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Papaw’s Gun: The Real McCoy

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Papaw’s Gun: The Real McCoy

Halfway through a box of lavish bismuth shot, watching yet another rooster soar (unscathed) into the sunrise, I began to question my devotion to the idea. The echoes from the peanut gallery didn’t help my confidence in the matter. Are you sure you don’t want to go back to the truck and swap out guns? I worked the bolt and dismissed the notion of swapping guns. To do that would be to quit, and that wasn’t going to happen. It was the second day of our hunt, somewhere in that...

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The Sage & Braker Gun Cleaning Mat: Crafting A Modern Heirloom

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The Sage & Braker Gun Cleaning Mat: Crafting A Modern Heirloom

I think there’s something to be said in using an old worn out stained towel with heavy remnants of gun solvent, with a hint of gunpowder smell imbedded in its fibers, when cleaning our firearms. We’ve all done it or still use a “towel-like” rag to lay our guns upon. Historically when firearms were invented, I bet you an old garment or piece of cloth was used as a makeshift gun cleaning mat. Heck, maybe even an animal pelt! Hundreds of years later, the gun cleaning mat really hasn’t evolved....

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I Blame It On the Dog

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I Blame It On the Dog

My wirehair Flick is just three years old, so I’m trying to cut him some slack, but truth be told, he is the cause of all my misses. If it weren’t for his distracting me on our hunts together, I’d shoot a much greater percentage of the birds I’m told by so-called “experts” are out there.       It starts with his looks. Wirehairs are among the continental dog breeds affectionately called “ugly dogs,” for their bushy beards, eyebrows, and generally frazzled appearance. Usually, by “ugly” we mean “cute,” which is...

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Shoot Better – Pay Attention to Your Dog

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Shoot Better – Pay Attention to Your Dog

If no feathers fly after a tail-stiffening point, you’ve disappointed your dog to no end. A shotgun that fits, functions, and pleases us aesthetically is worthless unless we achieve success when we pull the trigger. With the start of most hunting seasons, I thought we should talk about how our shooting success is largely a result of how we relate to our dog.   Thinking like a dog can help our shooting whether we carry a rusty old pump gun or a sleek Italian work of art. Sure, give your shotgun...

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The Opener: Your Checklist Just Got Longer

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The Opener: Your Checklist Just Got Longer

We are down to the wire. For most of us, the opener is a matter of days away, with all the joys and trepidation that come with the start of a new bird hunting season. We’ve waited, planned, practiced, anticipated, maybe dreaded, everything from the alarm clock’s buzz to the smell of Sage & Braker’s CLP, to the post-hunt celebration.   Okay, I’ll say it: kind of like Christmas Eve.   But ensuring a fantastic opener takes more than trusting to luck. Relying on a wing and a prayer is...

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Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

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Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Confession: I am a conservatory-trained classical musician, tutored in the fine art of “perfect practice makes perfect.” Nothing less was acceptable to my professors, let alone picky audiences or symphony conductors hiring the best talent they could find.   Please don’t hold it against me; I’m searching for a twelve-step program but can’t find one – yet. Fortunately, I’ve left that business, but the obsession to do things right has now manifested itself in my shooting. Again.   If you watch my TV show, you know it hasn’t quite taken...

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