Visiting CZ-USA and chasing birds in KS

December 9th, 2016

img_4446My most recent hunting trip started very differently than any other one before. I spent two days in CZ-USA’s office and warehouse in Kansas City. Getting to know how great firearms get from small east-central European town of Uhersky Brod, where CZUB is headquartered, to the hands of American consumers. Knowing what it takes is important part of being able to represent CZ-USA’s firearms in United States. I will not disclose any details here but instead I will focus on the people who are behind this fast growing company. Yes it is very important to have great product to sell but more importantly it’s the people behind the scenes who deserve the most credit for successful business. I met everyone from accounting, sales, marketing, shipping and receiving, parts department, assembly and the gunsmiths. It is little bit like a hockey team where everyone has a role and has to accept it for the benefit of the team. When the team does well, everyone does well. When the team does not, well you know what happens then.

There is one thing I would like to focus on more. Come to find out, twenty percent of the company’s work force are US military veterans. I could not be happier to hear that news and meeting everyone. I believe it is important for all of us to remember and appreciate the sacrifice these men and women make. IT IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN ON OUR COUNTRY’S BEHALF.

Well-being of our veterans is very close to my heart as you might have noticed if you are a regular reader of my blog posts. These men and women are lifelong difference makers. They are the reason we can call the US military the finest fighting force a man has ever assembled. The results of last one hundred years speak for themselves. (For the ones who will try to single out the not so great results of several conflicts in my comment section I only have one thing to say. When military is allowed to do its job there is no problems. When the politicians get involved and demand politically correct fighting methods they expose our troops to grave dangers and goal of the war can much harder to attain.)

Once a difference maker, always a difference maker.

These people need not to be given handouts and freebies. That’s not what they’re all about. They need to be given opportunity to use the skills, discipline, talents and drive they were using in the military for however long they served.

Our so called leaders, especially of the last eight years, were full of promises of free this and free that. Not a good solution to integration of someone who was taught and ask to fight for the values we believe in. Opportunities, responsibilities and goal oriented tasks is what they need.

Ever since I read the book by Ron Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July, I realized the conditions for most of our veterans have not improved that much. Just remember the Walter Reed medical center scandal from few years ago. I hope Donald Trump will fulfill his campaign promise and see to the improvement of our veterans’ lives.

You did not learn much about how CZ-USA gets the gun you like to your hands but you learned that CZ-USA as a company doesn’t let our veterans down. And as I saw it from first hand, our employed veterans do not let the company down either.

MORE BIRDS, ALWAYS

Going to Kansas City was arranged couple months in advance and coordinated so we could get some bird hunting in too. This hunt will stand out as special for one reason. I was invited to join a friend on his annual friends and family pheasant hunt in western Kansas.

One of my favorite things to do is to birdhunt, another is driving through the country and getting to know Americans all over. I always say being a hunter, especially bird hunter you get exposed to places and folks you would normally never met. This was one of those times when you’re there for few hours and you are already making plans for next year without knowing whether you get invited or not. You like it so much. If you throw in a deer hunt things don’t get much better than that.

Saturday morning after hearty breakfast we all picked our own CZ demo shotguns. I immediately went for the Upland Ultraligt 20 ga over/under. I have the 12 gauge and love it. It is my designated grouse gun for the western Wyoming high country. Being very familiar with the platform I did not doubt my ability to shoot. I just needed birds to shoot at. We started walking in the open fields in a cold, crisp November air. It took little bit time but we finally jumped the first pheasant. It took two trigger pulls and the bird went down with the second shell. I have not hunted pheasants in couple of years now and forgot how beautiful birds the roosters are. Exciting time.

As we and the day warmed up, we saw more roosters and started seeing some bobwhite quail. We had a stretch of hedge row where my friend’s dog worked extremely well, as well as I have seen the dogs work in a long time. They stayed close and were pushing the running quail right in front of us. I walked on the left outside of the hedge in the harvested cornfield and saw covey rise and two quail fly right past us in an opposite direction from the rest, landing not far from me. I knew there were two, I saw them land. My thoughts, two shells and two quail. Let’s see what you’re made of. Walking towards them, expecting the birds to flush out and they did. The Upland Ultralight shouldered like I have shot it hundreds of times. Two number six twenty gauge shells popped through the twenty eight inch barrels and there were two dead quail on the ground. What a thrill but it was not the last time these little fast flying birds got my heart rate up.

The following morning we were canvassing a big field. I already shot two roosters but we saw many get up little too far ahead to shoot. We decided to turn around and canvas the field more. This time little farther north so we don’t cover our previous tracks. I decided to brisk walk/run and take the farthest path. As I’m walking fast, too fast, way ahead of the dogs along the fence and small hedge I see something I have never seen before. The tall grass I stepped on is rising towards my face and I am not sure what it is. While this is happening extremely fast, it seems like it’s actually happening in slow motion. I finally realized I was walking so fast, I surprised covey of quail and stepped right in the midst of twelve to fifteen birds. It seemed at first as tall grass rising but it was the color on the back of these birds that perfectly matches their habitat. Some people say it’s never too close to shoot a quail and I say when you pulled the trigger and the birds are not even at the end of your barrel, IT’S TOO CLOSE.

Pheasants, quail, great people of western Kansas made this hunt memorable one. I already invited myself back. So if they don’t want me to join them they will have to go somewhere else because I’ll be there. Same time, same place next year.

Bobby Holik

Bobby Holik, Czech American NHL Legend teamed up with CZ-USA in 2011 to promote the CZ line of bolt action rifles, semi-automatic handguns and handcrafted shotguns. The ice hockey center began his U.S. career with the Hartford Whalers, won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils and went on to plan for New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers. In his 1,314 career NHL games, Holik scored 747 points (326 goals, 421 assists) and became of the the most productive Czech born players in the NHL.
Like his grandfather, Bobby treasures our outdoor heritage. At home on his ranch in Wyoming, Bobby understands our responsibility as custodians for the land and wildlife on a first hand basis.

CZ-USA

CZ firearms are imported to United States exclusively by CZ-USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ceska Zbrojovka, a.s. Uhersky Brod (CZUB) of the Czech Republic whose history dates back to 1936. CZ firearms have been available through distribution channels in the US since 1991 through independent importers and in 1997 CZUB recognized the need to control its own destiny and established CZ-USA with its headquarters in Kansas City, KS. All distribution, sales, marketing, warranty and parts support operates from Kansas City location. In 2005 a great opportunity came to CZ-USA by acquiring Dan Wesson Firearms, traditional American manufacturer of premium 1911 style handguns and unique revolvers with interchangeable barrels.