Hunting,Hunting & Heritage  |  11/15/2016

Rooster Review: Federal Premium Ammunition

Every shot taken on this year’s Rooster Road Trip is with Federal Premium Ammunition. In fact, every shotgun ever loaded on the Rooster Road Trip, dating back to our inaugural adventure in 2010, has been with Federal ammo. But the partnership between Federal and Pheasants Forever goes back a lot longer than Rooster Road Trip has been around.
In 1997, Pheasants Forever’s Joe Duggan and Federal Ammunition’s Bill Stevens struck a revolutionary deal. The partnership placed Pheasants Forever’s logo on the box of selected Federal upland bird hunting loads. In exchange for PF’s endorsement of these loads, Federal would pay the organization a royalty on ever box sold. It seems like an ordinary concept today, but it really was innovative at that moment in time.
The first four years of the special Pheasants Forever logoed ammo could only be found at Gander Mountain stores. As bird hunters found success with the shells and as Pheasants Forever’s membership grew in size, the demand for the load increased. To meet that demand, Federal brought the PF logoed boxes to the full catalog of sporting goods retailers in 2002. Sales continued to increase and with those sales, Federal’s subsequent donation to Pheasants Forever grew steadily.

Prairie Storm Hits the Mark

About a decade ago, Federal changed the ammunition landscape with their revolutionary waterfowl shot shell called Black Cloud. Using a ground-breaking mix of traditional steel shot pellets, Saturn-like “Flitestoper” pellets, and a rear-braking “Flitecontrol” wad, Black Cloud was embraced by the waterfowl hunting community like no shot shell ever produced.
In 2009, Federal’s marketing & communications guys Ryan Bronson, Kyle Tengwall, Jason Nash, and Tim Brandt called the Pheasants Forever offices with some exciting news. An engineer at their Anoka, Minnesota ammunition facility had applied some lessons learned from Black Cloud’s development to create a shell perfect for the pheasant hunter. Their request was to pull together a series of focus groups made up of Pheasants Forever chapter members to test names and box designs for the new ammunition. I was thrilled to have been on the opposite side of the glass aquarium observing the discussion between the focus group moderator and our members. After brief momentum for the name “Ringneck Rocket,” the name “Prairie Storm” caught fire and became the unanimous choice among every single focus group. Likewise, the Prairie Storm box design you see in stores today was the winning look for the ammunition during those focus groups. Think about that. Prairie Storm’s name and box designed was created by Pheasants Forever members. Pretty cool!

And just as Black Cloud became the American waterfowling community’s ammo of choice, Prairie Storm changed the landscape for the upland bird hunter. Consequently, as sales for Prairie Storm have continued to surge, so too has Federal Premium’s contribution to Pheasants Forever’s habitat mission.
In fact, earlier this pheasant season, Federal Premium announced the production of the 50 Millionth Round of ammunition featuring the Pheasants Forever logo. While I am not at liberty to disclose how much money the royalty program has generated for our habitat mission – because Federal doesn’t disclose that information for competitive reasons – I can tell you the company’s historical contribution has been significant.

Your Purchasing Choices Matter

Consider for a moment, since Pheasants Forever’s 1982 creation, the organization has been able to turn 90 cents out of every single dollar generated into mission results. That’s 34 years of efficiency in turning membership dollars, government grants, magazine advertising, merchandise sales, corporate partnerships, and Federal ammo box royalties into habitat on the ground and youngsters in the fields. 90 cents on the dollar for 34 years.
So the moral of this story is two-fold. First, Prairie Storm – steel or lead – is undeniably the most effective pheasant hunting ammunition on the market. Second, your purchase will absolutely help Pheasants Forever create more habitat, which will produce more birds for today, tomorrow and future generations. That’s why every shot I take for pheasants, quail, or grouse comes from a box of Federal with the Pheasants Forever logo on the side.

What’s in my Shotgun

Pheasant Hunting – I load up with 3” Prairie Storm Steel #4’s for tough-to-take down roosters. My pheasant hunting is almost entirely on public WMAs, WPAs, and walk-in areas which have different non-toxic shot requirements. I’ve found my shooting is more consistent when I stick to the same shell no matter where I’m hunting.
Ruffed Grouse & Quail Hunting – I grew up hunting the ruffed grouse woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Today, I spend a lot of my free weekend time roaming the forests of the Great Lakes states carrying a 20-gauge shotgun loaded with Federal’s Wing Shok Pheasants Forever High Velocity Lead #7.5s. When I’m fortunate enough to visit Quail Country, I load up my 20 gauge with my favorite grouse loads because of the exact same philosophy about staying consistent as possible in my shell selection for improved shooting success.
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Bob St.Pierre is Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.