58: The Dream Team – Hall of Fame
Mario is joined by 3 of the 4 decoy carvers for Final Approach. In this episode everything comes full circle and everybody jumps into a waterfowl hunting conversation.
57: The Dream Team – How World Champions Carve Decoys
Mario is joined by 3 of the 4 decoy carvers for Final Approach. They discuss their techniques for creating first place prize winning carvings. Grab a notepad and a block of wood and get ready to carve like the champs.
56. The Dream Team – Origin
Mario is joined by 3 of the 4 decoy carvers for Final Approach. They discuss all things hunting and decoys.
55. Professional Soccer Player & Waterfowl Hunting NUT
The FA Podcast is graced with a professional athlete in this episode. Mario is joined by a new friend of his who is a waterfowl junkie but lives a totally different lifestyle than most of us. David Bingham is a professional Soccer player for the Portland Timbers and waterfowl nut case. We talk about what his life is like playing a professional sport, then having his off-season during waterfowl season so he gets to chase birds constantly. His love for snow goose hunting started in California and has grown more and more each year. The white addiction has been rough for David as it has gone from having hundreds of snow socks, to thousands of socks and one trailer, then escalating to full body snows filled in one trailer and socks and more in another trailer. The struggle is real for a snow goose guy……………up at 3am, grinding all day with a big spread to put out and pick up, cleaning lots of birds to everything in between. David is also a hardcore dog trainer and that came from an early age with his dad who was in the dog training game a long time ago. He runs a race horse, not a duck dog! Nitro is every bit of what his name is, he is fast, long and lean and built to motor. We discuss how much time training takes up and what the results can be like once you have that fully trained and committed dog. Great fun on this podcast and a different perspective on waterfowl hunting.
54. The Secrets Of Optics For Duck Hunters
On this episode of the FA podcast Mario is joined by Tim Lesser, the Vice President of Product Development and Marketing. Tim started in the outdoor industry as a big game guide in the West and worked his way up the ladder at Leupold, the leading brand in optics in the world. Mario has known Tim for over 15 years and they have always kept in touch and hunted whenever possible. Tim and his wife Riza enjoy waterfowling when they get the chance to go so we try and get them out any time we can. Mario has always used Leupold products as the home office is only 15 minutes away from home in Oregon and he has always had friends working there that liked to duck hunt and get out in the woods. The time was perfect to strike up a partnership and make Leupold one of our Web Series Partners. This year will be the first year that you will see the famous Leupold logo on “THE LAST PASS” Web series on YouTube. We talk about the Leupold brand, the strict quality control it has and what makes it the most successful brand in rifle scopes, binoculars, rangefinders and now protective eyewear. Tim hands off some great insight on what all those numbers mean on your binos or rifle scopes and how you can use those to pick your next pair of glass or make sure you get what you need for the job you are doing. Lots of great information about using optics in waterfowling and a few hunting stories to go with all that info. Hope you enjoy it.
53. European Hunting Tour pt.1 | Finland & Sweden
On this Episode of the FA Podcast Mario’s guest is Juho from Uittokalusto which is one of FA’s biggest distributors. They are located in Finland and we had the chance to head there for an unreal bucket list trip. Mario started his trip in Finland, then to Sweden and last but not least Iceland. This podcast focuses on Finland and Sweden and the species of birds, the seasons and the unbelievable time they had in Europe on this trip. They talk about the incredible dog work and how Finland and Sweden have a rich dog hunting tradition. They have dogs for hunting deer, moose, waterfowl and more. Definitely some species were checked off the bucket list. Get a first hand look into hunting waterfowl in Europe.
52. The Newest Shotgun For Waterfowlers
On this episode of the FA Podcast Mario talks with the guys from Weatherby as they launch their new 18i shotgun, 3 inch model. They run through the specs of the gun, using it up in Canada and the trips that the guns were used on. We are also introduced to the new Weatherby Marketing director, Tyler Grethen. He is another bird fanatic as well as a big game chaser so we talk about the Weatherby shotgun line up, what is happening for the company and some things coming in the future. If you are looking for a new shotgun listen to what we have to say about this legendary brand and what they are up to. You might just find yourself a new model to put in the safe.
Episode 51: The Carver of our Full Body Honkers
Oregon, USA – On this FA Podcast we talk to the final carver in the Final Approach carving team. Tom Christie, from Nebraska started carving in 1986. He is a 6 Time World Decoy Carving Champion and his eye for waterfowl and birds is unmatched. Tom not only carves and paints with the best in the world but his sketches before he starts carving are world class as well. We talk about those sketches and how they were so good and thought people would like them that we put them on some of our FA t-shirts this year. Tom has done a lot for FA including our Live Wigeon, Live Pintails, Live Gadwall and coming soon to a store near you, the brand new Live Full Body Honker decoys. They will be in a class all itself when they arrive this fall. We discuss his new book that is out, his website with all the instructional videos as well as how much he likes getting out in the field like all of us and hunting.
Episode 50: The Man Who Carved our Hollywood
Oregon, USA – This week we keep our Final Approach Carver podcasts going with Jamie Welsh. Jamie is a 3 Time World Decoy Carving Champion. He started carving in 1988 and won the Worlds in 2002 for Black Belly Whistling ducks, in 2005 for a Black Brant and in 2014 for Pie Billed Grebes. Jamie is a very accomplished carver and we talk about his influences in carving and who helped him along the way. We talk about all the FA decoys he has done for us that are just incredible. The Northern Shovelers or Spoonies, the Full Body Snows, Blues and Full Body Specklebellies as well as the brand new Live Lesser Canada Geese that are just hitting the market now. Jamie has an eye for detail and is never satisfied but I can tell you all of us are. Hope you enjoy spending some time with South Carolina’s own.
Episode 49: He Made Our #1 Selling Decoy
Oregon, USA – Today we are joined by Wayne Simkin, two time World Decoy carving champion. Wayne has been a part of the Final Approach carving team since we started bringing the brand back. We talk about what got him into carving and all the details he looks at when carving birds. We enjoy his passion for carving and listening to him talk about his favorite birds to hunt and to carve. Wayne has carved our #1 selling decoy, The Last Pass Canada Goose floaters. He has also done our Last Pass Speck, Snow and Blue Floaters. He has also carved our Greenwing, Bluewing and Cinnamon Teal decoys. We even get into talking about what is new for this year from Wayne. They are the Live Honker Floaters with several different packs and poses to choose from.
Episode 48: The Man Behind the Decoys
Oregon, USA – This episode of the FA Podcast Mario talks to Pat Godin, 17 time World Decoy Carving Champion. Pat grew up in Ontario Canada and carved his first fishing lure when he was 11. Pat has been carving in the professional world since 1976. He won his first carving championship that year and has added 16 more to his trophy case. We talk to Pat about all the Live Mallards and Black ducks he has carved for us and the brand new Live Wood Ducks coming this fall. Pat is a special person not only in the carving world but also about his degree from university. Pat has a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and when he graduated he did some work at the famed Delta Waterfowl station in Manitoba. Pat’s knowledge for Waterfowl and Mallards especially goes much farther than just carving.
Episode 47: Hoke Outdoors
Oregon, USA – This episode of the FA Podcast we are joined by Thomas Hoke from Hoke Outdoors. He is part of the Flyways collective and is an influencer for FA. He hails from Virginia which is not on most folks top 10 for waterfowl hunting but Thomas says he gets it done and there are enough birds in the state to enjoy it. We talk about the public opportunities in Virginia and what it is like hunting that state. We also take a look into what Thomas is doing now that he is out of college and in the real world. He wants to pursue a life in the hunting industry just like many folks but it takes hard work to climb the ladder of success. Last on the episode is we talk about what Thomas has planned for this year as he steps up his YouTube channel with more or different kind of content.
Episode 46: Electronic Shooters Protection
Oregon, USA – This podcast we are joined by Jack Homa from E.S.P. or Electronic Shooters Protection. Jack spent 23 years in the Telecommunications industry, then he bought E.S.P. in 1996 and has been making hearing protection since. Jack is an end user, a hunter, and avid shooter, so we get firsthand stories and experiences from him on the products. Mario on the other hand has no background in this category except he has bought or used just about every product out there for hearing protection. We talk about all the hearing loss hunters have and the challenges that waterfowlers have with picking the right hearing protection and still being able to call, hear the birds and communicate with all their buddies while hunting. Hearing loss in shooters and hunters is no joke so do yourself a favor and take a good look at products like this and get the info you need to make a decision on what works best for you. There has been huge advancements in the technology to protect our hearing so give this episode a listen while you still have all your hearing intact.
Episode 45: Whiskey Sloughs Outfitters
Oregon, USA – This week’s podcast we are joined by the guys at Whiskey Sloughs Outfitters in Nebraska. These are a bunch of young guys making a huge step to live their dream of being in the waterfowl industry guiding clients on the famous Platte River. They specialize in Mallards, Honkers, and Lessers in the fall and then have a great layout for spring Turkeys on the creek bottoms in the Cornhusker state. We talk about their operation, what is so special about it and how they are going to do everything they can to put you on the birds if you head there. They have tons of drive and enthusiasm for waterfowl and that fits in great for us.
Episode 44: Elliott Snider from Freelance Duck Hunting
Oregon, USA – On this week’s FA podcast we are joined by Elliott Snider from Freelance Duck Hunting. He got started on his YouTube channel a long time ago and it was just to save his memories and to log statistics and hunt numbers. We talk about him pushing his hunting to the next level with more specific gear for more opportunities. The more tools you have in your hunting tool box the more you can be prepared for what the season throws at you. Lots of laughs, tips and different topics in this episode.
Episode 43: High Prairie Sportsmen with Matt Zvolanek
Oregon, USA – This episode of the FA Podcast we are joined by Matt Zvolanek of High Prairie Sportsmen to talk about his YouTube Channel, how he got started and what he focuses on in his videos and content. We talk highlights of last year’s trips, what he is looking forward to this fall and what birds he has not checked off his hit list. Lots of tips and tactics for hunting public land as Matt’s videos are at least 90% on public land.
Episode 42: California Duck Hunting with Mid Valley Mercenaries
Oregon, USA – This episode of the FA Podcast we are joined by Titus Headings who is the face of the YouTube Channel, Mid Valley Mercenaries. He also has a podcast called the MVM show. Based out of California, Titus and his crew chase birds and are as addicted as we are about decoying birds in the hole. We talk about his past and how he got started on YouTube and their affiliation with FA. He is serious about waterfowl hunting and is no secret. We talk about dogs, boats and other gear that are very important in the way he hunts and what he does.
Episode 41: Federal Ammunition’s 100th Anniversary
Oregon, USA – On this episode of the Final Approach Podcast we are joined by JJ Reich Senior Media Relations Manager at Federal Ammunition. We discuss the 100th anniversary of Federal Ammunition and all the accomplishments and innovations that have come from this incredible company . We start at the first shotshells made in Anoka MN in 1922 and how some of the original machinery and buildings are still being used. We take a walk down memory lane going back 100 years of ground breaking products in shotshell, rifle and handgun ammunition as well as a few industry standards that are still in place today. We also talk conservation and how important Federal has been on keeping all of us in the field chasing our passion. Federal has also supported our law enforcement and government agencies as well as had a huge hand in helping in the war efforts. Lots of great information if you are wing shooter, gun nut or just love hunting and history.
Episode 40: Snow Goose Hunting
Oregon, USA – This episode of the FA Podcast Mario is joined by one of our long-time friends of the FA family. Brad Fenson is a freelance outdoor writer who has chased every critter on this planet. He loves waterfowl hunting and is very knowledgeable especially with Snow geese. He is a master at talking about and setting decoy spreads for the white devils and is a master chef at cooking them once we pile them up. It is great to catch up with him as the snows are just arriving in his home province of Alberta Canada. Hope you join us for some great tips and talk about spring snows and chasing them.
Episode 39: History of FA: The FA Party is Coming to an End – John Vaca
Oregon, USA – We talk to John Vaca who worked closely with Jeff Foiles and the Bushnell team to grow the FA Brand and keep it a relevant waterfowl brand through the good and bad. John saw this iconic brand get picked apart and come to a slow death in the grips of the corporate world. This was a major step in the final chapter of the old FA Brand as we know it.
Episode 38: History of FA: How the Waterfowl West was Won – Bill Saunders
Oregon, USA – In an attempt to appeal to all waterfowlers FA makes a move to put Flyway icons in the spotlight. Bill Saunders of Bill Saunders calls and Big Guns Waterfowl is our guest as we talk the early years of FA as Bill was there through the thick and thin of fit. He saw the sale of the company 4 times and saw the ups and downs of the brand and stuck with it. He grew his name and his business and helped FA grow in Western waterfowl market.
Episode 37: History of FA: FA Brand’s Rock Star Jeff Foiles – Pt.2
Oregon, USA – In this episode we talk about Jeff’s first split with FA, his very brief stint at Avery and why he came back to Final Approach. We dive into the retail war that was going on at this time between waterfowl companies, call makers, big names and more. This is one podcast not to miss.
Episode 36: History of FA: FA Brand’s Rock Star Jeff Foiles – Pt.1
Oregon, USA – We talk to Jeff Foiles who’s rise in the waterfowl world was a grind and turned into Rock Stardom once he hit. He was the face of the brand for years and had his own signature series blinds and gear. He was an integral part of the evolution of FA. We talk about his early years working as an iron worker and doing waterfowl on the side and how getting involved in the waterfowl business changed his life.
Episode 35: History of FA: The Migration of the FA Brand – Lee Kjos
Oregon, USA – We talk to Lee Kjos, one of the hunting industry’s master photographers. Lee is a marketing genius and was instrumental in the next step of the Final Approach branding with logos, videos, print advertisements and more. This is also the time that Kolpin and Final Approach are sold to Bushnell outdoors and it begins a new era for FA as they get into the decoy market and start building other items. There are a ton of changes at the brand and Lee is involved in a lot of them including having Jeff Foiles become the face of the FA Brand.