Fighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film from Project Upland…

Fighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film by Project Upland

Bobwhite quail are not one of a America’s conservation success stories. Over the last 30-40 years, their populations have collapsed throughout the south and across the southwest. Fortunately, some people, and some state agencies and working hard to try and these birds back. I hope they’re successful.

“For many, the bobwhite quail is a symbol of their youth in the South. Small game is often where many cut their teeth in the hunting world. Adam Keith, wildlife consultant, ventures back into his past to take a journey into the public lands of Missouri with state biologist Frank L. Loncarich and Kyle Hedges.” WatchFighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film by Project Upland now.

Fighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film from Project Upland...
Fighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film from Project Upland…

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss….

 

E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR
E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR

E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR: BOTH GUNS ARE THE SAME DIMENSIONS, 28″ SOLID RIB, CHOKED .007″ AND .014″ with 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, EJECTORS, FIELD FOREARM, PISTOL GRIP, CHECKERED BUTT MINT CONDITION MAKERS CASE, 7 LBS 4 0Z, DIMENSIONS: 2″ DAH,1 9/16″ DAC, 14 1/8″ LOP. Matched pair E.J. Churchill O/U The Premier Quality.  12 Bore game guns.  Gun I made in 1926, Gun II Made in 1929. Serial Nr. 4220 was made for Abercrombie & Fitch and 3173 for a Mr. Wilson in San Francisco. They were both originally pigeon guns with 32” barrels. They were matched up as a pair and re-barreled to 28” through Churchill, Atkin, Grant & Lang, and Don Masters chocked IC/M and probably restocked by the maker, work which was done for a Danish nobleman whose coat of arms are on the escutcheon.  Both guns have a full London proof.  The actions of these guns are exact copies of the Woodward O&U actions, and were made by the firm of Hills, who also made the actions for Woodward. It was said at the time that Woodward built the Over & Under guns for Bob Churchill. This may be indeed true, but it is not likely, I believe Hill did all the actioning and in addition, they both used the same outworkers. A marked difference is the ejector system, which differs from Woodward and shows the Churchill input, as Bob Churchill felt it needed improvement. In total only 15 Over & Under guns were built by Churchill before WWII, of which this pair is believed to be in the best condition of those remaining.  One of these guns is pictured in the book “The House of Churchill” by Don Masters. Price: $46,500

F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29" Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition
F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29″ Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition

F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29″ Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition: Serial #  A03. Barrel Length (in Inches):  29″,  Choked R  SKT(.005) Choked L  IM(.020), Trigger  DT (Double), Straight Grip, Splinter Forearm, English-style Smooth Concave Rib, Fine Scroll & Rosette Engraving, Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, Checkered butt, Original box. Near PERFECT Condition. Weight  6#3oz. Dimensions  1 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 14 3/4 with 1/4 cast off. Mfg 2007, The ideal upland bird gun. Price: $14,900

Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels
Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels

Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels Serial Number: 3822, Ejectors: No, Barrels: 30″, Barrel Type: Damascus, Action: back-action side lever with rebounding hammers, Gauge: 12 gauge, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 2 1/4″, Stock Cast: 1/8″, LOP: 14 1/2″, Weight: 6 lbs. 14 oz., Choke Left: .003 Near Cyl., Choke Right: .003 Near Cyl.
Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .030″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .028″. Price: $6,900

Webley and Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun
Webley and Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun

Webley & Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun: Nice old prewar Webley & Scott 16 ga. Choked imp and full 29” barrels, DT, AE, LOP is 14 3/4”, leather pad, this piece has a third fastener, really nice old shotgun. Price: $3,895

Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun
Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun

Ithaca ~ 280 ~ 20 Ga. ~ Side-by-Side ~ Boxlock Shotgun: This Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun. It has 25 inch barrels with a solid rib and 3 inch chambers. A checkered grip walnut straight grip stock and beavertail forearm. Has a very nicely engraved receiver with birds in flight. In over all good condition it comes as is.Ithaca-SKB checkered black plate. Weighs 6 lbs. 3 oz. Shows a little use and wear. Price: $1,699.99

Greifelt & Co. 20g Over Under: Check out this pretty little double …

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT
GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT

I love old, German OUs–especially smallbores. And the 20 gauge you see here really has my heart pumping.

Greifelt & Co used to be a major German gunmaker. Founded in 1885 in Suhl, the company went bust in 1945 at the end of WWII. In those 60 years, they exported shotguns and rifles throughout the world, including to Von Lengerke & Detmold (which was purchased by Abercrombie & Fitch in 1929).

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT
GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT

This gun is typical of the German-style OUs that companies like VL&D imported into the US. It looks like it’s built on a Blitz-style triggerplate action with double Kersten locks. I love the engraving and the carving on the metalwork as well as the horn drop points on the stock. All very classy.

German over-unders like this were part of the first wave of the OU revolution that started in Europe and the UK before the first World War and then boomed in the US in the 1950s with the Browning Superposed.

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT
GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT26″ SOLID RIB, IC AND MOD, 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, 3-PIECE FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MAKER’S CASE, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 5LBS 14 OZ, 3″ DAH, 2″ DAC, 14 1/2″ LOP. Price: $13,500

The season begins! First up: Mourning doves…

Dove Hunting Basics for Public Land, from Project Upland
Dove Hunting Basics for Public Land, from Project Upland

Quick: What’s the #1 game bird in the US?

Quail? Nope. Pheasants? Nah.

It’s the mourning dove, and this year hunters across 42 states will bag more than 20 million of them.

If your state allows dove hunting (mine doesn’t), here’s a quick guide to how to find birds.

DOVE HUNTING BASICS FOR PUBLIC LAND: Follow these dove hunting basics to shoot enough birds for dinner.

Angus, Tank, and the results of an afternoon hunt in west Texas
Angus, Tank, and the results of an afternoon dove hunt in west Texas

For the heart, for Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Vol 1…

Essential reading: Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1
Essential reading: Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1

I’ve been kicking around the upland world for a while. As my friends and covers get older, I wonder what will become of grouse and woodcock hunting. To keep it thriving, it’s important we to attract new voices and new perspectives. Both bring in new blood.

Through their videos, website, and now their first book, Project Upland offers readers and viewers fresh take on upland hunting, gun dogs, and fine shotguns. Last December, they approached me about writing an essay for their premier publication:  PROJECT UPLAND – THE BIRD HUNTING ANTHOLOGY – VOLUME 1.

The book came out a few weeks ago, and if you’re into bird hunting, it’s a must-read. It features lots of cool, full-color pics, and 10 essays with titles like The Quickest Path to Losing Hunting Partners, The Golden Hour, and, my piece, For the Heart. Here’s an excerpt. To read the whole thing, you’ll have to buy the book.

My essay in Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1
My essay in Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1

For the Heart

Love can be hard to understand, especially when it’s for anything other than babies, puppies, and ice cream. Of all the things I love about upland hunting—my Pointers flashing through the woods, the whirl of a flushing woodcock, the cidery smell of old apple trees—my lifelong affair with shotguns is the most difficult for me to comprehend.

I’m not from a family of hunters or shooters. My grandfather never killed a bird in his life. While my dad was a fisherman, he never even owned a gun or fired a rifle. And I didn’t grow up on a farm with cornfields or stands of Aspen outside my door. I grew up in Connecticut, down the street from a 7-Eleven and a strip mall anchored by a bar called the Amber Light Lounge & Cafe. But despite all this, bird hunting, and especially shotguns, have always been my thing…”

Me & my old Westley in Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1
Me & my old Westley in Project Upland: A Bird Hunting Anthology, Volume 1, No. 1

A video worth viewing: YETI Presents: SAM…

YETI Presents: Sam
YETI Presents: Sam

Hunting dogs can be frustrating, exhilarating, and, when they leave us, heartbreaking.

This video introduces you a lab named Sam and a duck hunter named Steve Koehly. I learned something from both of them. They may teach you something, too.

Warning: If you don’t want to be seen with wet eyes, don’t watch at work.

More great quail flushes. Winter training, Hifive Kennels…

Hifive's Unlisted, from Hifivekennels.com
Hifive’s Unlisted, from Hifivekennels.com

Here’s more gundog-quail action from the folks at Hifive Kennels.

Check it out to see lots of great points and lots of fantastic flushes.

Hifive is a well-known kennel in Beulah, MI. They’ve been breeding, training, and trialing dogs for 20+ years, and they’ve produced a long list of great dogs.

You’ve got to go to Maine’s Chandler Lake Camps…

One Maine's finest sporting camps. 6hrs from Boston in the North Maine Woods
One Maine’s finest sporting camps. 6hrs from Boston in the North Maine Woods

Roughing it is for suckers. I know of that, now.

I’m not used to nice accommodations, and on past hunting trips I’ve curled up with my Pointers to stay warm, eaten Beefaroni out of the can, and gagged while using outhouses ranker than rest-area porta pottys.

This year I wanted something better. So I headed Chandler Lake Camps in the North Maine Woods.

Chandler's: A 5-Pointer experience
Chandler’s: A 5-Pointer experience

The North Maine Woods are 4-6 hours from Boston, 3Xs the size of Rhode Island, and more populated with moose than people. Once you’re in them, a dirt-road empire rolls out before you in every which way.. It’s lorded over by logging trucks, crisscrossed with brook trout streams, and spotted everywhere with grouse and woodcock cover.

Some success after after a few days at Chandler's
Some success after after a few days at Chandler’s

Chandler Lake Camps is an outpost of comfort and graciousness amongst all of this. Built in 1902, it was an abandoned family retreat when current owners Jason and Sherry Bouchard bought in the ’90s. With hard work and grit, they rescued it from decades of neglect and turned it into one of Maine’s finest sporting camps.

For uplanders, Chandlers is a place to get into lots of birds, whether you do it by hiring one of the camp’s Registered Maine Guides or by grabbing a Delorme map book and asking Jason to highlight some likely looking spots like I did.

Lexi, Sky and I averaged 2-3 birds an hour — solid numbers considering it was our first time in the area. We hunted overgrown logging roads and shot into the woods to explore deep pockets of birdy-looking cover and the furthest cover we hit was only 15 miles away from the camp.

Guest cabin at Chandler
Guest cabin at Chandler

On top of great bird hunting, Chandler Lake Camps also has great accommodations. Guests are treated to their own hand-peeled, spruce log cabins, each with a wood stove, electric lights, complete indoor facilities and charging outlets for things like remote collars and GPSs.

Meals are served in the main lodge, and everyone eats together around a large, wooden table. Breakfast is to order, lunches packed for you, and dinner family style. There’s a different menu each night, and everything is homemade in the lodge’s kitchen–even the bread and bagels.

And while Chandler Lake Camps is far away from civilization, it does have internet connection to the outside world. So anyone who needs to stay in touch with home or work can check in.

Located southwest of Ashland, ME,
Located southwest of Ashland, ME,
An access point to the North Maine Woods. Dirt roads, moose & grouse cover lie ahead.
An access point to the North Maine Woods. Dirt roads, moose & grouse cover lie ahead.
Sunset at Chandler Lake Camps
Sunset at Chandler Lake Camps
Sky's first grouse of 2017, at Chandler Lake Camps
Sky’s first grouse of 2017, at Chandler Lake Camps
View from the front porch at Chandler Lake Camps
View from the front porch at Chandler Lake Camps
Guest cabin at Chandler
Guest cabin at Chandler
Classic wood cabins at Chandler
Classic wood cabins at Chandler
Classic wood cabins at Chandler
Classic wood cabins at Chandler
Boathouse at Chandler Lake Camps
Boathouse at Chandler Lake Camps
Deck off main lodge at Chandler Lake Camps
Deck off main lodge at Chandler Lake Camps
Classic wood cabins at Chandler
Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Video: Hunting Arizona Mearns’ Quail with Randy Newberg …

 

Video: Hunting Arizona Mearns' Quail with Randy Newberg ...
Video: Hunting Arizona Mearns’ Quail with Randy Newberg …

As it says on his website, “Randy Newberg is a hunter” and “…the voice of the public land hunter in America.” It looks like he also a bit of a TV star and a popular podcaster.

In this video, you can go along with him as he and his buddies do some quail hunting in AZ. As one commenter said “The cussin in these videos makes it so funny. So real. I love it.” I agree. It’s well done, and worth checking out.

Must read NatGeo article about grouse moors…

Grouse shooting in Scotland, from the BASC web site
Grouse shooting in Scotland, from the BASC web site

I’ve never been to Scotland and I’ve never shot a red grouse. But visiting the first to do the second is at the top of my bucket list. According to this article from National Geographic, I might want to cross it off soon.

The article’s well written and worth checking out if you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to the UK for the the Glorious Twelfth (simply August, 12, here) or if you just want to look at some gorgeous photographs.

Buy this gun! 20 gauge Beretta 686 Onyx OU, 2-bbl set …

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set
Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Here’s one of the finest double-barrel shotguns you’re going to find. These Beretta 686s handle like OUs costing many times more. They’re also reliable, easy to fix, and with this kind of Onyx finish, just plain sexy. For grouse, woodcock, and quail, they’re just about ideal.

With two set of barrels, 26.5″ and 29.5″, and a price tag of just $1699.99, this one is extra special. That’s why I’m saying someone needs to buy this gun. If someone else doesn’t snatch it up soon, I just might be the one to do it.

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 Gauge Over Under 2 Barrel SetThis is a very nice Beretta 686 Onyx 2 barrel set. The pictured barrels are 26.5 inch matte black and the second set are 29.5 inch blue, both have vent ribs. The walnut stock and matching forearm are a nice grade of wood with a small hairline crack on the left side of the forearm. All in all a very nice shotgun at a very nice price.  Price: $1699.99
Caliber: 20 Gauge.

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set
Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Chambers: 2 3/4 and 3 inch Over/Under with ejectors.
Metal Condition: Excellent.
Wood Condition: Very good with a small crack on the left side of the forearm.
Bore Condition: All are bright and shiny.
Barrels: 26.5 inch matte black and the second set are 29.5 inch blue.
Triggers: Single silver color.
Stock: Nice mid-grade walut with a checkered pistol grip.
Stock Dimensions:
15 inch LOP
Fore End: Matching checkered walnut with finger grooves.
Butt Pad: Replacement black rubber butt pad.
Weight: 6 Lbs 3 Oz with the 26.5 inch barrels.
Sights: Vent ribs with single front beads.
Chokes: Screw in, comes with 9 total chokes.
Extras: Comes with the second barrel and extra chokes.

Let’s go wild quail hunting in Texas ….

Quail Coalition
Quail Coalition

Here’s something I’m dying to do, and with quail numbers up, I think it’s time for me to head west and check it out. I’ve never hunted quail — wild or pen raised. From this video, the experience looks awesome. The video was produced by the Quail Coalition. They did a great job.

Cocker spaniel vs. rascally rabbits. Awesome drone video…

For the next installment in our “cocker spaniel, you’ve-got-to-see-this video series”, check out this one from Nick Ridley over in the UK. Over there, they use spaniels to hunt rabbits. The vid is shot with a drone, and if you watch closely you’ll spot bunnies bolting from the cover, unseen by the shooter.

Click to Watch: Rabbit Shooting Over a Cocker Spaniel Filmed with a 3DR Drone
Click to Watch: Rabbit Shooting Over a Cocker Spaniel Filmed with a 3DR Drone

Cocker power. Watch this little dog gundog run…

Field bred Cocker Spaniels are great little dogs, and in the U.S. today, they’re more popular than ever.

Cocker Spaniel at a Field Trial
Cocker Spaniel at a Field Trial

Over the next few days, I’m going to put up a few videos showing what they’re can do. This one is from Tom Ness @ Oahe Kennels. He’s a top trainer and breeder of these little dynamos.

Let’s get this season going…

 

Best time of year
Best time of year

October’s here — finally. And even though Maine’s state biologists predict a mediocre grouse season and the foliage colors are sure to be muted, I’m looking forward to the fall.

I’ll be hunting the last two weeks of the month for sure, and then any other days & weekends I can fit in.

After a disappointing 2015, I’m shifting away from central Maine. There are birds there, but I’m having a harder time finding them. I also have less free time to look for them, too. And when you have limited time to hunt, one birdless day’s is a big deal — and not something I want to experience again.

Anyway, here are some pics of hunts and memories from seasons past. I hope you enjoy them.

A good day. The gun is a 16g Heym O/U, made in the 1920s...
A good day. The gun is a 16g Heym O/U, made in the 1920s…
Poplars in the AM sun
Poplars in the AM sun
Puck pointing a grouse at the objective
Success! Puck pointing a grouse at the objective.
Pure Puck
Pure Puck
Point! Now what do you do?
Puck, back in her prime

Uplander. A quick video about what it’s all about…

Pheasant o2008 Pheasant opener in South Dakotapener in South Dakota
2008 Pheasant opener in South Dakota
A breeder I used to know was a blunt SOB. Within 30 minutes of our first meeting he cut me off mid sentence and said this: “Someday you’ll grow up and be done with that.”

We had been talking about pheasant hunting in South Dakota, and I had mentioned the numbers of birds we were killing out there. This was back in ’03, when we were seeing 4-500 pheasants a day on the ground we hunted. Limiting out wasn’t the problem. Limiting out before noon was.

But this arrogant breeder wasn’t impressed. He looked down on anyone who gauged success by the number of bird killed — especially if the birds were wild.

Back then, his attitude pissed me off. I get it now, though.

These days, even though I love to upland hunt, killing birds is far from my top priority. Feathers in hand are nice, and a dead bird every now and then does a lot to keep a bird dog interested in the game. but there’s a lot more that

Auction alert: 20 gauge Webley & Scott M700, 28″ bbls, nearly new…

WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28" bbls
WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28″ bbls

Here’s a chance to get a great SxS at a great price. This 20 gauge Webley & Scott Model 700 SxS is on Gunbroker.com now, and it’s being sold without a reserve. The listing ends on 7/26/2016 @ 5:16 PM.

Scott M700s are the Timex watches of SxS, and this one is ready to take whatever licking you can give it. It’s built on Anson & Deeley-style boxlock actions, one of the finest shotgun designs ever created, and it looks unused and all original.

WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28" bbls
WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28″ bbls

WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28″ bbls: Up for auction is a beautiful Webley & Scott model 700 side x side shotgun. This is a 20 gauge with 28″ inch ejector barrels that are choked IC and Mod. The LOP is 14 3/4 and the DAH is 1 3/4. This gun is very light and has fantastic balance. The gun is in excellent condition with all original finish. This is a 1960’s vintage gun that is very high quality and very hard to find. You will not be disappointed with this fine shotgun.

WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28" bbls
WEBLEY & SCOTT Model 700 BLE, 20ga, 28″ bbls
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