The First Signs of Fall – Federal Premium Prairie Storm
Andy Husek 10.29.20
As a kid growing up, pheasant hunting signified the start of fall and the beginning of hunting season. I would spend all summer waiting for Michigan’s small game season to open up so we could load up the dogs and head out on our first hunt of the year. Like most states, our seasons roll out in waves as the fall progresses. Small game is always first, followed by duck season and then archery deer and the culmination of opening day of rifle deer season and then closed out by the winter muzzleloader hunt. Pheasants were special to me though, and we always kicked off the year watching the dogs work and waiting for that first rooster to bust out of nowhere right at your feet, inevitably scaring you half to death.
If you have hunted birds – or any species for that matter – long enough, you have probably gone through the similar motions that I did growing up. You start off by using whatever ammunition your dad, grandfather or uncle used. Followed by the lean college years where you are buying the cheapest ammo you can find on sale at the end of the season. You then move into your adult years where you are trying the latest and greatest new products to hit the market to stay ahead of the curve and give you the “edge” over your quarry. More often than not you fall back to some of your old tried and trues but sometimes you luck out and find a gem.
For me, this was the story with Federal Premium’s Prairie Storm!
At some point or another, I tried just about every shotshell out there for one reason or another. I can tell you I am hooked on Prairie Storm, because the results speak for themselves. How many times have you knocked a bird out of the sky only to have it hit the ground running at full tilt, making it an adventure in recovery for the dogs. I am sure we all aspire to have them be stone dead in the air and hit the ground like a rock, but I know for me, my shooting does not always produce such desired results. However, I have noticed a dramatic increase in clean kills and easier recoveries since I started using Prairie Storm. I would like to think my shooting is like a high-end bourbon and has just gotten better over the years, but I know it is more likely because of innovations to products like Prairie Storm.
Federal has gone through exhaustive measures to make a better shell that makes even a marginal wingshooter look like crack shots. They have developed a FLITECONTROL wad system that holds a mixed payload of standard pellets and FLITESTOPPER lead. This produces full and consistent patterns which provides excellent retained velocity and energy. In other words, your shot groups are more lethal resulting in fewer lost birds.
The payload consists of a mix of 70% standard copper-plated lead and 30% FLITESTOPPER lead which helps create an even edge-to-edge pattern. The FLIGHTSTOPPER pellets were engineered to create bigger wound channels resulting in fewer crippled and potentially lost birds. I have definitely seen a marked improvement since I started using Prairie Storm. They are also using these same pellet design in their steel waterfowl load, Black Cloud. Check back in for my write-up on that later this fall once we get into waterfowl season.
I personally always shoot a twelve gauge with number 5s but Federal has the full line up of shotshell sizes and gauges for all of the upland enthusiasts, you can find your favorite from 12 to 28 gauge with multiple options. Another thing I really like is that they offer it in both lead and steel for some of the shells. More and more pheasant preserves are requiring shooters to use non-toxic shot, and this provide an opportunity to still take advantage of the Prairie Strom technology with having to worry about using lead shot.
While we were on our way home from hunting yesterday, I stopped at a local hunting store just to check in to see on inventory and I was surprised at how packed the shelves were with readily available Prairie Storm.
Given all of the craziness of 2020, I think we can all agree it has been an interesting year to say the least. If you hunt or shoot with any regularity you have seen firsthand how difficult it has been this year to locate both guns and ammunition for purchase. Federal has been able to keep up with demand and not only are my local shops fully stocked up you can find plenty of online retailers with inventory.
I highly recommend you head over to https://www.federalpremium.com/shotshell/prairie-storm/and check out Prairie Storm for yourself. Or even better, head out to the store and pick-up a couple boxes to test out on your next upland hunt. I was thoroughly impressed with the first-hand results and think you will be too!