Posts Tagged ‘Browning’
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Until this week, I’d never shouldered an over/under shotgun. Hunting pheasants across five states in five days may not seem like the ideal time to not only switch shotguns, but switch from the only action (pump) you’ve known for nearly 20 years. Thankfully, the Browning Cynergy Feather Composite has made the transition seamless.
So seamless, in fact, the first longtail I swung on in North Dakota crumpled at the report of my first-ever o/u trigger pull. As I cracked the shotgun open to eject the spent shell, for a moment it seemed like my life was complete. Then, when the dog retrieved the bird and I put the Cynergy up on my shoulder for a memorable trophy picture, it was.
While this o/u isn’t yet a classic in the aesthetic sense, the black composite is striking enough to draw looks in the field, and the gold enhanced grayed finish is pleasing up close. The composite make also has an almost “sticky” feel to it, making for confident gripping and shouldering.
Weighing in at just 6 lbs. 7 oz, with an ultra-low profile, the Browning Cynergy Feather Composite is the type of shotgun you can carry around the field all day, or in my case, five consecutive days.
One North Dakota rooster escaped unharmed when I momentarily forgot I wasn’t carrying a pump. I had all night to brood about this golden hour operator error on the safety and one unfulfilled dog. I vowed not to let it happen again, that tomorrow is a fresh start. Seeing the next rooster flushed coming back to me in the mouth of a happy little dog made me feel like I’d been shooting this Cynergy my entire life. And if all we can do is live in the moment, I had been.
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.
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.
Monday, February 11th, 2013
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.
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.
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.”
The Over/Under blog is written by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Marketing Specialist.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
There are online shopping destinations galore for the bird hunting gear junky. However, there is only one place you can get upland apparel and also help create wildlife habitat with each swipe of a credit card: The Pheasants Forever Market Place. No conservation group works harder to protect the places you and your bird dog rely on to hunt; no conservation organization does it as efficiently, with 92 cents of every dollar raised going directly to Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation mission. So with those statistics of efficiency fresh in your mind, here are my favorite early season items available through Pheasants Forever’s online store.
Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Long Sleeve: Without question, this is the best early season shirt I’ve ever owned. This baby is extremely comfortable and does honestly feel like it is cool on the skin even during those early 80 degree days of the season. The only downside to this shirt is that it’s not made to be tough enough to go through the sticky stuff. Buckle a strap vest over the top and you’re ready to enjoy the sunny days of early autumn in comfort.
Wing Works Vest: Speaking of strap-style vests, there’s no better option than this Wing Works Vest featuring the PF logo. It fits like a backpack, has sizeable pockets and can carry lots of water. The only downside to this vest comes in ruffed grouse hunting. The game bag is pretty open, so it does collect a lot of leaves and twigs. Outside of that, this one’s a winner for early season walking.
Pheasants Forever Logo Blaze Orange Cap: When it comes to lids, I’m a no frills low profile fan. This particular adjustable baseball cap fits my little melon just right and matches all my pheasant hunting gear. If the simplicity of my taste in hats doesn’t mesh with yours, never fear; there are five pages of headwear options for you to consider in the PF store.
Blaze Orange Polo: Ever seen a blaze orange polo shirt in a store before? Me neither. This one is perfect for hot early season days when you are loafing through the tall grass and just want to feel the breeze on your arms.
Browning Badger Creek Quail Forever Short Sleeve Shirt: If you’re looking for a great casual shirt to wear in the lodge OR in the field, this great new Browning shirt is one of the best items ever to feature the Quail Forever logo.
Pheasants Forever Shotshell Dog Collar: Since you’ve already got the credit card warmed up, you might as well pick up a little something something for your best bird dog and this cool new neckwear is just the ticket.
Remember to use your Pheasants Forever Visa Card in the Pheasants Forever Store and earn double points for every dollar you spend. Every time you use your Pheasants Forever Visa Card, U.S. Bank pays a royalty to Pheasants Forever to help us fulfill our habitat conservation mission. Thanks for shopping at the Pheasants Forever Market Place!
Friday, June 8th, 2012
I was walking my 14-week old bird dog pup along a bike trail a quarter mile from Pheasants Forever’s National Office this afternoon during my lunch break when I encountered the North Dakota Tourism billboard pictured above.
Say what you will about advertising, this one worked on me. I’ve been daydreaming about fall hunting trips all afternoon and it’s got me thinking about the power of pheasants in advertising.
North Dakota and South Dakota’s Tourism Departments frequently use pheasants in their advertising campaigns. Our friends at Federal Premium Ammunition and Browning do as well. I also recall countless beer neon signs, mirrors and posters “welcoming” hunters to local taverns across the pheasant range.
I’d like to see how many images we can gather of pheasants being used to “pitch” products. From all the photos emailed, I’ll select the single most interesting pheasant-oriented submission to win the blaze orange Minnesota Wild hat featuring the Pheasants Forever logo along with the Sioux Falls Pheasants logo baseball pictured below.
Send your photo submissions to email@example.com. Thanks!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.