Happening today: A great gun, a great cause: Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 …

Here your chance to get one and help a great cause: Bid on the Tall Timbers Gun Volume III: Beretta Custom SL3 Field Gun today, 9/27, starting at 4pm
Bid on the Tall Timbers Gun Volume III: Beretta Custom SL3 Field Gun today, 9/27, starting at 4pm

Here your chance to get one and help a great cause: Bid on the Tall Timbers Gun Volume III: Beretta Custom SL3 Field Gun today, 9/27, starting at 4pm

I was at Beretta’s factory in 2018 when they launched the SL3. It’s an impressive gun, and one I would be proud to own. (You can read my story about it in Shooting Sportsman mag here)

Here’s more about this Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 OU from the folks at Tall Timbers:

Happening today: A great gun, a great cause: Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 ...
Happening today: A great gun, a great cause: Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 …

“A Quail Gun with a Cause”. Tall Timbers Gun III, Custom Stocked Hand-Engraved Beretta SL3

Tallahassee, Fla. August 26, 2020 ― Number Three in the Tall Timbers Gun series is, appropriately, the SL3, the newest offering from Beretta’s famed Premium Division in Gardone, Italy. The SL3 was introduced in 2018, first as a 12-gauge capable of withstanding high-volume punishment from driven-game shooters in Britain. Beretta designed it to be agile and responsive in the hands, yet capable of enduring hundreds of thousands of rounds, including hard-to-digest steel- and other hard non-toxic shot — in other words, a 21st Century version of a best game gun. Last year, the world’s oldest gunmaker unveiled its sleeker, lighter sibling in 20-gauge, perfect for American upland hunters, and ideal for those who pursue bobwhites behind bird dogs.

Ready for your custom stock dimensions: Happening today: A great gun, a great cause: Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 ...
Ready for your custom stock dimensions: Happening today: A great gun, a great cause: Custom Tall Timbers Beretta SL3 …

The SL3 is a symbiosis between Beretta’s centuries-old craft heritage and its state-of-the-art command of modern metallurgy and manufacturing capabilities. Shotguns produced by the latter method, often designed by engineers, can be handsome and affordable and are usually relentlessly reliable, but can lack the grace and beauty and subtle handling attributes of those made by a skilled craftsman’s hands and eyes. But with handiwork in increasingly short supply worldwide, it is ever more expensive — a traditional handcrafted best gun will cost as much as a Porsche 911, and often much, much more.

At the range with Beretta's new SL3 OU
Me at the range in Italy with Beretta’s new SL3 OU back in 2018

The SL3 was purpose-made to bridge the gulf between man and machine. Ferdinando Belleri —the traditionally-trained master gunmaker who captains the Beretta custom shop — designed it with other elite old-school craftsmen, but its components are machined with exacting precision in the larger factory. These return to the custom shop — Beretta Due, as it’s called — and under Belleri’s eagle-eyed supervision every SL3 is assembled, hand-fit and finished to the standards which Beretta premium guns are known for. The result is a hybrid — with the beauty of Beretta’s sidelock SO10, and the durability of its Olympic medal-winning DT11 competition guns, and far less expensive than the former.

Bid on the Tall Timbers Gun Volume III: Beretta Custom SL3 Field Gun today, 9/27, starting at 4pm

As with the first two Tall Timbers guns—the first by bespoke Italian maker Luciano Bosis, the second by Scotland’s renowned David McKay Brown — this year’s gun is an international collaboration headed by Tall Timbers CEO William Palmer, assisted by Shooting Sportsman Senior Editor Vic Venters. For the second time, noted American artist C.D. Clarke was enlisted to provide artwork — of flushing bobwhite against a backdrop of the famous fire research grounds at Tall Timbers — to serve as a template for the SL3’s hand-engraved game scene on the base of the action. Standard SL3s come either with a plain highly polished action, or with English-style rose & scroll, or full game scenes, or deep floral scroll, engraved to superb standards by Beretta’s five-axis laser technology. The Tall Timbers Beretta combines the deep floral scroll with the hand-engraved bobwhite scene to distinguish it from all others. Premium Beretta dealer Rich Cole, of Cole Fine Guns & Gunsmithing — often dubbed “Mister Beretta” for his expertise on the line — was instrumental in recruiting Beretta for the third Tall Timbers gun. Cole, headquartered in Naples, Florida, and one of America’s pre-eminent dealers of fine Italian shotguns, traveled to Gardone to hand-select the highly figured walnut blank and to coordinate the custom engraving with Beretta. The gun has been headed up, but the stock left unfinished so that it can be custom fit by Cole to the purchaser’s bespoke stock dimensions. It will then be made-to-measure, hand-checkered and finished out in his workshop.

Action on the Beretta's new SL3 OU
Action on the Beretta’s new SL3 OU

So equipped, the lucky new owner should never miss another bobwhite, but should it happen, it will be for a good cause — wild quail conservation.

Bid on the Tall Timbers Gun Volume III: Beretta Custom SL3 Field Gun today, 9/27, starting at 4pm

Warning: You will be jealous. Watch All Wild, quail hunting in AZ …

Patrick Flanaganm Border to Border Outfitters, is a wanderer, a dog lover, and a bird hunter. Living-the-dream he chases wild birds from Minnesota and South Dakota to Arizona. The guys at Project Upland caught up with him and some clients on a wild quail hunt. Check out this great film to join them: All Wild – An Arizona Quail Hunting Film

Hunting Mearns, Scaled, and Gambel's Quail in Arizona - All Wild - A Project Upland Original Film
Hunting Mearns, Scaled, and Gambel’s Quail in Arizona – All Wild – A Project Upland Original Film

Temperate, expansive and beautiful — bird hunting in Arizona proves the Grand Canyon State offers so much more.

Hunting Mearns, Scaled, and Gambel's Quail in Arizona - All Wild - A Project Upland Original Film
Hunting Mearns, Scaled, and Gambel’s Quail in Arizona, from All Wild – A Project Upland Original Film

Flushing awesome: Wild Quail Hunting In Texas

I’m pretty sure I posted this video from the Quail Coalition before. But it’s such a great look into a type of hunting I would love to experience that I figured why not check it out again.

This video shows as sorts of wild Texas quail doing what every hunter wants them to see them do: busting out in crazy flushes. And notice they hunters not using cockers or flushing-whips to get the birds in the air. That’s because these quail are the real deal.

Flushing awesome: Wild Quail Hunting In Texas from the Quail Coalition ...
Flushing awesome: Wild Quail Hunting In Texas from the Quail Coalition …

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…

Good gun alert: 28g Gamba Principessa SxS …

Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock
Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock

Here’s what I call a can’t-go-wrong double. It’s a Renato Gamba Principessa 28 gauge built on a rugged Anson & Deeley action. It weighs six pounds and it looks pretty much new. Price — a very reasonable $1599.

Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock
Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock

Renato Gamba is Italian maker better known in the US for their Daytona OU target guns than their SxS game guns. I’ve seen a few of their boxlock SxSs. Each one has been a nice double, and I’m sure this one would be a great upland gun.

Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock
Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS Boxlock

Renato Gamba ~ Principessa ~ 28 Gauge SxS BoxlockExcellent condition overall. Price: $1,599.99 
Manufacturer: Circa: 1981
Caliber: 28 Gauge
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Excellent
Barrels: 26″ Blued Steel with Tapered Rib
Triggers: Single Non-Selective Trigger
Stock: Checkered Deluxe Walnut Straight Grip Butt Stock
Stock Dimensions:
DAC: 1 1/2″, DAH: 1 3/4″, Cast off: 3/8″, LOP: 13 1/4
Fore End: Checkered Walnut Semi-Splinter Fore Arm
Butt Pad: Leather Covered Butt Pad
Weight: 6 lbs.
Sights: Single Bead
Chokes: Fixed: Modified & Improved Cylinder

I don’t care about no stinkin’ ribbons. Until I think we might win one…

Northern NH Bird Dog Club 2018 Annual Trial, Stark, NH
Northern NH Bird Dog Club 2018 Annual Trial, Stark, NH

Only one thing sucks more than planted quail: cold, wet, planted quail.

In the best conditions, planted quail prefer running to flushing. When these birds are cold and wet, they’re as likely to fly as a frog or groundhog.

And cold, wet planted quail, plus a handful of well-trained bird dogs, is what Lexi and I faced off against at the Northern NH Bird Dog Club 2018 Annual Trial.

This trial ran from April 27-29. We were in Sunday’s Amateur Shooting Dog stake. It was a cold, cloudy day. Rain shifted back-and-forth from drizzling to pouring.

 

Lexi was in the third brace (there were only 4 in the entire stake). She had a great run, stayed in the pocket the whole time, handled perfectly, and, as you can see in the videos, the didn’t let those lousy quail throw her off her game (or make her break point). By the time we finished the course, I thought for sure we would be taking home a yellow ribbon.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. While I was disappointed, Lexi didn’t mind. She just had fun chasing birds.

A furious flush of wild quail…

A Hifive Kennels success story: Thornapple Cody, Runner-up CH 2017 ABHA North Country Walking Shooting Dog Championship
Hifive’s RU-CH Thornapple Cody

I love videos of pointing dogs and wild quail.

This is another from Hifive Kennels, and it features a setter named Ginny.

If you hang around the coverdog field trial circuit at all, you probably know Hifive. Located 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 see these wild quail flush…

Hifive Kennels, CH Titanium's Jacksin. Pic from hifivekennels.com
Hifive Kennels, CH Titanium’s Jacksin. Pic from hifivekennels.com

I’ve always wanted to hunt wild bobwhites. Watch this video to see on reason why.

Check out hard these birds bust cover and how high and fast they fly. Notice the handler doesn’t need a flushing whip or a Cocker spaniel to get them up and going.

That great-looking pointer is Hifive Kennels’ Champion Titanium’s Jacksin. Hifive is well-known kennel out of Beulah, MI. They’ve been breeding, training, and trialing dogs for 20+ years, and they’ve produced a long list of great dogs.

The State of Quail: A video by Texas Parks & Wildlife …

The State of Quail: A video by Texas Parks & Wildlife ...
The State of Quail: A video by Texas Parks & Wildlife …

Everyone knows quail populations are falling across the U.S.

Texas is trying to reverse this trend. In this video you can learn a bit about what they’re doing to help these little gamebirds.

Check it out. There’s lot of great footage of all types of quail plus prairie chickens and other game.

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.

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.

Wow – what a quail gun: 28 gauge Joseph Manton / Purdey SXS …

Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels

Joseph Manton was one of the finest gunmakers of the 19th century and one of the most influential gunmakers in British history. His work set the standard and the course for the 180+ years of Best quality gunmaking that came after him.

A handful of men who worked for Manton– including James Purdey, Thomas Boss and William Greener–followed his standards and founded some of the most important makers in the British gun trade.

Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels

Joseph Manton work was so good that  Colonel Peter Hawker, the 19th century sportsman and writer, is said to have called Manton ‘The greatest artist in firearms that ever the world produced.”

Unfortunately, other than its name and the traditions it carries on, the double you see here has no connection Joseph Manton or to the Manton family. Instead, it was made in the 1980s by a team of British craftsmen, one of whom owned the rights to the name Joseph Manton.

Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels

Regardless, it’s not the name on the gun that matters, but rather skill that went into building it. And from what I can see, a tremendous amount of skill went into building this side-by-side.

(BTW: Since this gun was made, the name Joseph Manton name passed to other owners. You can find out more about the guns they’re building here.)

Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels: 2-3/4″ chambers, auto-ejectors, choked tight improved cylinder and modified (.009/.016).  London proof 1986.  Narrow tapered raised game rib.  Built on a finely scaled Purdey-type self-opening action.  Extensively engraved with a bold foliate scroll and vibrant case color hardened finish.  Single trigger, auto-safe.  Straight hand stock of classic French walnut with contrasting grain and black and gold fiddleback measures 14-1/8″ to a checkered butt, splinter forend.  The diminutive size is reflected as this little gun tips the scale at a mere 5 lbs, 3 oz.  The 28″ barrels give this gun a forward bias and truly lively feel in the hand! Simply outstanding!  Cased in lightweight leather trunk case. Price: $57,000

Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28" barrels
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels

Power duo: Quail hunting with a Pointer and a Cocker …

Here’s something I’ve always wanted to try. From what I’v read, this is how folks hunt quail on a lot of the plantations down south.

This video just shows a great looking Pointer doing what these dogs do so well.

Great dog work: Caladen’s DaVinci owns a covey of quail …

Running birds can really frazzle some bird dogs. But not this one. Caladen’s DaVinci handles this can’t-stay-still covey of quail like a real pro — not bad for a long hair.

It’s nice to see a handler that lets the dog work, too. There’s no screaming of commands, just confidence and total faith in his four-legged partner.

Wow – great video, awesome quail hunting at Sinkola…

Image @ Sinkola Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
Image @ Sinkola Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.

Sinkola Plantation is one of Georgia’s legendary quail plantations. Located in Thomasville, it still offers wild bird hunts in the traditional Southern style. This video does a great job of capturing what that experience is all about.

Congrats to Miller’s Dialing In: The 2015 National Champion…

Miller's Dialing In. 2015 National Champion. Owned and handled by Gary Lester. Photo by Jamie Evans.
Miller’s Dialing In. 2015 National Champion. Owned and handled by Gary Lester. Photo by Jamie Evans.

The 116th running of the granddaddy of all field trial — the National Championship – started last month on Monday, February 9, 2015, at the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, TN. Forty eight dogs were nominated to run this year — seven setters and forty one pointers, and when the trial was over, one rose to the top: Miller’s Dialing In.

The National Championship for Bird Dogs was first run in 1869, and it has been held at the Ames Plantation since 1915.

See videos from the 2015 National Championship here.

See pics and videos of the 2015 National Champion Miller’s Dialing In here.

In this video you can see a beautiful double point with Touch’s Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn’s Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on. Watch those quail fly.

Touch's Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn's Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on
Touch’s Adams County and handler, Randy Anderson (R) and Raelyn’s Skyy backing as handler Andy Daugherty looks on

 

In this video, you can see Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson. I think you can hear another handler “singing” to his dog in the background.

Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson
Audubon Americus on his first find with handler, Rich Robertson

 

This one shows Caladen’s Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder. Again, watch those birds bust out of there.

Caladen's Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder
Caladen’s Rail Hawk on his second find with handler, Dr. Fred Corder

 

In this last one, you can see 2015 National Champion Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.

Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.
Dialing In on his second find in the Horseshoe. A big, healthy covey flushes above Dialing In and Gary.

Answering the Call: Virginia’s Quail Recovery Initiative

Lynn Bogue Hunt Quail painting
Lynn Bogue Hunt Quail painting

I encourage you to check out this piece about attempts to restore quail populations in Virginia.

Upland game bird populations are in trouble in many parts of the country. Programs like these are one way we can help.

I added this video just for the fun. This award-winning quail caller can make some amazing sounds just by whistling. Uncanny. Hold on until the end to hear to get a covey of quail to attack you.

A great looking .410 by Francotte, in super nice condition…

August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls

Here’s a nice little double. This Francotte is a 14E – one step up from the company’s field grade Knock About model. It’s looks all original, and I bet it would be a fantastic quail gun.

August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbl: 2 1/2″ chambers, m/f, 14 1/8″ LOP, 2 5/8″ DH, 1 3/8″ DC, 4lb. 2oz., hand rubbed oil finish. All original, untouched, unmolested gun. Manufactured in 1925, with letters and other documentation from Griffin & Howe, the authority on Francottes. Stamped Francotte Choke Bore. Gun is in about 90% condition, no cracks, dents, gouges or deep scratches in wood. BBl retain most of their original color. Metal is in excellent condition with about 85% blue remaining. Engraving is also excellent. Price: $9750

August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26" bbls
August Francotte 14E SxS Shotgun .410, 26″ bbls

Trying to end the decline of Bobwhite Quail in West Texas…

Texas used to be the last stronghold of wild bobwhite quail – especially the western part of the start. Unfortunately, it looks like the bird’s numbers are falling there just like they’re falling throughout the US. Sporting Classic Daily posted this video about one group trying to turn things around for Gentleman Bob.

Operation Idiopathic Decline is the largest disease and parasite study every done on quail. It’s trying to figure out why west Texas’s quail population is collapsing, and they’re trying to find a way to stop this decline.

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