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Welcome to ShotgunFan's Shot Talk section, where you will see brief, newsworthy items that for one reason or another can't be made into full-blown news articles. Despite the name, and in keeping with ShotgunFan's editorial policy, every effort will be made to avoid publishing outright rumors.
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   September 2008

Affordable vac packing 9/26/2008


Outdoor enthusiasts know the best way to preserve the flavor of the outdoors in their fish and game is to vacuum package the meat for freezing. However, until CTI Industries Corp created the new ZipVac Portable Food Storage System, they were limited to expensive, bulky home appliances that need electricity to vacuum and seal bags.

The ZipVac Portable Food Storage System is a new, unique and portable vacuum-packaging appliance for food or other items that need protection. It consists of reusable, freezable, microwavable, boilable, patented ZipVac bags, a portable, rechargeable electric vacuum pump and small manual hand-held pump which fit the patented valve system.

The ZipVac storage system was such a hit at the recent 2008 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show in Las Vegas, that it was awarded Best New Fishing Accessory from among dozens of new products.

"The ZipVac system is so simple to use," said CTI chairman John Schwan. "Other vacuum-packing products use big machines, open-ended bags and heat welding, and are limited to home use. With ZipVac you just load it, zip, then remove as much air as you like with either the rechargeable electric pump or small manual unit."

Vacuum packaging does not replace refrigeration or freezing. Perishable foods should still be stored properly. However, when vacuum packaged, food will last up to five times longer.

ZipVac kits are available in stores in a convenient box with lightweight manual and rechargeable pumps and a supply of ZipVac bags in a variety of sizes. The suggested retail price is $39.95 and additional storage bags are sold separately.

For more on ZipVac, click here.

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NHF Day arrives 9/26/2008


Photo: Wonders of Wildlife

Hunting and fishing events will be held across the country on Saturday to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day. The nationwide effort aims to bring national recognition and media attention to the value of hunting and fishing and reinforce their role in conservation.

"National Hunting and Fishing Day works to increase participation in angling and other outdoor sports, an important goal that our organization shares," said Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) president and CEO Frank Peterson. "We are pleased to promote this event that highlights the tremendous contribution these activities make to our economy and fish and wildlife management through fishing license sales and excise taxes on boating and fishing supplies."

Congress formalized National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1971 as a way to recognize hunters, anglers and conservation. The annual celebration promotes and builds public support for outdoor lifestyles. Wonders of Wildlife provides communications tools, event-planning tips, promotional items and free online resources to help build public appreciation for hunters and anglers.

Outdoor television star Michael Waddell (pictured) will serve as honorary chairman for this year's National Hunting and Fishing Day, which has an official home at the Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield, Mo.

"The key message behind this day is that conservation succeeds only because of America's 34 million hunters and anglers," said National Hunting and Fishing Day program coordinator Denise Wagner. "The nationwide celebration is enjoying growth in enthusiasm and participation and, I believe, influence on public support for outdoor lifestyles."

For more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day, click here.

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Hunters still read 9/26/2008
A majority of American hunters subscribe to at least two outdoor magazines, according to a recent survey.

In an August 2008 survey by HunterSurvey.com that asked hunters how many magazine subscriptions they have, two-thirds (about 67%) reported subscribing to two or more outdoor magazines. Only 14% reported that they have no outdoor magazine subscriptions at all.

The breakdown of responses was as follows: five or more magazine subscriptions, 16%; four subscriptions, 11%; three subscriptions, 17%; two subscriptions, 23% (the largest single response); and one subscription, 18%.

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Golden Pheasant in 28 9/25/2008
Fiocchi is now producing its popular Golden Pheasant load in 28-gauge. It features hard, nickel-plated shot designed to deliver enhanced penetration (even at the longest ranges), tighter patterns (due to the plating’s ability to resist barrel deformation) and clean kills of game birds.

The 28-gauge load is available in 2-3/4 inch shells with a maximum dram equivalent of 7/8-ounce of shot in sizes 5, 6, 7-1/2 or 8. Muzzle velocity is rated at 1,300 feet per second.

For more about Fiocchi, click here to visit the company's website.

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NHF Day in Germany 9/24/2008
Sometimes the best way to appreciate a special privilege is to imagine life without it. In recognition of American soldiers serving far from home this autumn, the U.S. Army is hosting a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration at its Heidelberg Rod and Gun Club near the U.S. military base in Heidelberg, Germany.

This lone overseas commemoration of National Hunting and Fishing Day is set for Sept. 27 to coincide with hundreds of events across the U.S. Visit www.NHFDay.org for listings.

Congress formalized the day in 1971 as a public reminder that hunters, anglers and shooters are America's premier conservation supporters. Through licenses and excise taxes, they now generate $100,000 every 30 minutes for fish, wildlife and habitat programs.

"This year, let National Hunting and Fishing Day also be a remembrance of those whose service to our country will prevent them from joining us afield this fall. On Sept. 27, think about America's outdoor freedoms, their benefits to conservation and the sacrifices that make it all possible," said Denise Wagner of Wonders of Wildlife museum.

Wonders of Wildlife, in Springfield, Mo., is the official home and coordinator of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Jennifer L. King of the Heidelberg Rod & Gun Club advisory council said: "Our event is a volunteer-driven celebration for U.S. soldiers, military civilians, contractors, German sportsmen and their families. National Hunting and Fishing Day is an American celebration, but sportsmen everywhere enjoy sharing the camaraderie and traditions of hunting and fishing. We're thrilled that our German community will be joining us."

The event will feature informational exhibits, fishing games for kids, a BB fun shoot and competition, archery demonstrations and lessons, a trophy show complete with judging and prizes, food, games and attractions.

Along with the fun, King hopes the event will raise awareness of hunters and anglers throughout the military. Many U.S. soldiers stationed at Heidelberg have seen combat in multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Others have served in places like Kosovo in support of NATO missions.

"This is a chance for them to take a break, remember their hunting and fishing experiences back home, and tell some tall tales," King said.

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New hunters forum 9/24/2008
Hunters who feel like their opinions on important issues are being ignored now have a place to make their voices heard. NRA’s all-hunting website, www.NRAHuntersRights.org, has unveiled a new interactive section that will allow hunters to share their opinions on hot-button hunting issues.

The new section, titled, “Open Season – A Forum for All Hunters,” offers a place for hunters to weigh in on some of the most serious issues that threaten hunting rights. NRA will introduce the topics, stand back, and allow hunters to post their comments and debate amongst themselves.

Of course, you are welcome to submit topics for discussion, too. If your state is thinking about implementing a new hunting law that restricts your freedom, or if you feel that your hunting rights are being trampled by animal rights groups, just submit your topic via our online forum, and it could be the next one up for discussion. Hunters are invited to visit the forum often and are encouraged to leave as many posts as they’d like.

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18 teens selected 9/23/2008
The Olympic torch in Beijing has barely cooled, but preparation is already underway for the 2012 games in London. Eighteen shooting-sports hopefuls from 11 states have been selected for intensive training and evaluation Oct. 8-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Teen trap and skeet shooters selected for the 2008 Junior Olympic Development Camp are:

> Arizona – Adam DiCerbo, 16, Scottsdale (skeet); Nicolas DiCerbo, 13, Scottsdale (skeet); Kyle Johnson, 16, Phoenix (skeet).
> Arkansas – Cord Riley, 17, Hindsville (trap).
> California – Ashley Carroll, 14, Solvang (trap); Richard Riddle, 15, Bonsall (skeet); Wesley Scoble, 17, Oakland (trap); Tristan Woolacott, 15, Sacramento (trap).
> Connecticut – Trevor Harvey, 18, New Canaan (trap).
> Idaho – Shawn Cahoon, 15, Pocatello (trap).
> Illinois – Brett Bachmann, 16, Highland Park (trap); Kelcey DePatis, 17, Donovan (trap).
> Michigan – Nicholas Sage, 15, Saranac (skeet).
> New York – Kevin Corser, 18, Holly (skeet).
> Pennsylvania – Jacob Gogno, 18, Pottsville (trap).
> Tennessee – Cory Smith, 15, Shelbyville (trap); Ryan Stewart, 17, Nashville (trap).
> Texas – Shelby White, 15, Littlefield (trap).

"All of these top young talents were selected from the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), the 8-year-old national shooting league that produced two medalists for the U.S. in Beijing," said Zach Snow of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which selected camp attendees in partnership with USA Shooting.

SCTP alumni Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.) and Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska) won gold in men's skeet and bronze in women's trap, respectively, in Beijing. Their medals were two of the six won by the U.S. in shooting sports.

In 2008, 9,135 youths competed and 1,562 adults volunteered as coaches and directors – both new records for SCTP. Selection for the Junior Olympic Development Camp involved an application and interview process.

At the camp, athletes will work with U.S. Olympic coaches to hone skills in the international style of skeet and trap shooting. Daily training starts early and goes late. Daytime drills help shooters fine-tune skills and help coaches identify athletes with special aptitude as well as attitude. Evening classroom work teaches goal setting, team structure and preparing physically and mentally for high-level competition.

Attendees will be housed in the Olympic athlete dormitories and fed in the athlete cafeteria alongside scores of other Olympic hopefuls from many different sports.

Seven volunteer SCTP coaches from five states also have been invited to attend the camp to learn advanced skills in coaching shooting sports. Invitees are:

> Arizona – Scott Fritz, 42, Mesa (skeet); Thomas Slaughter, 71, Tempe (trap).
> Arkansas – Steven Johnson, 37, Mountainburg (trap).
> California – Laurence Sifers, 52, Huntington Beach (skeet).
> Illinois – Brian Bachmann, 50, Wilmette (trap); William Marquardt, 52, Deerfield (skeet).
> Washington – Tom Langley, 64, Bellingham (trap).

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Six soldiers invited 9/22/2008
Six shotgunners from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit will travel to Europe next week to compete in the prestigious International Sports Shooting Federation World Cup Final. Sgts. 1st Class Theresa E. DeWitt, Joetta R. Dement and Mark L. Weeks and Spcs. Walton Glenn Eller III, Jeffrey G. Holguin and Vincent C. Hancock will compete at the elite World Cup Finals Sept. 24-30 in Minsk, Belarus.

The ISSF only invites the top shooters in the world to compete in this exclusive match, which is the traditional closing competition of the international shooting season.

Eller, Hancock and Holguin are all 2008 Olympians. At the Beijing Olympics, Eller won the gold medal in double trap and Hancock took the gold in skeet. Holguin barely missed the bronze in double trap and finished 4th.

DeWitt, a 1996 Olympian, won the silver medal and an Olympic quota slot at the World Cup USA in 2006. Dement, a two-time Olympic alternate, was the 2007 women's trap national champion and 2008 silver medlaist. Weeks was the skeet 2008 Olympic alternate and will become the U.S. shotgun team coach when he leaves the Army Oct. 11.

Formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to raise the standards of marksmanship throughout the U.S. Army, the Army Marksmanship Unit is assigned to the Accessions Support Brigade of the U.S. Army Accessions Command. For more information, visit www.USAMU.com.

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In praise of the 870 9/22/2008
Gary Engberg recently wrote an article for Buckmasters that details the history of the Remington 870. It was introduced by the company in 1950, and more than 8 million of them have been sold since.

To read the article, click here.

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Sanetti sounds off 9/20/2008
National Shooting Sports Foundation president Steve Sanetti penned a column that appeared recently in the Washington Post that points out that hunters are responsible for America's greatest conservation success stories.

To read it, click here.

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Restrictions eased in Fla. 9/20/2008
South Florida shooters could have a new skeet and trap range by next year after county commissioners approved a rule change that would allow the facility to fit on a 600-acre tract of land.

To read the article from TCPalm.com, click here.

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Reloading 101 9/19/2008
Are you fairly new to the shotgun world and unsure whether you want to start reloading your ammunition? If so, there's a basic description of the reloading process on Suite101.com.

To read it, click here.

Also, for a breakdown on the components used in the process, click here to read another article from the same source.

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Jewelry with a bang 9/18/2008
Want to turn your used shotgun shells into jewelry? For a quick primer on how to do it, click here.

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New multi-tool 9/17/2008
Ever heard of the Sheffield Hunter? It's a new 20-in-1 multi-tool that would be handy for a shotgunner to have around, whether in the field or at the range.

To read a report on it from the Idaho Statesman, click here.

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NSSP tabs Galbiati 9/16/2008


The National Scholastic Sportsman Program (NSSP) has chosen former JDC Marketing executive Pete Galbiati as its national director of sales and marketing.

He was with Atlanta-based JDC for the past 8 years. During that time, JDC became recognized for successfully executing sponsorship and marketing programs in bass fishing for Fortune 500 companies. He started as JDC's sports marketing director and then became vice president.

Prior to joining JDC, he was the motorsports marketing director for Primedia Communications, which served as the agency of record for NASCAR, Inc. at the time. In his new position, he'll focus on increasing sales and partnerships for the national organization.

The NSSP is a non-profit organization designed to educate outdoor enthusiasts in middle and high schools through the strengthening of character, leadership skills, respect for life and the promotion of conservation in the woods and waterways. The national headquarters is in Paducah, Ky.

"We are very excited to have Pete in this new role," said NSSP founder and president Cliff Flournoy. "The timing is perfect as we just signed an agreement with a national TV network that is really going to increase our exposure and awareness. At the same time, our number of participating schools is growing as fast as we can keep up with."

Through NSSP instructional DVDs, materials and activities, the club encourages the sportsmen and sportswomen of tomorrow by providing the essential knowledge and opportunities needed to preserve our outdoor heritage. While doing this, the group is also able to make a difference in the lives of individual students. In only its 3rd school year, the club currently has members and schools in 45 states and reaches approximately 10,000 students through its program.

"This is a great opportunity for me: the program is unbelievable" said Galbiati, "It fills a huge void in the marketplace for companies wanting to reach the youth market and at the same time, the educational and conservational message that we are able to communicate to the young people is essential.

We have the ability to really make a difference – not only in the lives of individuals, but generationally by connecting with students when they are young. The lessons we can teach will last them a lifetime and can be passed down to their children and grandchildren."

For more on the NSSP, click here. Galbiati can be reached by email at pete@nsspoutdoors.com or by calling (404) 374-6499.

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Turkey management site 9/16/2008
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and its conservation partners have have launched the North American Wild Turkey Management Plan website.

The new site was announced at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It will serve as a hub of information for wild turkey management plans by state and region and includes important management documents and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data.

The Wild Turkey Management Plan is designed to ensure the continued success of the wild turkey, while improving habitat for a multitude of wildlife and plant species and focusing on providing more opportunities and access for North America's hunters.

To visit the new site, click here.

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PF's Nomsen honored 9/15/2008


Photo: Pheasants Forever

Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) VP of government affairs, has received the Special Recognition Award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He received the honor last week at the association's annual meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Special Recognition Award is given to individuals who have a distinguished record of accomplishment.

"Everyone knows of Dave's commitment and devotion to fish and wildlife conservation through his work with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, as well as his leadership in the conservation community," said Matt Hogan, executive director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. "But he also helped our broader community define, focus and mature our Farm Bill proposals and played an instrumental role in the maturation and enactment of the Farm Bill this year.

"We thank him for his tireless dedication to reauthorization of the Farm Bill and to the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats."

Said Nomsen: "This is quite an honor. I work with a special group of people that have a shared passion. When I look at this award, I'll think of people like my father, who spent his entire career working for the Iowa Conservation Commission, and my mentor Bill Baxter Sr., a longtime wildlife biologist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, people who devoted their lives to conservation. And because of them, I devoted mine to the cause as well."

Nomsen is pictured here along with son Jason.

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Confused by chokes? 9/13/2008
Most shotguns made these days come with several screw-in chokes that alter the size and density of your pattern. If you're unsure which choke you should use for the type of hunting or shooting you plan to do, you might gain some insights in a recent article by Larry Myhre that was published by the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal.

To read it, click here.

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Beretta donation 9/13/2008


Beretta USA announced this week that the Beretta Group of companies, led by Beretta USA, Benelli USA, and Burris in the United States, have pledged to give the NRA $1 million over the next 5 years. The gift will benefit the NRA Institute for Legislative Action and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund’s litigation activities to further expand the scope of Second Amendment protections in the wake of the recent United States Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.

The announcement was made by Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta at an event at his home in Clinton, Md. on Aug. 20. At the event, Cav. Beretta was inducted into the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom, the highest level of the Association’s comprehensive donor recognition society.

The new pledge brings the Beretta Group’s gift commitments to the NRA to over $2 million. Previous gifts have benefited the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, NRA Youth Programs, Hunting and Wildlife Conservation, and the National Firearms Museum.

“The Beretta Group is legendary in the industry and an important member of the NRA family," said NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre. " We are truly grateful for Cav. Beretta’s vision and leadership. The Beretta Group and the NRA are natural partners when it comes to protecting our Second Amendment freedoms and this gift will have great impact in the months and years ahead.”

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S&W gun tabbed 9/13/2008
The Smith & Wesson Elite Gold side-by-side was selected as the best hunting shotgun by Field & Stream magazine in the publication’s annual “Best of the Best” awards issue. The award acknowledges the Elite Gold’s significant innovation, quality of design and value brought to outdoorsmen through excellence in the field.

“We are very honored to have the Elite Gold shotgun earn the distinction as the ‘Best of the Best’ in the hunting shotgun category,” said Tom Taylor, VP of marketing for Smith & Wesson. “Since its introduction, the Elite Gold shotgun has been met with wide acclaim by both traditional shooters and hunters alike. This achievement is a nice addition to the prominent list of awards that the Elite Gold has already received.”

After testing more than 500 products, the Field & Stream staff selected thirty winning models in eleven categories.Test team members devoted 3 months to rigorously testing each product during a process dubbed the "Field & Stream Torture Test." Products were shot, bent, driven and dropped during the testing period to insure that each model truly represented the “Best of the Best.”

The Smith & Wesson Elite Gold combines traditional handcraftsmanship with modern technology in a classic field shotgun. It features a gracefully rounded and sculptured receiver made possible by the patent-pending trigger-plate round body action. The 20-gauge shotgun features a hand engraved receiver, rust-blued, chopper-lump barrels and AAA (grade III) Turkish walnut stocks.

With a perfect wood-to-metal fit, each Elite Gold shotgun is capped off with a hand-cut checkered stock, a white bead front sight and a brass mid-bead sight. It's available with either a single or double trigger along with a Prince of Wales or straight English style stock.

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Live shooting online 9/12/2008
ESPN360.com will telecast the double trap and skeet finals at the World Shotgun Championship team selection match live next week from Colorado Springs, Colo.

The double trap final is set for 4:30 p.m. EST on Monday. The men's and women's skeet finals will be held at 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday

U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit members and 2008 Olympic gold medalists Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) and Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), along with other USA Shooting National Team members, will be competing for spots on the 2009 World Shotgun Championship Team. Four-time Olympian and 2008 silver medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) and 2007 Pan American gold medalist Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa) will be vying for positions on the women's skeet team.

The World Shotgun Championships will be held August 7-16, 2009 in Maribor, Slovakia.

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Pheasant, quail forecasts 9/12/2008
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have released their pheasant- and quail-hunting forecasts for the 2008-09 seasons.

For the pheasant forecast, click here.

For the quail forecast, click here.

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Rhode's gun swiped 9/12/2008
The Perazzi shotgun that Kim Rhode used to win all four of her Olympic medals was stolen yesterday outside a Southern California mall. To read a report from CBS2.com in Los Angeles, click here.

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Stoeger to close? 9/4/2008
The Tactical Wire reports today it has confirmed that Stoeger Books will close. A significant outdoor publisher since 1924, Stoeger's best-known titles were the Shooter's Bible and Gun Trader's Guide. It also published fishing titles, such as The Big Bass Zone, among others.

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