I am not just obsessed with wildlife, it is my passion. That is why I hunt, fish and explore in the outdoors. We went to New Mexico for an end of the year hunt. We arrived early afternoon, got settled and decided to go on an adventure with my new PhoneSkope.
That time of day the deer are scattered all over the place. We went on a drive, yep road hunting, to see if we could catch a glimpse of a nice buck strolling around. We saw two little bucks who were on the fight. They were hanging out with about two-tons of does. I was lucky enough to catch them on film.
The week went by and our hunt was over. On our way out we decided we might as well go for another drive and see what may be up and moving. Sure enough, some bigger boys were out .Unfortunately, the monster stayed where we couldn’t get a good angle to see his pretty antlers. The others showed off long enough for me to get some footage before they headed into the trees and we couldn’t see them any more.
A left-handed 20 gauge at the Benelli booth! My Little Gal would be so excited if I surprised her with a left handed model in this premium shotgun.
ACCOKEEK, MD – Benelli is proud to introduce the very first 20-gauge autoloader, specifically designed and made for left-handed shooters. For years left-hand shooters have been ignored or forgotten with very few gunmakers offering left-hand versions of their guns-and when they do the choice of models is very limited. Benelli has changed all that by offering more left-hand versions of their shotguns than any other firearms manufacturer.The latest left-hand model from Benelli is the M2 Field in 20 gauge, available in a black synthetic stock with GripTight®, a synthetic, high-tech over-coating bonded to the stock and fore-end that is weather-resistant and provides a sure grip, wet or dry. Optional combs are available to adjust the comb height from standard, to raised or extra-high heights.
The ComforTech® stock features a gel butt pad specifically designed to fit the left shoulder. The Benelli Engineers studied the surface of the shoulder and then designed an ergonomic gel-pad made from material developed by the medical industry that’s specifically contoured for maximum contact with the shoulder surface for maximum shock absorption. Optional butt pads include a short pad providing a 14-inch L.O.P. a medium pad providing a 14â…œ LOP (standard) and a long pad providing a 14¾ LOP. The M2 Field 20 Ga. left-hand also comes with a set of shims for adjusting the buttstock’s drop and cast.
“Benelli has always provided our customers with the largest selection of semi-automatic shotguns in the world. That includes the largest offering of left-hand shotguns as well, but until now, only in 12-gauge,” said Stephen McKelvain, Benelli USA’s VP of Marketing. “Our selection just increased with the introduction of the first left-hand semi-auto 20-gauge on the market. Our customers asked and we responded with a 20-gauge version of the M2 Lefty-a gun the southpaws have been dreaming about for a long time.”
COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Magazine Capacity: 3+1 Crio® Chokes: C,IC,M,IM,F
Sights: Red bar front sight Length of Pull: 14-â…œ” Drop at Heel: 2-¼”
Drop at Comb: 1-½” (Includes shim kit to adjust drop and cast). Overall length: 47.3″
Finish: Black synthetic. Weight: 5.8lbs. Minimum Recommended Load: Use 2-½-dram, â…ž-oz. loads in all Benelli 20-ga. semi-auto shotguns MSRP: $1519
My weekdays are primarily shared between the Little Gal and work so on the weekend I do my best to get outdoors. I don’t watch TV often, but last winter I did get to catch an episode of a friend/fellow Prois Staffer’s show on the Sportsman’s Channel which I really enjoyed.
I first met Jana Waller in 2011 at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. As we introduced ourselves at the Prois booth my first impression was that she was kind hearted and genuinely down to earth. She and her camera man, Jim Kinsey, chatted with Hank and I and told us of their mission to create a show incorporating hunting, conservation and Jana’s famous skulls. We both thought the idea was great and couldn’t wait to see the huntress on the flat screen.
I caught the first episode last winter and truly enjoyed it. As I said, I am not around often so I felt it was unfortunate that I didn’t get to see more of Jana’s shows. When I saw the season 1 dvd set come available, I purchased it right away along with a Skull Bound T-shirt for my Little Gal. The Little Gal just loves the shirt and is currently watching Jana’s shows. Me? I watched nearly four hours of content right away and enjoyed every minute of it. The cinematography was outstanding, and I have been told season two will be even better. I’m going to have to get that one too.
I highly recommend the show to hunters and non-hunters alike. It is great to “travel the world with” Jana Waller as your host. She share’s the highs as well as the lows of her hunts (which I find impressive because not every show ends with a harvest). She and Jim have included a “Conservation Minute” in each episode to help educate the viewer on hunting, conservation and how we can all make a difference. They share the cultures of the people in the areas they spend time in with you the viewer, and you feel the friendship that is created along their journeys. You of course will also see unique and amazing skulls, both raw as well as embellished with Jana’s one of a kind beading and painting.
I am excited for my Little Gal to watch the excellent hunting and conservation ethics portrayed in the episodes and think you should take a moment to enjoy them as well.
Hank & I attended SHOT Show last winter in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an outstanding show with so many exhibitors, it is always exciting to see. My most memorable experience of the trip was the day prior to the show when we went to Media Day at the Range. This is a National Shooting Sports Foundation sponsored event where suppliers and manufactures bring their latest and greatest items for the media to field test. This year I was invited up to the Franchi tent to try a couple of shotguns. It was a windy day and despite the sun, it was freezing cold. I was excited to try the new guns and shoot with my friends but forgot all about that when I got to meet the legendary Joe Coogan, host of Benelli on Assignment.
I am often soft spoken and like to observe and listen before blabbering away. This was no different when I met Mr. Coogan, other than I was speechless. I was fortunate enough to take a couple of tips from him as I attempted to shoot clays from the sky. Needless to say, I am much more accustomed to being alone, or with my daughter, aka Little Gal, in the woods or marsh hunting when I am firing a shot gun. I was overcome by “stage fright” and wasn’t hitting a whole lot of anything. I think Mr. Coogan may have sensed my excitement as he said “load two for Mia.” And I promptly blasted both clays from the sky. WHEW! “Thank you Mr. Coogan!” What an experience and wonderful way to start the trip.
One of the shotguns I tested was the new Franchi Affinity. It is an Inertia Driven ®,semiautomatic shotgun that is very light weight. It is made of aluminum alloy with steel inserts making it perfect for both bird hunting and shooting clay targets. I generally shoot 12 gauge for hunting, but at the range I tested the 20 gauge Affinity.
I pen a blog for the Women’s Outdoor News called Mia and the Little Gal and share my & my daughter’s adventures in the outdoors, shooting, hunting and fishing. I am always looking for ways to get her involved as well as make her experiences more enjoyable. I take the Little Gal along any chance I get, but this event is limited to attendees 16 and older so the Little Gal was not able to tag along. I of course thought of her along the way and after shooting the Affinity, I had a couple of questions for Mr. Coogan about the gun and youth models. I met up with him at the SHOT Show and he explained the features of the guns. The line does not have a specific youth profile, but it did have some great characteristics for a young lady.
The 20 gauge weighs in at an amazing 5.6 pounds. That is light enough for my Little Gal to hunt with.
The synthetic stock also makes it light weight. This feature would be ideal for the Little Gal as she sits motionless waiting for a tom to present himself.
I was also excited to hear the 20 gauge holds up to a 3” shell, perfect for a Little Gal turkey hunting.
It has interchangeable chokes and comes with an Improved Cylinder (IC), Modified (M) and Full (F). That means the Little Gal can shoot clays, doves, duck and geese.
The Affinity also had a standard fiber optic site that draws your eye right where it needs to be when shooting.
The Inertia Driven® system of the Affinity also means the gun has minimal recoil. This combined with the recoil pad seemed to eliminate the “kick”. This is not something I tend to notice myself, but the Little Gal does, and it obviously made acquiring my second clay target at the range a lot easier and faster.
The new Franchi Affinity is not available in a youth model, but with all the standard features, it sure looks like it would be a nice fit for an adolescent shooter like the Little Gal.
“COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Magazine Capacity: 4+1 Chokes: IC,M,F and wrench Length of Pull: 14.25″ Drop at Heel: Adjustable 2-2.5″ Drop at Comb: 1.5″ Type of Sights: Fiber optic red-bar front sight Minimum recommended load: 3-dram, 1-1/8 ounce; 20-Gauge 7/8 ounce, 1275 FPS.”
The Little Gal was fortunate enough to receive a compound bow for Christmas. We practice shooting three to four times a week and she is really getting pretty good. If any of you have spent any time shooting targets with a compound or crossbow, you probably know it can sometimes be hard to pull your arrow from the block or bag. This is no different for a Little Gal.
I recently received a Bednar Perfect Puller™ from TenPoint Crossbow Technologies®. It is an arrow puller that was named after and initially developed by Bill Bednar, the late Hall of Fame Archer. Its design allows you to easily pull arrows especially from high density targets. I decided since the Little Gal sometimes has trouble getting her arrows out of the target, she would be the perfect one to test this product.
The Bednar Perfect Puller proved to be very easy to use. It is similar to a pair of pliers and fits easily in your hand. The Little Gal is left-handed so it was a pleasure to learn that it works equally well in the right or wrong hand pullers. (haha!) Note: She didn’t think that was funny.
The puller has interchangeable grippers and can fit the shaft of a standard compound bow arrow as well as the larger shaft of a crossbow bolt. It also grips equally well on carbon or aluminum.
The Little Gal was excited to hit her mark with her arrows and then to give the new puller a try. She easily gripped it in her hand and pulled straight back to remove her arrow from the target. It was much easier than grasping the arrow and pulling with her hands. The puller did not move as it gripped and in no time at all the Little Gal had retrieved her arrows from the target and was ready to shoot again. When I asked the Little Gal her favorite thing about the arrow puller she said she thought it was great that she could pull the arrow out with one hand. She was also excited at how quick she could pull all the arrows even if they were close together. Her hands were not red, sore or tired. I noted that the puller is hunter orange so when it accidentally gets set down on the range, in the dirt or various other places it is easy to find. The handles also have a notch built-in that doubles as a nock tool for your arrows.
Speaking of the puller being left in various locations. The puller was left on the table out at the range and unknowingly made it through a snow storm. This means moisture, freezing cold and of course high UV rays. I doubted that it would continue to grip after surviving the weather. When we used the puller again it continued to perform just as well as the day we pulled it from the package.
The perfect puller will be available April 4, 2012 at various archery shops as well as through TenPoint. Suggested retail is $20.00 and well worth the money for any archer.
Life gets busy and time seems to just slip through our hands. I am like everyone else and have a busy life. WAY back in August, I won a photo. It was from the July caption contest at the Women’s Outdoor News (theWON). I typically say “I never win anything.” but guess what?! I can’t say that anymore!
This particular contest was exciting for me because not only was I supporting the WON, I was also getting a chance to own my VERY OWN Stacey Huston photograph! I rarely participate in these, but I saw the image for this monthly caption contest and instantly entered my thoughts. (note: you can’t win if you don’t enter) After that I forgot about it until I was at our county fair and received a message that I was the winner and also the proud new owner of a Stacey Huston! I was very excited to say the least.
I received the photo in August and right away I knew it had to have a special place in the house. I dropped it off to be framed and matted and then headed off for my vacation in the Gulf of Mexico. As I said, time flies! That was August and I received the beautifully framed photograph just before my birthday in September. I deemed it “a birthday present from the WON“! It really wasn’t but many of you know the whole month of September is celebrated as MY birthday – by ME! So anything wonderful that happens during September is of course labeled with “birthday” forMia by Mia!
I picked a spot for my new artwork and hung it right away. Then I headed out on my bear hunt for the rest of the month. Not another spare moment… Time still flying. Now it is October, and I had a moments break this weekend. I took the morning to clean and dust all our mounts and other items in the house. Then TAH-DAH! There in it’s very own special spot is my “Stacey”. It is an adorable picture of a cute little fawn. Hank says it “softens” the room a little bit. Can you believe that? From Hank? He and the Little Gal like it too. They say it has a special place among the other artwork and mounts in the room. We see such wonderful things in our outdoor adventures all the time. Stacey just caught a precious moment with her camera and now it is ours to share.
I had to give a word about it, FINALLY, because it is such a great photo and the photographer is such a wonderful lady, and the WON has this contest so I think you should stop by and check it out. While you are there, enter a caption and then you have a chance to win too. Many days, weeks, and now a couple of months have passed, but THANK YOU! I won it at the WON! (for my birthday! *wink, wink*)
It is turkey season for us in Colorado right now. I’ve been out a couple of times, and have had two great evenings. This year I am hunting my bird with a bow. It is such a challenge and a lot of fun.
A few days ago Hank and I sat and called and called a tom from one ridge over and across the valley. We worked him and worked him and it just seemed he was hung up at the bottom of the hill. He wasn’t coming. Hank decided to head home, and I told him I was staying until last light or at least until I could “put him to bed”. That means wait until I could figure out where he would roost for the night.
I sat and waited and called a little bit. Then he gobbled to me. Yes! I waited and called a little more and then he gobbled again. I gobbled back. He was still hung up at the bottom of the hill… I thought!
Before I knew it there he was! He was directly to my left and not more than 10 yards away. A HUGE tom! He had back doored me! Dang! I waited and waited and then we heard branches break behind me. It was a couple of cow elk. The tom took a couple of steps and then took flight. He sailed away across the valley. Beautiful! What a rush to be staring him eye to eye for those few seconds.
I was still able to roost some other birds, but wouldn’t be able to come out the next morning because I had to take the Little Gal to school.
We waited until the following evening and we set out again. This time the Little Gal wanted to come, and we are so happy she did. We headed over to set up our decoys and right away saw three jakes at the bottom of the hill strutting away. We moved our location and set up, hiding the Little Gal in the front so she could have first crack.
We began calling and in a matter of moments the jakes were coming through the trees. I whispered to the Little Gal that they were within range and she could take which ever one she wanted. She steadied her shotgun and waited. They turned and headed back, and I told her to wait. Hank called behind us and they returned. This happened a couple of times and then I chirped in a couple calls to entice them a little more. The three headed directly in front of us and cruised right past our decoys and to the other side. All the while I was shaking and trembling. “Shoot one! Shoot one!” I whispered to myself. Nothing.
The jakes were passed and still within range. There was brush here and there obscuring a clear shot, but definitely shots. We wondered if the Little Gal was just in shock. The jakes headed around and down another hill. We repositioned and Hank and I called again. This time with me in the front. If she wasn’t going to do it, I was.
Here they came again! I couldn’t believe it! It was awesome! I waited until they were behind a tree and drew my bow up. I shook and trembled with excitement. “Steady, steady. Take a deep breath. Relax.” I steadied myself and relaxed and held that bow up for what seemed like hours. FINALLY. There he was and a clear shot. I touched my trigger and an arrow flew. DANG! Right below him. I reached for another arrow and pulled it back as quickly as I could. I released another arrow as he ran over the edge of the hill. Nothing. WOW!!!
My adrenaline ran hard, and I was SO EXCITED! This is my first year to hunt a bird with a bow and I had gotten the first time jitters out of the way on a super awesome evening. I’ll be back after them soon.
I feel so blessed to have the times I do in the outdoors. On the way home here is the awesome view we had. Wow! Mother Nature is spectacular isn’t she? What a blessed day!