keys and cell phone), and two front bellow pockets with flip-out shell holders. And, it looks great – a slimming design with attention to details of trim and color. I get a kick out of the orange zipper. Extra snazzy is the Pheasants Forever (also available in Quail Forever) logo on the front.

I’ve been wearing the vest for a few weeks hunting in the grouse woods, smashing through alders, climbing over blow downs and lugging the usual gear – first aid kit, ammo, water bottles – through thick brush. The vest is quiet and the arm holes are deep enough for easy movement and shooting. It’s comfortable, sheds moisture and never catches while mounting a gun. My only criticism would be that although the game bag is long and deep enough at the bottom, it’s tighter in the upper back area which makes stuffing in a big bird a little awkward. That aside, three gold stars for the Beretta Women’s Wax Cotton Upland Vest.

German shorthair breeder Patti Carter wore the Beretta Techno Windshield Sweater while giving "Raven" a little tune-up on the training table.

German shorthair breeder Patti Carter wore the Beretta Techno Windshield Sweater while giving “Raven” a little tune-up on the training table.

The other product I’m loving is the Beretta Women’s Techno Windshield Sweater. First I wore it shooting 5-stand at our local club, then started wearing it everywhere taking full advantage of its windproof warmth. It’s made of what Beretta calls “thermal control” wool, which, according to the label, is a blend of lambswool and nylon. The Beretta Windproof Membrane is a special wind-blocking nylon lining. The sweater zips up and is super soft, in a medium brown color that goes with everything. Nice touches include the light tan knit collar lining, slash pockets, and elegant PF monogram with the pheasant tail feather. Pheasants Forever sells the sweater for $163.95.

Nancy Anisfield, an outdoor photographer/writer, sporting dog enthusiast and bird hunter, serves on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors. She resides in Hinesburg, Vermont.

My Pheasant Fest Agenda

Monday, February 11th, 2013


National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic plays to the weaknesses of upland hunters: dogs and shotguns, and not always in that order. PF File Photo

Pheasants Forever will celebrate its 30th anniversary beginning this Friday as part of National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Like most attendees, I’m going into this year’s event with my own personal search agenda complete with dogs, shotguns and friends from the past.  Here’s a look at what my eyes will be focused on at the show.

1)      L’Escarbot Kennels.  With a last name like mine (St.Pierre), I have always been intrigued by the idea of owning a French Brittany (Epagneul Breton).  At this year’s Fest, I’m going to make a point of stopping by Booth #1540 to visit with some Minnesotans who have made a name for themselves as America’s leaders in Epagneul Bretons.

2)      28 Gauge Side-by-Side.  There must be some connection to growing older and gravitating toward smaller gauged shotguns.  The last couple of weeks, I’ve been on an internet and sporting goods store search for my first side-by-side and 28 gauge.  I’m looking forward to checking out what Browning (Booth #s 635 & 734), Beretta (Booth #s 447 & 534), Caesar Guerini (Booth #s 1034& 935), Connecticut Shotgun (Booth #1105,1204) and CZ (Booth #s 607, 609, 611, & 613) have on display for me to shoulder.

3)      Georgia Pellegrini.  One of my favorite books of the last year was Pellegrini’s Girl Hunter.  Although, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Georgia on the phone and during FAN Outdoors radio interviews, I’m looking forward to actually meeting her in person and taking in one of her cooking seminars on Saturday of the Fest (11AM, 1PM & 4PM).

4)      Braque Francais.  With more than 300 exhibitors, I don’t even know what I may or may not find on the Pheasant Fest show floor.  The current Gun Dog magazine’s feature story on the Braque Francais has piqued my interest, so my eyes will be scanning the Bird Dog Parade and kennel booths in search of this rare breed.  As a current German shorthair owner, these pups strike a stunning resemblance to my GSPs.  #Intrigued!

5)      Ruffed Grouse Society.  When your mission is conservation, no group can succeed alone.  In that spirit, I am excited to visit the RGS booth (#1140 & 1142) and renew my membership with this fine conservation partner.  For you elk hunters, also be sure to check out the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s booth #1719 as well.

6)      Friends.  Without a doubt, the best part of Pheasant Fest is seeing the good people that share in the cause of conservation.  From Wild Wings to Hecla’s Dakota Hunting Farms; Focus Outdoors Television to Scott Linden; High Fly’n Kennels to Berg Brothers Setters, Pine Shadows, Casey from Aberdeen and the list goes on; I am fortunate enough to call these folks my friends in conservation.  See you all soon!

Now it’s your turn.  What’s on your To Do list at this year’s Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

What’s your Rooster Shooting Percentage by Shot?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I traditionally shoot an over/under, so I'm limited to two chances on a rooster.

Depending upon what style of shotgun you prefer, a rooster has between one and five shots to evade your pellets.  This numbers game got my baseball mind wondering about batting averages and shooting percentages.

If you were to break down the roosters you kill with each shot in your gun, how would the percentages fall?  So to clarify, I’m not looking for the percentage of kills out of total shots taken; rather, I’m wondering which of your shots is the most effective.  Think of it as Sabermetrics for shotgunners.

For me, I bird hunt almost exclusively with over/under shotguns, so I’m limited to two shots.  Without ever tracking my shooting percentages, I’d estimate 60 percent of the birds I killed last autumn were dropped with my first shot, leaving 40 percent to my second trigger pull.

Conversely, I have a buddy nicknamed “Two Shot” because of his propensity to rush his first shot into a miss, but he almost always follows up his second shot from his Ruger Red Label over/under with a kill.  I’m guessing his first shot pulls down close to 30 percent, while his second shot skyrockets up to 70 percent of his roosters bagged.

Purely based on the observations of hunting with a wide variety of pheasant hunters over the years, I’d estimate the collective percentages to fall somewhere along these lines:

First Shot                     60% of all roosters bagged

Second Shot                 30.5%

Third Shot                    8%

Fourth Shot                  1%

Fifth Shot                     .5%

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the rationale for shouldering a semi-auto shotgun with a magazine holding five shells on a pheasant hunt.  As an over/under guy, I get caught with two empty barrels a few times each season only to have a tight-holding rooster emerge from the grass at the perfect moment for his escape.  There is no doubt I’d have a superior advantage for those situations with a beautiful Beretta Xplor in my hands.  I simply think I personally take better shots knowing that I’m limited to two trigger squeezes.

What are your shooting percentages with each shot taken in pursuit of a flushing rooster?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

All Choked Up

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

My pointer and a skeet choke in my Beretta have made me a better wingshooter

For most of my life, I would have considered myself a lousy shot.  I’ve blamed a lot of my shooting ineptness on my lazy right eye.  A lot can also be blamed on an Allen Iverson-level of interest in shooting practice.  Add those two factors and it equals a shooter’s kryptonite: a lack of confidence. 

However, the proverbial tide has turned in my shooting ability over the last few years.  While I wouldn’t challenge Tom Knapp to a high noon shootout, I have gained confidence to hold my own against any flushing ring-neck, bobwhite bumble bee or ruffed grouse rocket. 

I credit two changes in my newfound killer confidence. 

1)      A Good Dog.  I believe the first step to improving a hunter’s shooting is to add a good bird dog to the mix.  If you are a really bad shot, then add a pointer.  It’s logical; pointers give any hunter advance notice to be ready. Don’t get me wrong, not every shot over a pointer is simple, but I’ve had more “confidence building” shots over my GSP than ever before and those confidence builders have made me a more focused, faster and accurate shot on the tougher flushes. I believe any dog owning hunter would tell a non-dog owning hunter that they are able to read their pup’s body language to know when to be ready.  Those seconds of awareness to a wingshooter are equivalent to a batter stealing signs before the pitcher releases his wicked curve ball. 

2)      Skeet Choke.  At about the same time I added my shorthair to the mix, I screwed a skeet choke into my Beretta’s first barrel.  If you subscribe to Upland Almanac, you’ll find some fascinating info about different choke’s ability to deliver various shot sizes to a 30-inch circle on page 4 of their Spring issue.  While I always take factors like the type of cover and time of season into account, my go-to pattern is the skeet choke with 92 percent of a shell’s pellets delivered into that 30-inch circle at 20 yards and 72 percent of those pellets in the circle at 30 yards.  For ruffed grouse, it’s a no brainer to use a skeet choke or even the wider patterning cylinder choke.  While other skilled pheasant shooters may disagree, I personally have found the skeet choke to dramatically improve my success because the vast majority of my shots at roosters are coming within that 30 yard window.  

What choke has made you a successful ringneck wrangler?

 The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

I Want Pheasants FOREVER this Christmas

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Pheasants Forever's Wingshooter for Wii lets the avid pheasant hunter extend the season into the off season.

Today (December 16th) is the last day to order Pheasants Forever gear and ensure it arrives in time for Christmas.  So, here are my top picks for your last minute shopping spree in the Pheasants Forever MarketPlace

(Remember, when you buy through Pheasants Forever, you’re helping us raise dollars for our wildlife habitat & youth conservation mission.  Merry Christmas, happy shopping and thank you!)

1) Beretta Wind Barrier Sweater: I know…I always list this item.  I can’t help myself.  It’s the best item we carry in our entire warehouse.  The good news is that we just got a shipment and all sizes are in stock . . . for the moment. 

2) German Shorthaired T-Shirt: Sitting near the top of the Bird Dogs for Habitat Campaign is my favorite breed of bird dog – The GSP!  Show your GSP pride with this $12.95 steal.

3) 2011 Pheasants Forever Calendar: It’s only $4.95.  Throw it in to any order you place and you won’t be disappointed with the great pictures all year long.  Plus: there are some special coupon codes only available in the calendar throughout the year.

4) Pheasants Forever’s Wingshooter for Wii: Ever shot a ptarmigan?  I hadn’t until I played this game.  That’s right; in addition to roosters and quail, you can blast away at ruffed grouse, valley quail, turkeys, ducks, geese, ptarmigan and more.  While it’s not Call of Duty quality graphics, it is only $19.99 and it will be a fun game for any youngster interested in hunting . . . it’s pretty fun for us older gamers too!

5) Gamehide SST Hunting Shirt: In my humble opinion, this is the best upland hunting shirt we currently carry.  It’s also a decent price at $35.95.

6) Pheasants Forever Quarter Zip Shirt: This photo doesn’t do this shirt justice.  It’s blaze on top and all brown on the bottom.  Think of this shirt as a lighter version of Under Armour that isn’t constricting or uncomfortable.  It’s a very comfortable base layer to wear under your shooting shirt and comfortable enough to wear by itself in front of the fireplace on football Sundays.

7) Lucky Hunting Hat Membership Special: Give the gift of FOREVER this Christmas to the pheasant hunter on your list and through this special link you’ll also be giving a year’s membership to Pheasants Forever that includes 5 issues of the Pheasants Forever Journal, a vehicle decal and a LUCKY hunting hat . . . who couldn’t use a little late season luck?  All for $35.

Remember to use the coupon code HABITAT for free shipping through December 25th.

Reminder: If you need this order to arrive before Christmas, please place it online by the end of the day on Thursday, December 16th.  Thank You & Merry Christmas!

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

Buongiorno Beretta

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I'm looking forward to testing the Beretta Perennia pictured in this fantastic ad running on Page 3 of Pheasants Forever's Fall Preview issue.

I depart for Italy on Tuesday.  I will be one of five American guests traveling to Milan compliments of Beretta for their international press day.  I’m not sure how many other countries will be represented at the event, but I’m pretty darn excited to be flying the Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever flags on this adventure.  The NRA’s American Hunter, The Outdoor Wire, and InterMedia’s various hunting and shooting titles will also be in attendance based upon the email addresses I’ve seen on my itinerary.

This trip has all come together in the last two weeks.  Mark Herwig, editor of the Pheasants Forever Journal, was first approached with the opportunity, but an already hectic travel schedule and expired passport opened up the trip to me.  Yes, I went out and bought a lottery ticket that day – no such luck at hitting the Power Ball though.

I don’t have a very detailed schedule of events, but here’s a rundown of what I do know:

Tuesday & Wednesday: I fly for many hours while trying to sleep, read, and catch up on some writing.  I arrive in Milan where my hotel is located.

Thursday: Beretta’s International Press Day.  I’m told that some new models of shotguns will be debuted in the morning during a press conference.  As a public relations guy, I’m curious about conducting a press conference with so many different languages in the room.  In the afternoon, the assembled journalists will have an opportunity to field test each of the new Beretta models with some clays action.  My fingers are crossed for trap or skeet; the duck tower eats me alive.

Friday: Beretta Factory Tour.  For over 15 generations and 500 years, the Beretta family has been manufacturing firearms.  I will get a sneak peak of this company’s secret recipe of modern technology and old world craftsmanship.

Saturday & Sunday: I board a plane back home with the goal of writing about the experience while it’s fresh in my head.  I may also need to catch some Z’s to be ready for work on Monday.  I doubt I’ll get any jet lag sympathy from co-workers or the wife.

Undoubtedly, Beretta’s goal for underwriting the travel of dozens of journalists for a press event like this is to attain editorial coverage in the publications each journalist represents.  It’s a good tactic.  I’ve employed the same strategy in orchestrating Pheasants Forever destination hunts and conservation forums each fall.  Such events provide an opportunity to see Pheasants Forever habitat projects and CRP acres, while wrapped around the fun and camaraderie of an exciting hunt.  

As you can imagine, I’m pretty pumped for whatever the next week holds in store.  I have only been “across the pond” one other time and that was a similar whirlwind 4-day adventure to Rome with two co-workers while I was at the St. Paul Saints Baseball Team.  Seeing Milan and the Beretta factory is no doubt a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I’ve personally been shooting a Beretta shotgun for the last three seasons.  I like it a lot and shoot it well, but I’m not quite in love with it yet (check out my blog: “I’m Just Dating My Shotgun” for further explanation).  I’m eager to try out Beretta’s Perennia III over/under which happens to be the very shotgun featured in Beretta’s current advertisement running in the Pheasants Forever Journal.  Beyond that, I’m optimistic this adventure will foster new relationships between Beretta and Pheasants Forever’s conservation mission.  Undoubtedly, it’ll produce a story I will be excited to tell.  Stay tuned.  Ciao!

Listen back to Hour 2 of this Saturday’s FAN Outdoors radio show to hear an interview with Beretta’s Mike Vrooman about the upcoming trip.  Podcast Link.

Annual Pheasants Forever Shotgun Review Kicks Off Pheasant Fest in Nebraska!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The 12 Gauge Beretta Xplor was one of the new shotguns tested in Omaha last month.

On May 13, the Pheasant Fest crew headed to Omaha.  We were joined by 30 other Pheasants Forever members for PF’s annual new shotgun test event.   We shot 17 new guns on a beautiful sunny (and yes windy) day just outside of Omaha at Werner Valley Shooting Complex on the banks of the Platte River.

First off, I have never shot at a more beautiful facility in my life. The lodge, sporting clays, and 5-stand were state-of-the-art with a leather-appointed indoor range to top it off.

We shot several new models and some slightly older models with upgrades. We shot guns from Beretta, Benelli, Remington, Winchester, Browning, Connecticut Shotgun, CZ, Stoeger, Ithaca, Weatherby, Fausti USA, Verona, Franchi, Ugartechea, Parker, and an optic from Burris. We also took full advantage of the beautiful indoor range and shot a DPMS Panther 5.56 and Kimber .45.

All of the guns performed great; however, there were two that when all was said and done, people wanted to shoot more. The first was the Benelli Legacy 28 Gauge, while the second most popular was the gun with the mounted Burris Speed Bead.

After the shoot, we all adjourned to the lodge to discuss the guns and talk about National Pheasant Fest coming to Omaha next January 28, 29, and 30 in 2011.

To learn more about all these fine guns look for your Pheasants Forever Fall Magazine for my article giving you the specifics!

Hunting For Thoughts on Hunting Apparel

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Browning is among the most popular outdoor apparel makers in the U.S.

My grandpa is the type of guy to genuinely show no interest in you, should you stray from his green way of living. John Deere green, that is.

I’ve yet to get caught up in the age old Deere vs. International or Ford vs. Chevy debates, frankly because I have no brand loyalty built up. Though I grew up on a farm, our tractor colors created a mixed race community. As for cars, I’m only qualified to enter conversations about Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Mercurys. Yeah, I’m an “old” 27.

It’s a similar my-life-is-a-collage story when it comes to hunting apparel. I mix Browning, Beretta and Boyt. Can’t forget about my good friend Bob Allen. Some days I’ll ride the Columbia. Gamehide? Check. And Filson just made the list when I picked up some new field chaps.

People definitely build perceptions and brand loyalties when it comes to these companies, too. Beretta’s been around for half a millennium, so ask any 300 year old and they’ll tell you Beretta’s how you do it. To some, Filson is viewed as elitist. To others, it’s the best. To me, I’ll have no problem throwing my new chaps on and feeling good about it because they are literally more valuable than the Kelley Blue Book price of my car.

Do you find yourself aligning with one particular line, or like me, do you mish mash it together?

I’m Just Dating my Shotgun

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

The author poses with the shotgun he's just dating and his best gal, Trammell.

Yesterday, I posted the following request to the fans of Pheasants Forever on Facebook: Tell us the Story of your First Shotgun.”  As the lengthy comments extolling the virtues of their favorite scattergun stacked up, I came to the realization that I don’t have a relationship like these folks with any of the three shotguns I own. 

I mentioned this to co-worker and fellow blogger Anthony Hauck.  Unlike me, Anthony is in a committed relationship with the Remington 870 he’s owned since it was passed down from his pops; as evidenced by this link to his shotgun love story.  What Anthony and I came to determine was that I just haven’t been with any of my shotguns long enough to take my relationship to the next level.

You see, I grew up using my dad’s classic Ithaca model 37.  I really “liked” that gun, but it wasn’t my own.  When I had saved up enough cash, I purchased a .12 gauge Ithaca model 37 of my own.  But I made a mistake; I ordered my own Ithaca with an English stock.  Ever held a shotgun with a straight stock for an entire day in the field?  It ain’t comfortable.  “She” just never felt quite right.

A few years back, my folks surprised me with a .20 gauge Remington 870 for my birthday.  A fantastic present, its short 24 inch barrel has been a great scattergun when I’ve needed to get through the thick tangles of the September grouse woods.  Sadly, I’ve never shot the gun particularly well.  Blame it on the shorter barrel, less BBs in the .20 gauge shell, my confidence with it in hand, or my skills; but “she” has also just never felt right.

Enter my current girlfriend – er, I mean shotgun – my Beretta 686 Onyx .12 gauge over/under.  She’s got curves in all the right places.  In fact, this was the first shotgun I ever took into a gunsmith to have professionally fitted to my alligator arms.  With a little length removed from the stock, the gun shoulders better than any I’ve ever handled.  I’ve also never been more deadly than during the two years I’ve owned the 686.  NOTE: I would highly recommend getting your firearm professionally fitted if you have never done so. 

But, there’s just this one thing that has me hesitant about taking that next step and “falling” for my Beretta; I bought the model with “extra wood” because it was in my price range.  You see, extra wood looks good from afar, but upon closer examination you can see that it’s not real wood.  I know, I know, I’m being superficial, but I’m just trying to be honest about my feelings.  I just don’t know if I can fall in love with something that’s, well, fake.  And besides, I’m a multi-dimensional guy.  Sure, the majority of my hunting is done behind a pointing dog in the pheasant fields and grouse woods where an over/under is a classic choice, but am I really expected to take this “gentleman’s” gun into the mud of a goose pit or slough of a duck blind?  I think not!

As a result, I’m currently in lust with a .20 gauge Franchi Renaissance Classic with a beautifully engraved receiver of flushing gold game birds.  The $2,000 price tag and high maintenance finish probably isn’t the best fit for my Yooper roots though.  And, yes I know, she won’t solve my waterfowl issues, but she sure does look pretty on my shoulder.      

What I do know is that my bird dog, Trammell, does “light up my life.”  Yes, the bird dog/hunter relationship makes my imperfect shotgun relationship manageable afield.  Besides, maybe Anthony is right and ol’ 686 and I just need a few more birds in the bag to take our relationship forward.  We have had some good times; there were the triple doubles on Huns in 2008, the three magical Montana island roosters last year, and the first of everything over Tram. There’s definitely potential that she’s the “one.”

Yes, I think Anthony’s right, Beretta and I are just dating . . . and that’s just fine for now.