Beretta Blog

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer and editor who hunts and fishes with his wife Angela, two children and four English setters.
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Recent Posts

A Clean Shotgun is a Happy Shotgun

Posted by Tom Keer on Aug 27, 2018 9:58:00 AM

cleaning-kit-IG

The argument of shotgun cleaning took place in bird camp. In one corner was my buddy who cleans his shotgun like clockwork... which is once a decade whether it needs it or not (it needs it). In the other corner was a pal who meticulously cleans his shotgun at the end of each day. On some days I wonder if he'd like to clean his shotgun after every shot. I'm in the middle and wipe my guns after each hunt and clean them once a month or at the end of the season. My only exception is that I do a thorough cleaning after hunting in a heavy downpour or after use in a saltwater marsh.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Hunting - Upland, Hunting - Duck, Hunting - Turkey, hunting - waterfowl

These Days It's Tough to Give a Buddy the Shirt Off Your Back

Posted by Tom Keer on Aug 8, 2018 9:01:00 AM

Don Brown 2

For seemingly forever, layering systems have been an integral part of our sporting lives. Back-in-the-day we wore a t-shirt followed by a cotton shirt accompanied by a wool sweater and then a waxed-cotton coat. If the coat was tan, it doubled in a duck blind, and if not it was traded for one with a camo pattern. These natural materials felt great, they worked well, and we were comfortable. Sometimes we got wet, other times we got hot, but usually, we were cold. No one complained for it was part of hunting.

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Topics: Hunting, Hunting - Upland, Hunting - Turkey, hunting - waterfowl

Gear Tune Up: Now is the Time

Posted by Tom Keer on Aug 6, 2018 9:40:00 AM

Electronics charged and batteries replaced.

Last Saturday I really wanted to run my dogs. They looked bored as ever, and it's time for pre-season conditioning and handling. Truth be told I was also bored and needed some of my own conditioning. I've had my fair share of fishing and ice cream, and my thoughts turned towards bird hunting.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Whatever You Do, Don't Shoot the Dog!

Posted by Tom Keer on Aug 2, 2018 9:18:48 AM

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I've never seen a bird dog get shot, but I hear of at least one instance per year. When the stories roll in, I get sick to my stomach. They unfold in pretty much the same way. A group of folks reviews the pre-hunt safety talk. All have heard it before; all are in agreement. The dogs are cut loose, the hunt is underway, and spirits are high. Jokes fly around, the conversation is light, and everyone agrees they are more happy in the field than at work.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

The Things Upland Bird Hunting Guide Wishes Clients Would Do

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 27, 2018 9:44:00 AM

Dave Brown 2

It's dark when you pull up to the only breakfast place in town, but your guide is already there. How do you know? His is the truck with dog boxes in the pick up's bed, and it's towing, a trailer full of, you got it, more dogs. Your guide knows where the birds are, his dogs are sharp as tacks, and he wants the day to be your trip of a lifetime. It's team play from here on out.

Here are the things your guide hopes you've done in anticipation of your hunt.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

The Things Your Waterfowl Hunting Guide Wishes Clients Would Do

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 24, 2018 10:14:00 AM

Duck Blind

The Mallards took a quick look at the spread and kept on booking. They were high in the sky with the afterburners on. Maybe they were en route to yesterday's buffet, or maybe they saw something they didn't quite like. It didn't matter 'cause your guide hit 'em with a mix of calls. There were a few comebacks, a begging hail call and when they got closer the quacks and contented feeding sucked 'em in.

A good guide will make or break your hunting experience, but there's a lot to know about your roles in the guided hunt. Here are some things that your guide would like to see you do to guarantee safety and success.

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Topics: Hunting - Duck, hunting - waterfowl

The Nose Knows: Reading your Birddogs' Signs

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 20, 2018 8:43:00 AM

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If you own a bird dog, let alone a string of 'em, then the odds are you're a fanatic. You know what their every movement and noise means. But if you're hunting over a buddy's dog, then you might not be as keyed into their tells. That's not a problem unless they're on point and you're far away. Here are some of the many different ways dogs give us clues about what's going on when they're hunting.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

It's Just a Walk Through the Woods. Or Is It?

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 18, 2018 9:41:00 AM

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The bell clanged as Rebel carved up the alder run. He blew through the pass-through cover, slowed and zig-zagged in the thick poplar, and picked up speed when he entered the alders. That last patch typically held birds, both he and I knew that. I wasn't surprised when his bell went silent, and his beeper began to sing.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Overcoming a Shooting Slump

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 13, 2018 10:59:00 AM

Ready

I remember the dark time like it was yesterday. I missed very few birds in the early season heat, full foliage, and tough shooting conditions. But later on, when the leaves dropped and the first frost killed the thick understory I couldn't hit boo. Every time a dog went on point I was excited, and after every flush I missed. When the last day of the season game I considered taking up another sport.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Position is the key to upland birding hunting

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 6, 2018 9:45:00 AM

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It was a perfect fall day, with frost on the ground, a light variable wind, and hardwoods bursting with color. The dogs easily differentiated between foot and body scent and were handily tacking down birds. All was right with the world except for my buddy's miserable shooting. His shooting reminded me of a season I had many years ago, one where I didn't know if I should wrap my gunning iron around a tree or take up another sport.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland