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.

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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.

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Visit the FA website

Checkout the FA YouTube channel