Posts Tagged ‘Federal’
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Earlier this week, I received an email from a Pheasants Forever supporter who recently purchased his very first over/under shotgun. The gentleman asked a variety of very good questions. I couldn’t immediately answer all of those questions, so I reached out to Ryan Bronson at Federal Premium Ammunition for some help. Following are those questions with answers thanks to Bronson’s assistance.
What kind of shot pattern am I looking for out of my pheasant hunting shotgun?
(See photo to above) This image appears on the side of every box of Federal’s Prairie Storm pheasant load. According to Bronson, “This is an actual target that we shot with Prairie Storm. This pattern is actually off to the right a little bit (wind drift, shooter error, etc.). This was a 40-yard patterning target and we look for pellet counts in the 30 and 15 inch rings. Shotgunners should be looking for even distribution with few openings in the shot pattern that a bird could fit through. Even though this shot is 6 inches to the right, there are still plenty of pellets in the critical zones.”
What do people do for chokes in the upper and lower barrels of an over/under? Your best choke choice is determined after patterning your gun with your preferred shot brand and size. Personally, I like shooting open chokes. I start with a skeet choke on the top barrel to open up the pattern as much as possible for that first closest shot. I’ve found this to be an especially important factor in shooting Prairie Storm as the shot performs best with very open chokes. My second barrel has an improved cylinder choke in it to retain a more open pattern, but not quite as open as my first shot, considering the bird is now rapidly getting down range.
Is it the ammo or the choke that determines the best pattern? It’s the combination working in harmony with your shotgun. Finding the correct recipe through the three variables (gun, choke and ammo) will determine the best pattern for you. If you already know your gun, then the choke and ammo choices are determined in unison.
Bronson offered a few additional thoughts to keep in mind when patterning your pheasant shotgun:
I would emphasize understanding what your gun/ammo/choke is capable of at various distances. Sometimes you are better off letting a bird get out away from you a little before shooting it, especially if it is a tight pattern at 15 yards.
And if you shoot steel shot, then open the choke up too. Steel patterns tighter than lead. Plated lead shot, like the copper and nickel plated shot in Federal Premium will tend to pattern tighter than plain lead shot in value-priced loads because the un-plated shot will have more deformation. But these are all general rules. You only find specifics by shooting paper and testing.
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
When you miss a pheasant, is it because you shot behind the bird?
It’s been my experience most of my missed shots (and the misses of others I’m hunting with) are the result of shooting behind fast-moving roosters. Enter Federal Ammo’s new Prairie Storm Steel which travels at a whopping 1600 feet per second (fps). Wowzers, that’s fast! And blistering compared to the many other upland loads on the market which offer just 1200 to 1300 fps.
North Dakota has an earlier pheasant opener than most states, and Jesse Beckers, Pheasants Forever’s Regional Wildlife Biologist there, has been upland hunting and using Prairie Storm Steel for three weeks. “That stuff rocks. I’ve never had steel shot perform so well. I’ve got buddies starting to buy it and thought people would like to know that it’s performing awesome in North Dakota.”
Next time you’re in the ammo aisle of your favorite sporting goods store, check out the stats on the boxes of bird shot. No other load comes close to the 12 gauge Prairie Storm Steel’s 1600 feet per second.
On top of that fast fact, Federal makes a donation to Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation efforts for each and every box of Federal shells sold featuring the PF logo, including Prairie Storm and Prairie Storm Steel.
Friday, August 27th, 2010
What does the office of a nomadic hunter-gatherer journalist look like after 12 years of wandering the country hunting, hiking and exploring?
Well, it looks somewhat akin to a rat’s nest, but its home to me. I’m a packrat, and the guys here at PF egged me into regaling (boring?) you with some of my more interesting odds and ends picked up on the trail.
First, there’s the “Wall o’ Kill Shots” of me hanging onto various game bagged over the years – phez, sandhill crane, turkey, elk, whitetail, ducks, prairie chickens, sharpies, doves, snow and Canada geese and trout. One favorite is me jokingly ‘aiming’ at a 40’ high fiberglass sandhill crane in North Dakota; another, the first habitat project PF ever accomplished in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota.
I have a stuffed ‘flying’ snow goose hanging from the ceiling. Fellow PF staffer and hunting buddy Ben Streitz warned me it would end up in my office. He was over for lunch one day and noticed it suspended over the kitchen table. I was about to get married, and the house was about to lose its bachelor pad status of 10 years.
“Once she moves in,” Ben wryly noted, “that will be the first to go.” Oh, how right he was.
Then there’s my collection of 300 some conservation/hunting related lapel pins. I just couldn’t throw them away! I have a bowl of cotton from a quail hunt in Georgia. I had never seen the real thing before. Another prize is a triangle of clay drain tile. As an avid duck hunter and lover of wetlands, I once stood in a muddy hole in southwest Minnesota during a wetland restoration and hacked at the tile that had drained a wetland since 1916. Instead of corn, that land now holds countless forms of wildlife.
One of my favorite items is a poster from Federal ammo, a major PF sponsor. The poster has a picture of a statuesque bull elk with the wording “The next time you’re touched by the beauty of wildlife, thank a hunter.” Our conservation record is unparalleled!
I also have the wing feathers of the first scaled quail (Texas), sage grouse (Wyoming), chukar (Utah) and snipe (Florida) I ever bagged tacked to the wall. Macabre to some, but trophies to a wing-shooting nut.
Then there’s the 1896 Charlie Russell print “Indians Discover Lewis & Clark.” I picked it up at Russell’s museum in Great Falls, Montana. I love Russell’s message about who discovered whom during that famous 1804-06 Euro-American exploration. The place is rounded out with my wildlife wood carvings, plants and books from the conservation and hunting greats.
One of my latest, and favorite, additions is a photo of me and Wolf. Wolf-the-Springer has been my companion for 14 years. He has traveled the country with me, kept me company, found and fetched my birds and made me laugh many times. This may be his last autumn. He has been a hell of a hunting dog and loyal to a fault. Thanks old buddy. You won’t be forgotten.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Since I’m just waiting on a phone call from my brother to boogie out of the city, my mind is one tracking it on light geese today. For those of you also considering chasing these wary birds this spring and later during the fall, Federal Premium Black Cloud ammunition has new loads designed especially for you.
Black Cloud Snow Goose loads feature the same proven FLITECONTROL Wad and FLITESTOPPER® (FS) Steel to hit geese at longer ranges. The new 1-1/8 ounce, 3″ 12-gauge (#2 and BB) loads feature a muzzle velocity of 1635 fps for added effective range. These Snow Goose loads are available in stores now. Federal Premium’s new Prairie Storm pheasant loads utilize this same Black Cloud technology, so it’s a great way to get acquainted until Prairie Storm is available this summer.
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Pheasants Forever’s Bob St.Pierre has a hard to top must-see list for this weekend’s National Pheasant Fest. So do I. While I likely won’t get to do them all (I am working, ya know), here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish at the show.
- Storm Reports – We’ll be posting video “Storm Reports” all weekend long from National Pheasant Fest, brought to you by Federal Premium Ammunition, the Official Ammunition of Pheasants Forever and makers of the all-new Prairie Storm pheasant loads (available summer 2010). “Storm Reports” will be posted here at the Pheasant Blog and also at Pheasants Forever’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pheasantsforever).
- Predators Rx – Don’t bring your pet coyote in for a checkup. The Coyote Doctors (think Kevorkian, not House) will be giving presentations on calling these wily predators. A pastime I’m just getting into; and I need a professional diagnosis.
- Classic Guns Rock – Parker Gun Collectors Association, at booth #642 and also a pair of seminar presentations, will be profiling classic American double guns. And I like looking at guns.
- Remington, Benelli, Beretta, Browning/Winchester, DPMS, booths etc. – Did I mention I like looking at guns?
- Free T-Shirt – Word on the street is that you can check out the new Prairie Storm pheasant load at Federal Premium booth #625 and pick up a free t-shirt to boot (limit of 1,000). But you didn’t hear that from me…
- Makin’ Acres – Since my parents will be taking in the event this year, I’d like to go through the Landowner Habitat Help Room with my dad and see where we could add a few acres of habitat on the family farm.
- Snows & Toms – If you’re like me and the spring snow geese & tom turkey dates are coming up fast on the calendar, snooping around for some deals on the show floor might not be a bad idea. Maybe back to the Federal Premium booth for a look at the Black Could Snow Goose load. And maybe a visit with an outfitter or two.
- National Pheasant Fest 2010 Banquet – At Pheasants Forever’s 25th Anniversary in Saint Paul, I took in the evening banquet with my parents and Pheasants Forever colleagues Bob St.Pierre and Mike Traxinger. Now a law student at Drake, “Trax” will be back volunteering for “The Habitat Organization” this weekend. Could be déjà vu all over again. I wonder if Yogi will be in attendance????
Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Pheasants Forever’s National Pheasant Fest 2010 kicks off in Des Moines this Friday and runs through 5PM on Sunday evening. It’s the organization’s biggest stage, and attractions will range in scope from habitat to hunting and bird dogs to art. Here are the top 10 things I’m excited to check out this weekend at Pheasant Fest.
10. Miss Pheasant Fest. Miss Iowa will be joining the Iowa Trapper’s Association in their booth at Pheasant Fest on Saturday from 11AM to 5PM. No, seriously. Be there.
9. Jared Wiklund’s big break. I love seeing dreams come true and at 1PM on Friday, our department’s intern gets his big break as emcee of the Bird Dog Parade kicking off Pheasant Fest.
8. Cooking tips. I enjoy cooking wild game and am looking forward to gaining a few tips from Machine Shed Chef Roger Johnson (Friday at 2PM in Seminar Room 5) and Cheyenne Ridge Signature Lodge Chef Carl Hawkinson (1 hour seminars each of the show’s three days).
7. Missouri Quail & SoDak Roosters. Two seminars I’ve got my eyes on are Bill White’s (Missouri Department of Conservation) talk on quail habitat and Tommy Kirschenmann’s (South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks) talk about South Dakota pheasant mythology and truths.
6. Ask a Vet. Stop by the Intervet booth at any time during the show and you’ll be able to get any canine medical answers you need.
5. Speaking of Dogs. I love bird dogs; particularly my German shorthair pointer from Top Gun Kennels. I’m looking forward to checking in with Steve Ries of Top Gun Kennels and Native performance dog foods. I’m also anxious to take in seminars from world renowned trainers and SportDOG prostaffers Tom Dokken and Rick Smith.
4. Blue Dog Debut. Did I mention that I love bird dogs? Here’s one more. The Blue Picardy Spaniel will be making its Pheasant Fest debut during the Bird Dog Parade. Never heard of a Blue Picardy before? Me neither. Wonder if they are really blue?
3. Storm Reports. In the spirit of Federal’s launch of Prairie Storm, be sure to check out Pheasants Forever’s Facebook fan page throughout Pheasant Fest. Anthony Hauck and I will be posting “Storm Reports” (Pheasant Fest video reports) throughout the weekend.
2. Big News about CRP? USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will be the keynote speaker at the Pheasant Fest noon luncheon on Saturday. He’s hinted about bringing us some big news about the future of CRP. Our pheasants, quail, and members are all ears.
1. Seeing good friends. Pheasants Forever accomplishes our habitat mission because of good people. I’m most looking forward to catching up with a bunch good people. Some folks I’ll be making a point of connecting with at Pheasant Fest are:
- Bill Mitchell of Dakota Hunting Farms
- Steve Ries of Top Gun Kennels & Native
- John Howard, Chad Hines and the rest of the Native performance dog food crew
- Casey Weismantel from the Aberdeen, South Dakota Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Mike Solberg of The Grand Lodge
- Krieg Jacque, artist from Visions of Wildlife
Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Or would it be BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB? This gigantic shotshell homage to Federal Premium Ammunition can be found at Long Lake Lodge in Brandon, Minnesota, where I had the enjoyable experience of hunting and snowshoeing this past weekend. I couldn’t zoom out far enough to picture the Godzilla-sized shotgun.
Know of any other such tributes? Post ‘em below.
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
The biggest news for pheasant hunters to come out of this week’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas is the unveiling of Federal Premium Ammunition’s “Prairie Storm” Pheasants Forever shotshell loads.
What will make these loads so attractive to pheasant hunters is they utilize the same technology that makes Federal Premium Ammunition’s “Black Cloud” loads the number one choice for waterfowlers.
Even better, the Pheasants Forever-logoed “Prairie Storm” loads will function like the on-the-box-royalty program that Federal and “The Habitat Organization” have had in place in recent years. Every box of “Prairie Storm” sold will help Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation efforts.