Ask the Consultants: Good Canine, Gun Snobs, and Why You Want Pants


For our second installment of Ask the Experts, F&S’s “old school” and “a bit stodgy” shotguns editor, Phil Bourjaily, is on the spot to reply your queries about why he hunts with such fancy guns, just like the Mossberg 835, why he likes boring gun dogs, which article of clothes he deems completely important on any hunt, and rather more. Listed here are your questions and his solutions.

Q: What’s the greatest retrieve you’ve ever seen a gun canine make? —Dave Davidson, through e mail

A: Moreover discovering birds you would possibly in any other case lose, a retriever’s job is to save lots of you steps, time, and energy. By that measure, probably the most good retrieve ever was by Colby, F&S whitetails editor Scott Bestul’s golden, on a pheasant hunt years in the past. We have been strolling again to the truck when Colby dove into the street ditch, emerged with a package deal of frozen, wrapped meat stamped “floor venison” in his mouth, and gave it to Scott. I believed, Nicely that saves you some bother, doesn’t it?


Q: Why are you such a gun snob? —Caleb Kirby, through e mail

A: Gun snob, moi? I hunt turkeys with a Mossberg 835 I purchased for $175, for goodness’ sake. You must spend time round some actual gun snobs.

It’s true that I want walnut and blued metal to plastic and Cerakote, however that doesn’t make me a snob, it makes me old school and out-of-date. Additionally it is true that I want the comfort and security elements of break-action weapons for upland birds, though I’ve shot loads with pumps and semiautos. Once more, that doesn’t make me a snob, simply stodgy.

Additionally it is true, nonetheless, that low cost weapons depress me except they work (like my Mossberg 835), and I consider you ought to be keen to spend greater than the worth of a 55-inch TV for a shotgun your youngsters and grandkids can shoot. So if that opinion makes me a gun snob, I’m okay with it.


Q: Is the 870 Specific a terrific all-around gun or is it higher off in a cop automotive? —Joe W, through Instagram

A: It relies on the classic of the Specific. These made through the Freedom Group years of the aughts and teenagers have been horrible weapons with many issues, together with tough chambers that wouldn’t let go of empties. You wouldn’t need a kind of in a squad automotive or wherever else. The corporate really gave me an Specific in 2007, and I threw it away. All Expresses have rock-hard butt pads and bead-blasted metallic that begins to rust should you have a look at it. And but, as a result of I’m such a gun snob, I’ve solely two Expresses proper now, a 12 and a 20. One was made within the 90s, the opposite, final yr. They each work very dependably and could be nice all-around weapons if I wanted them to be, particularly the 20-gauge.


Q: GSPs are boring. They’re the .30/06 of gun canine. Am I flawed? —Wilson Devries, through e mail

A: NFL nice Alex Karras as soon as mentioned that in his time on the College of Iowa, a booster paid him to maintain seaweed out of the soccer stadium. It takes about the identical quantity of effort to de-burr a German shorthair after a hunt. After proudly owning a setter and rising up with springers, I actually recognize that trait of the breed.

Shorthairs are additionally biddable, handsome, affectionate canine that hunt with pleasure and drive. They level with type and monitor cripples relentlessly. Regardless of their brief coats, they may run fortunately in climate that makes their underparts flip purple. Two of them are asleep at and on my toes proper now. Why would I would like anything?

Additionally, if I owned a centerfire, it could be a .30/06.


Q: My shotgun clicks on the primary shell, ejects, after which shoots the second shell wonderful. Why? —Nick Hayes, through Instagram

A: It does that since you haven’t taken it to a gunsmith but.


Q: What’s the worst title for a gun canine you’ve ever heard? —Kenneth Collinsworth, through e mail

A: Straightforward. “Pottawatomie.” My dad let me title his springer pet after I was 8 or 9. Pottawatomie glided by “Pup” for the remainder of his life. From that naming catastrophe, I realized two essential classes: First, gun canine want easy, easy-to-yell names. I now skew to the brief and unimaginative, reminiscent of Sam, Ike, Jed, and Zeke. Second, by no means give youngsters a alternative about something except you’re prepared to simply accept the end result.


Q: What’s the commonest means you’ve seen hunters damage, or at the very least harm, their shotguns? —Jared S, through Instagram

A: A shocking variety of folks I do know have blown up barrels by taking pictures them after plugging them with mud or snow. Equally shocking, all of those folks nonetheless have 10 fingers. (Every. Not in whole.)


Q: What’s your single greatest tip for a brand new duck hunter? —Jarod L, through Instagram

A: A lot as I dislike tattoos, I recommend you’ve got the next inked someplace in your particular person so that you keep in mind it at all times: “There are two locations you’ll be able to kill a duck. The place it needs to be and the place it doesn’t thoughts going.” These are the phrases of world duck-calling champion Jim Ronquest, not me, they usually comprise 95 p.c of what you have to learn about searching geese. Work out the place geese need to be. Get there earlier than they do. Throw out decoys. Conceal nicely. Shoot straight. Prepare dinner uncommon. Repeat.


Q: Everybody goes nuts about canned deer hunts, however they’re wonderful with canned pheasant hunts. Isn’t {that a} ridiculous double commonplace? —Rob Backstrom, through e mail

A: Sure, however there are variations. Launched hen hunts is usually a good approach to introduce folks to wingshooting. And nobody pays for a hen with large antlers, shoots it, then has it mounted and claims to have shot a fair-chase Booner. What I’ve at all times favored most about hen searching, although, is the sense that I’m having fun with the bounty of a wholesome panorama. For that cause, searching launched birds has little or no enchantment to me, irrespective of how good the operation.


Q: What’s the greatest finances shotgun for entering into sporting clays? —Maxwell H, through Instagram

A: In new weapons, that might be the Beretta A300 Sporting, which lists for $1,100, though the principle factor you get once you step as much as the Sporting model is 2 further inches of barrel size you could seemingly dwell with out if cash is, nicely, brief. Purchase any good new or used gasoline gun with some heft to it and a 28-inch barrel will work wonderful till you resolve a brand new gun will get you that one further goal.

If I have been going to compete critically at sporting clays, I’d discover a second Beretta 391 to go along with the one I already personal, purchase a spare half equipment, and be all set for means below the worth of a Perazzi or a Krieghoff.


Q: Why ought to shotgunning be an Olympic sport and never fly fishing? —Randy Smith, through e mail

A: Perhaps fly fishing must be. The Olympic shotgun disciplines are extremely demanding and enjoyable to shoot. However in addition they televise horribly. You may’t see the targets till they puff, and hardly anybody ever misses. Fly fishing, alternatively, would televise like professional wrestling. Folks would fall within the water and dangle up their backcasts. Completely different nations would give you secret, high-tech fly patterns and waders. Each every so often, somebody would catch a fish. Throw within the inevitable dishonest, doping, controversy, and animals-rights protests, and also you’ve most likely received a winner.


Q: New gun or outdated gun? —Michael Peterson, through e mail

A: Used gun. I want them to new weapons. I’ve some older weapons of ’40s and ’50s classic, however the ’80s and ’90s characterize the candy spot of weapons that have been nonetheless significantly better when it comes to match and end than most weapons are right this moment, but they’ve the fashionable advances of choke tubes, 2¾- and 3-inch interchangeability within the semiautos, and steel-shot compatibility.


Q: What’s one piece of clothes each outdoorsman ought to personal? —Cameron B, Instagram

A: Pants.


Associated: Ask the Experts: Gator Food, Cheap Ammo, and the Real Reason for New Cartridges

• Electronic mail your questions for David E. PetzalPhil BourjailyWill BrantleyRichard Mann, or Joe Cermele to readerquestions@fieldandstream.com.

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