Franchi 48 AL 20 Deluxe Shotgun

Here is Franchi’s 48 AL 20 gauge deluxe shotgun. We took this brand new gun out to the clays course to try it out. It is a light, slim, petite shotgun and was great fun to shoot. Even though it is light it feels solid and well built. It will be perfect for dove, quail, any preserve bird and I am sure it would kill wild pheasants as well. Being recoil operated (as opposed to gas operated) it reminds me of shooting the great Browning A-5.

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This is a classy and elegant gun. Synthetics may be more practical and durable, but who doesn’t love the look and feel of walnut and steel (or aluminum)?

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Ultimate Doggy Chew Toy

Check out this cool dog chew . . .

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Colt Single Action Army

Here is Colt’s iconic Single Action Army.  In production for one hundred and forty-two years, it is still made by Colt and still made in the USA. Nothing feels quite like it in hand, solid and superbly built. We love the click, click, click, click when you cock it. You should have one. This one is in .45 Long Colt, which is a pretty mild round and very fun to shoot.

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Sidelock & Boxlock

With time to kill over the holiday, I worked on some gun photography.  The challenge is managing light and reflection. This shot of a Spanish sidelock came out pretty good.

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Taken with a Nikon D610, Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, 1.3 seconds, f/11, ISO 200

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tex wishes all you bird hunting and gun dog folks a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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North Dakota Deep Freeze

Historically, we have pretty decent weather on our hunts but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Our North Dakota hunt was at the apex of an epic winter blast from Canada. Only one of the four days had high temps that flirted with double digits. On that day we traded a few degrees for 30 – 40 mph wind and blowing snow. Despite the brutal cold we still had a great hunt. We took our limit of birds each day, no worry of the dogs overheating (only worrying about them freezing to death) and because we were ready and well dressed, we were over all pretty comfortable.

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There was some trepidation at getting out of the warm truck and braving the elements.

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Western Bird Hunt

Lots of boot leather and tireless dogs found us four species of birds on a weekend hunt out west. Hungarian Partridge, Chukar, Blue Grouse and Sharptail Grouse all found their way into our game bags. This is big country, a sea of rolling grass and sage, and I was surprised with our success at finding birds. This is bird hunting in its purest form. No guide, no released birds, no food plots – just birds where God put them. You have to work hard, but when you find them and connect it is hugely rewarding for both the hunter and dog.

The dramatic, vast country made for some terrific photographic opportunities.

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A Hot Time in South Dakota

The bird counts were way up over last year but so was the temperature. We had terrific weather with blue skies and temps pushing into the low 80’s. The unseasonably warm weather was great for the hunters, but pretty hard on the dogs. We had to keep a close watch on them to be sure they did not overheat.

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Happiness is a Flat of Shells!

South Dakota’s pheasant season opens next weekend. The bird outlook is dramatically improved over last year, but still below the 10 year average. We missed the September seasons because of family commitments so this next weekend is the beginning of our season.

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Above  are the favorite loads, Federal Premium 6s. This is almost $200 worth of shot shells, but I am not complaining! At least there are shells to buy.

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Summer Tex

I suppose I should change the name of this thing to PicturesOfMyDog.com, but old Tex is a photogenic boy and until opening day this is all I got.

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H&R Topper M48

This is an old Harrington and Richardson Arms Co. model Topper M48. I used this while on west Texas dove hunts many years ago.  It’s most likely the first shotgun that I ever fired.

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Remington 1100

America’s work horse shotgun since 1963. Wikipedia says this is the best selling auto-loading shotgun in U.S. history, with over 4 million produced. My dad bought this 1100 skeet gun in the mid 1970’s. It is an excellent dove gun and not a bad specimen at 40 years old!

 

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Father’s Day with Tex

It was a beautiful weekend here in Colorado. Here are some shots of Tex on a perfect Father’s Day.

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Some Dog on Bird Action

We put Tex on birds the other day.

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Missouri Turkey

We went to northern Missouri to hunt Eastern Turkeys last weekend. The weather was near perfect but the turkeys were not as plentiful as in years past and those that we did find were not very cooperative. Though not as successful as we would have liked, it was a very good time. The folks in Missouri are about as nice as you will find.

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Locating gobblers.

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Spring at the Dog Park

Tex begins his third spring romping at the dog park. He has that German Shorthair drive to run and swim like he is in a race. The park is the perfect place to let him burn up some pent-up energy and wear him out for a while. At 94 pounds, he is our big moose GSP.

 

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Two Pointers

Here are two wonderful dogs sharing a point that will never happen.

The dog in the back is Rio, a true hunting machine. She was the dog I learned to hunt with and was my hunting buddy for 6 years. We loved that dog but she was a tough animal to have in the house. At times, she was like a wild horse and did more than her fair share of damage. All things considered though, the mischief and cost were worth it. A good dog can get away with quite a lot.  Sadly, we lost her to cancer in November of 2011.

Tex, in the foreground, is the sweet boy who is with us now. He is a solid hunter (but not the maniac that Rio was) and is our beloved family dog. With Tex, we get the best of both worlds. Tex was born in February of 2012 so he never got to hunt with Rio. They would have made quite a team.

Hopefully this is a glimpse of heaven.

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“Standard” Cleaning Rod and Implements

This vintage cleaning rod goes with the previous post on the Hoppe’s #9.

 

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Vintage Hoppe’s #9

This very old jar of Hoppe’s #9 came from Granddad’s closet. Along with his shoes and clothes, that closet held his leather slip-cased Winchester shotgun, a WWII German Luger and his Stetson hat.  When we were kids it was a place of curious intrigue. Sadly, that closet and dear grandfather are both long gone. What remains are his guns, these cleaning supplies and memories of him and the sweet smell of leather, old guns and #9.

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A Great Read

Here at the Birdhunter significant effort is expended to produce the mediocre level of writing that you see in this blog.  We are alright with that because the point here is the photography. But if you want to read great bird hunting stories written by fellows who know how to write then checkout this terrific e-book from the guys over at the Mouthful of Feathers blog. It is well worth the $5 and can be bought HERE.

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