As the inventors of the very first layout blind in 1993, we know the tough conditions waterfowlers endure. So, every day we get up early, stay late, and work hard to build premium products that will last. The innovation that goes into our blinds, decoys and accessories is top notch and that has always matched our durability. We don't just settle for good enough, we want to always go the extra mile. So, if you chase waterfowl during the season, think about waterfowl when it's the off season and when you're not hunting your thinking about hunting like us, this is the place for you.
Mario and the crew get invited to head back up to Saskatchewan by Kyle at Weatherby for an early season hunt with Tyler at Saskatchewan Goose Company. Loads of fun, big honkers, some early season ducks and some great new items from FA and Weatherby T-shirts, light hoodies and bug spray is needed but it gets the season kicked off in style. We also get to chase early season birds on a few ag fields and a first for some of the crew as we hunt a small Sippy Pond full of ducks as they head from food to water. Some of the Weatherby dealers from Canada are with us as we get things going in The North. We sat around all summer and off season hoping to be back and here we are!
Early season honkers, even in Saskatchewan, can be tricky depending on the weather and temperature. An early morning light fog gets the honkers as close, and in our face, as possible and the shooting is fast and the piles get big quick. The guys from Weatherby and some of their distributors join us on an unforgettable hunt out of the SUB Stand Up Blinds. The second part of this episode has our exit from Saskatchewan getting extended another day as we spotted some Sandhill Cranes in a field on the way back to the lodge from our afternoon duck hunt. The cranes should have migrated through that area, but with the warmer weather some were still coming through. Only one thing to do. Stay another morning and see if we can catch them slipping.
Our FA International distributors are a big part of our business and we wanted to get some of them together in Sweden at WildExperience.fi. This episode we hunt puddle ducks on the Baltic Sea and the scenery alone is beyond words. This is a bucket list trip, and we get to experience it with good friends and shoot some once in a lifetime birds as well. Join us as we take a step into Europe’s waterfowl traditions. There is nothing that gets Mario from Final Approach more fired up than chasing crows and, in this hunt, it goes one step further. Hooded crows, Jackdaws, Wood Pigeons, and Seagulls in Sweden get hammered in this crazy episode as we put out our FA Hooded Crow decoys, wood pigeon decoys and more. Crop protection and pest control is a huge part of the hunting tradition in Europe. It helps protect the farmers land and keeps the pests and scavengers in check. There are not many birds that float by the blind that are off limits on this hunt.
This episode we get a few days in the land of fire and ice. Iceland provided us epic hunts in extreme winds and weather and put the Greylag geese and Barnacle geese right on the deck. Tons of up close and personal action with decoying birds right in our face as they hang in the wind. The guy I have known for almost 20 years but never hunting with him is our host and guide. Kjartan Lorange.aka THE VIKING and the Grayriver guys show us what hunting in Iceland is all about.The second part of the episode shows us what made Final Approach the company it is today. Layout blind hunting in a field for geese. The only difference is we are shooting Greylag and Pinkfoot geese in Iceland. This is an in-your-face episode with decoying geese up close and personal. The Knockout blinds are hidden in barley swaths and the birds have no idea we are waiting for them to drop in. Hope you enjoy the laughs and working birds and if you might need some translation as the Iceland guys always have something fun to say, just not all the time in English.
This episode we are hunting a place they call the Hot Tub. This is a warm water slough hidden in the middle of some agriculture and one of the rivers that the birds use heavily. The temps are frigid, in the teens and low single digits, and most of the water around is frozen, other than parts of some rivers and the warm water we are hunting. The birds are feeding heavily with so much grain and corn stuffed in their craws that they must slip in for a drink to try and digest. The hole is small, and finishing Greenheads in this spot is incredible, but once we start finishing big honkers in this tiny hole, we really get some in your face shooting. Tyler from Saskatchewan Goose company, Alex from Gundog Outdoors, Kyle from Weatherby as well as John the guy who hunts with Alex! Some great dog work with Jett and of course lots of laughs. Hope you enjoy this episode as we shoot em where the corn goes in!
A goose hunting contest… in Wyoming? Tell me more…. well, the contest is simple, you get 2 shells per person to shoot 2 geese per person and when you are done, you are done. Sounds easy. Not so fast! There are 9 different states and 2 countries represented at the Goshen County Wyoming 2 Shot goose contest and this is our first-year attending. Mario teams up with Tyler from Saskatchewan Goose company and our friends Kyle and Colter from Weatherby also have a team so this is a contest within a contest. Our friends at Federal make up some special TSS loads for this contest, but Tyler and Mario think Kyle has sabotaged their shells as they received them in the mail. See who gets their birds and who gets a goose egg!
The spring migration is on and the birds are stalled out at one of our favorite spots with Tyler at Saskatchewan Goose Company. It did not start that way though as we were all supposed to go down to Southern Sask. to chase whites with a different Tyler at Prairie Sky Outfitters, but all the birds shifted north a few hours and we ended up having a mash up with both Tylers and both outfitters. The most Blues I have ever seen on a few hunts, and we shot some incredible birds. Tons of whites as well. Get in the layouts out with us and enjoy the scenery. Mario heads north to Saskatchewan to chase Spring Snows and the weather and conditions are absolutely crazy. For the first 2 days Tyler Mann, Brad Fenson and I scout and encounter no water in Southern Saskatchewan. If there is nowhere for the birds to rest and stop it is not going to hold them… So, no birds within a 2-hour drive. The more north we go we hit the big lakes, but they are all still frozen. The only thing melted in that area is the sheet water and there is lots of it. Luck would have it after a few days or warmer temps the sheet water is starting to melt and is holding some birds. After a few hours of road time, we find the snows huddled on sheet water puddles by the thousands. GAME ON! We spend the next few days wearing them out. After all the hard work, we finally get a payout.
Mario and the local Oregon guys get together for a late season hunt in the Pacific NW. They pull out the layout boats for some high-water tricks to shoot some trophy Pintails and other ducks. The sky is filled on this episode with every species you can think of. The guys even let Adam the cameraman make sure he goes home with a few trophy Pintails for his wall. Mario also catches up with a close personal friend Don Guthrie who started Columbia River Decoys years ago and was at the forefront of custom decoys as he set the standard for what a premium decoy is supposed to look like. Great times and tons of great looking birds in full plumage.
Mario heads east to a few different states and ends up in Wyoming at the Weatherby Facility for a tour. This is their new office space and warehouse since moving from California where the company was born and raised for years. Great info and a cool tour. To cap things off we get to head out on the river for a very cold and snowy mallard hunt, with a small side of honkers to enjoy. Jett is on the trip to help us with downed birds as well as Luke Thorkildsen, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Product Development at Weatherby as well as Kyle Killen who is the International Sales Manager and Shotgun Guru for the company. We have a great time taking turns on mallard drakes so sit back and enjoy.
The FA crew heads out on the famed Columbia River in Oregon to chase some birds in this wild area with raising and lowering tides, miles of places for the birds to hide and just some incredible scenery. After that we slide into a little trip we took to Nebraska to hunt with the guys at Whiskey Sloughs. We were there for a few days and had a very cool snow goose hunt until the mob decided to feed in the field across from us. Pretty cool hunt and the birds that committed were right in our faces. It’s always feast or famine with the snows but if you love doing it, you just sit back and take it all in.
When the birds start migrating south, we are lucky enough to migrate north of the border to Canada to start chasing them down. As waterfowl hunters, we always seem to gravitate to another hunter that is just as crazy as we are for waterfowl. Tyler Mann from Saskatchewan and Brad Fenson from Alberta are those guys, and we travel with them on a lot of hunts. They are as obsessed with birds as we are, and we just click. Join us as we chase geese and ducks in Northern Saskatchewan as we get put on the X and do what we can to have great hunts and great times.
Mario Friendy heads to Canada to chase Sandhill cranes with the new FA Live Crane decoys. We join Prairie Goose Outfitters, Mark DeRoches, and Billy Dougan who have been chasing these prehistoric birds for years. Sandhill Crane hunting is expanding in Canada and the U.S. To harvest these intelligent birds, you need to get them close, and realism is the key as they have some of the best eyesight in the waterfowl world. We not only chase and harvest them, but the biggest payoff is some of the best fowl you'll ever have. The second part of this episode is something not everyone can experience. A giant blind on the Platte River with heat, comfortable chairs and breakfast cooking in the background. The Platte River is such a wild river with parts of it only 30 feet wide to this part which is much wider than most folks think at about 120 yards. We join the Whiskey Sloughs crew, a bunch of young outfitters out of Nebraska who have made their passion into a business. Joining us on this trip is Paul Wait from Delta Waterfowl, Kyle and Tyler from Weatherby, Big John and Josh Peck from @outdoorlimits and a few of the regulars. Teal, Mallards, Big Geese and even a Bootlip stop by to see us.
This episode we are hunting a place they call the Hot Tub. This is a warm water slough hidden in the middle of some agriculture and one of the rivers that the birds use heavily. The temps are frigid in the teens and low single digits and most of the water around is frozen other than parts of some rivers and the warm water we are hunting. The birds are feeding heavily with so much grain and corn stuffed in their craws that they must slip in for a drink to try and digest. The hole is small and finishing Greenheads in this spot is incredible but once we start finishing big honkers in this tiny hole, we really get some in your face shooting. Tyler from Saskatchewan Goose company, Alex from Gundog Outdoors, Kyle from Weatherby as well as John the guy who hunts with Alex! Is on this hunt. Some great dog work with Jett and of course lots of laughs. Hope you enjoy this episode as we shoot em where the corn goes in!