Posts Tagged ‘Browning Citori’

My Go-To Bird Dog Training Gun

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Last Sunday was a perfect day for skeet shooting. Almost. It was acceptably warm for northern Vermont in early spring – 45-50 degrees. Light high clouds meant no glare from the sun. But there was a wind blowing at a steady 46 mph off Lake Champlain, with gusts up to 60. On the cup-is-half-full side of things, the wind gave us a great excuse for missing, as unpredictable clays bounced up and down like popcorn in one of those big movie theatre machines.

I didn’t do too badly, but I can’t say how many I hit out of each round because I didn’t keep score. I was there to give my “go-to” dog training gun a little practice before next week’s first clinic of the dog training season.

Browning28

Photo by Nancy Anisfield / Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography

The 28-gauge Browning Citori over-under is not at all noteworthy. It has 26-inch barrels, ho-hum wood, barely a squiggle of engraving, and a straight English stock which is never my preference. It was not new when I got it. I don’t know hold old it is, although it’s clearly not “old” in the sense of antique or collectible. I don’t have the case, never saw the manual and don’t know what the barrels are choked for. That  information could be gathered by research based on the serial number, but it’s not important. What’s important? This gun and I get along.

A few years ago, the 20-gauge Franchi Veloce I’d taken on a chukar hunting trip in Idaho developed a disturbing problem. When it fired, it opened. Two or three instances of that happening were enough to put the Franchi back in its case until I could send it for repair. The lodge we were staying at had several rental and loaner guns, some of which were on consignment for sale.  The Browning 28-gauge seemed to fit, so I gave it a try.

I shot better than I had the whole trip up to that point, and I don’t know why. I never measured the Browning’s length of pull or inquired into its previous ownership. It wasn’t love at first sight (not like when I first laid eyes and hands on my beautiful Caesar Guerini Magnus Light). I even recall making disparaging comments about the English grip which didn’t work easily with the way I like to rest the butt of the gun on my hip while walking. But it shot so darn well, plain and simple, that when my husband Terry offered to buy it for me as an early Christmas present, I said yes before he even finished his sentence.

The Browning has become my dog training gun. From April to September, at NAVHDA clinics or training at home, I shoot pen-raised quail and chukar. Lots of quail and chukar. The gun gets stuffed in the back of my Jeep along with dog crates and water jugs, bird pens and coolers.  I often forget to wipe it down after a day of sweaty hands, bug repellent and summertime grit. While I’m not particularly careful or sentimental about the Guerini, for some reason I save it and the Franchi for real hunting and let the Browning be my workhorse, off-season instrument of choice.

I don’t think much about my dog training gun. We just get along. And, for its part, it seems perfectly content out in the hot sun, waiting by the kennels, helping turn young pups into fine hunting dogs.

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.

Legacy Gun: Truly More Than a Gift

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

There comes a time in your life when you’re so moved by someone’s  generosity it leaves you feeling guilty. You feel ashamed for not being able to come up with the right words to properly show the gratitude deserved. But then again, sometimes the space found between the words “thank you” represent much more than the words themselves.

Dr. Don Kundel was a husband, father, friend, veteran, and a mentor who loved sharing his passion of wing shooting.

This autumn the father of one of my best friends passed away unexpectedly. He had just finished chemotherapy and had been cleared to go celebrate the occasion with his son out west for a bird hunt. With a heavy heart, it’s still hard to believe his boots never touched the plateau prairie as the plane he was piloting westward from Minnesota to Wyoming tragically crashed.

This came as a shock to anyone who’d ever had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Don Kundel. He was a husband, father, friend, veteran, and a mentor who loved sharing his passion of wing shooting most of all; a passion that lives on today through his son and my close friend, Donnie.

A few years back after just being hired by Pheasants Forever, Donnie lent me his father’s 12-gauge Browning Citori for a pheasant hunt. Having never shouldered anything other than the same pump scattergun my whole life, I marveled at its beauty and the way it felt so balanced the first time I swung on a bird. Donnie quickly recognized my affinity for the Citori.  To my disbelief, Donnie offered the ongoing use of the over/under as long as  it saw plenty of use and received its proper care.

Time went by and I kept up my end of the bargain. I folded roosters, broke clays, knocked down quail, and shot in the general direction of ruffed grouse all while feeling quite lucky to be doing so in the company of such craftsmanship. I thought the fact I respected and appreciated the gun was what counted. I was wrong. What the gun represented was what truly mattered.

Before Don’s funeral, I received a phone call from Donnie in which he said they wanted all of the charitable gifts from friends and family to be directed to a Pheasants Forever “Build a Wildlife Area” project since they knew this is what Don would have wanted. I was humbled. Before I got off the phone, Donnie also told me they wished for me to keep the Browning Citori because – this too – is what his dad would have wanted. I didn’t know what to say.  I still don’t.

Every time I’ve hit the fields this fall that Citori has felt different. Sometimes you can catch yourself going through the motions, just pushing through one last cattail slough or trying to reach the top of one more ridge and you forget to be a part of the actual moment.  It now only takes a quick glance at what’s in my hands to remember how lucky we all are to be able to walk fields with friends, enjoy the companionship of a good bird dog, and laugh about missed shots.

That gun is no longer fawned over for its fine wood and solid steel, but it’s cherished for representing a legacy I’m lucky enough to be continuing. And one day, someday, maybe I will be able to give back and add to this legacy. But until then, I’m not going to take for granted the moments I’m presented each fall.

One friend’s gesture has made a lasting impact on my life, one family’s generosity will help leave a lasting legacy in the outdoor world we all know and love. And for that, I have to say “thank you.”

Pheasants Forever’s Andrew Vavra, the Legacy Gun, and his Lab Beau take in an autumn Minnesota sunset.

The Over/Under blog is written by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Marketing Specialist. 

New Indiana PF Member Wins Rooster Road Trip Citori

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

David Schager joined Pheasants Forever during PF’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 last month. The Carmel, Indiana resident’s name was randomly selected as the grand prize winner from the online event’s membership drive for a Browning Citori 12 gauge shotgun.

David Schager, a new Pheasants Forever member, proudly shows off his new Browning Citori, which he won by following along and becoming a member during PF's Rooster Road Trip.

Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 visited five states in five days, including lands that Pheasants Forever has played a significant role in opening up to public access; either through land purchase, restoration or legislation. The effort focused on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat.

Special thanks to Browning, one of the sponsors of Rooster Road Trip 2011, for providing Browning PF hats to those who joined Pheasants Forever during the event, and the grand prize. Congratulations David, enjoy your new shotgun, and thanks to you and all members who signed up during the Rooster Road Trip for supporting Pheasants Forever and wildlife habitat conservation.

If you’d like to join Pheasants Forever, the nation’s leading upland conservation organization, visit www.PheasantsForever.org/Join. No organization does more to improve wildlife habitat for pheasants and quail, and we can only do it with your support.

Field Notes are written and compiled by Anthony Hauck Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Win a Browning Citori!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Watch this video and then go to www.RoosterRoadTrip.org and find out how to win a Browning Citori 625 Field 12 gauge over/under shotgun!

 

Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 atwww.RoosterRoadTrip.org, onFacebook , YouTube, and Twitter(#rrt11). 

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

The Browning Citori Bags Roosters Right out of the Box

Monday, November 14th, 2011

The rooster must have been chased before because he was not interested in holding for my shorthair’s point.  In a burst of feathers and attitude, the cackling pheasant flushed out of the waving grasses and banked to my right.  I shoulder the walnut stock, swung the 26-inch barrel in one fluid motion passing the tail, breast, beak, and squeezed the trigger.  Prairie Storm steel 4s chased down my quarry. 

 

Do you remember the first shot with your favorite pheasant gun?  For one lucky Pheasants Forever supporter, this will be the story of the first shot ever fired from their slightly used, but new to them, Browning Citori 12-gauge shotgun.

 

You see, Browning is one of the sponsors of this year’s Rooster Road Trip.  As part of their sponsorship, Browning has generously donated a blaze orange Browning & Pheasants Forever hat for every person that joins or renews their PF membership online through this special link during the week of the Rooster Road Trip.  In addition to these cool lids, Browning has sent us a few new shotguns to field test on the trip.  Anthony will be using the new Maxus, while Andrew will be shouldering the Cynergy for the week. 

 

The kicker is that I get to shoot the pinnacle of pheasant shotguns – the Browning Citori.  And here’s the icing, every person that joins Pheasants Forever through this special link this week qualifies to win the Browning Citori I’ll be using this week on the Road Trip.  Don’t worry; I’ll take good care of your new gun with frequent cleanings and no bouncing around in the back of the truck.

 

So, here’s the straight skinny on someone’s brand new Browning Citori.  It arrived at the Pheasants Forever offices two weeks ago.  In the meantime, I took it pheasant hunting in Minnesota to get familiar with the gun.  The first shot ever fired wasn’t at a range busting clays.  The first time this Citori’s trigger was ever tickled was the exact scenario I’ve described in the first paragraph above.  One shot, one rooster.  Would you expect anything less from a Citori? 

 

Join or renew your Pheasants Forever membership today through this special link to receive a new Browning hat and your chance to win this field tested Browning Citori 12 gauge shotgun.

 

Click Here for Official Contest Rules 

 

 

Follow Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 at www.RoosterRoadTrip.org, on Facebook , YouTube, and Twitter (#rrt11). 

 

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

 

Gun Review: Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Edition Browning Citori Superlight Feather

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

For those of you that have read the “Gun Shop” column in Pheasants Forever Journal in the past, you already know I am a big fan of classic Browning Shotguns. I saved tips for my first A-5. The Browning Citori is no exception. My first student loan helped me get my Citori. Seems I am not alone in my admiration of this iconic powerhouse.

Cabela’s also feels the Citori embodies classic tradition with style and speed, so much so that they have worked with Browning to develop the Cabela’s 50th Anniversary shotgun. They started with the Citori Superlight Feather 12 gauge as the base to start with and customized from there. The base model comes with a straight English stock and a lightweight alloy receiver. Both keep the weight down while making the gun extremely fast handling, always a bonus on a rocketing rooster! That said, you could not just throw some engraving on this and call it special or a collector piece.

The Cabela's 50th Anniversary edition Browning Citori Superlight Feather

What makes this Citori different from the standard Superlight? The first thing you will notice is the beautiful wood used in the stock and the forearm. This Citori has stepped up to a Grade VII wood. For the barrels they also kicked it up a notch by adding 2” to the barrels, which I felt really gave this Superlight a smooth swing. The weight not only makes this Citori quick but also a dream to carry for a full day in the field.  The upgrade in the wood and longer barrels makes this a truly unique Citori. But they did not stop there. The Cabela’s 50th Anniversary logo is also engraved on the bottom of the receiver, giving this gun an extra touch of class without making it gaudy. Top that off with a very limited production run of only 200 and you have a true collectable firearm.

This gun is one that you would be proud to own. With a price tag at $2999 – only $600 above MSRP of a standard Citori Superlight Feather – you have the choice to hide it in the safe or, better yet, get out on a bright fall day and bag yourself a couple roosters. It looks like I may have to save a few more tips, or go back to school…

The Pheasant Fest blog is written by Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever’s Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales. Look for Brad’s column, “The Gun Shop,” in the Pheasants Forever Journal.

Whose Shotgun Would You Want?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

My mom bagged this ruffed grouse with her first shot using grandpa's Citori.

Chad Love, author of “Man’s Best Friend” blog on the Field & Stream website and fellow Quail Forever blogger, recently passed along a post idea for me.  It seems that famed pheasant hunting author Steve Grooms has elected to sell his favorite pheasant gun, a 12 gauge over/under Ithaca model 600 made by SKB.  It got me thinking about shotguns and if there’s one out there I’d aspire to one day own. 

My first thought went to a recent book about Ernest Hemingway’s guns.  Ultimately I’d prefer to possess the fishing rod & reel Hemingway used in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – my home stomping grounds – while penning the Big Two-Hearted River, more than any of Ernie’s firearms.  Teddy Roosevelt came to mind as well, but ultimately I’m not particularly infatuated with owning famous people’s things. 

For me, I think someday I’d like to inherit both of my grandpa’s shotguns.  My Grandpa St.Pierre passed away last fall leaving my dad with a matching 12 and 20 gauge Winchester Model 12 pair. Likewise, my Grandpa Maurer left his 20 gauge Browning Citori featherlight to my mom when he passed a few years back.  All three of those guns carry on my family’s hunting traditions; something shared by both sides of my heritage.  That’s something I’m proud to be a part of and represent in my last name. 

Is there someone else’s shotgun out there you hope to shoulder one day?

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