America's Ethos Visits Delaware

posted on December 1, 2014

Bird hunters and target shooters alike were introduced to the next generation of Benelli shotguns earlier this year, with the announcement of the company's new Ethos model. Comprised of some of Benelli's most successful innovations, both old and new, the Ethos was rated highly by NRA Publications Editorial Director John Zent and American Rifleman's Editor in Chief, Mark Keefe.

To honor the new gun's debut, Benelli decided to put the Ethos on tour. The plan? Have one shotgun visit all 50 states—and be put to some sort of sporting use in each of them—before SHOT Show 2015. Oh, and there would be no cleaning of firearm, either, hence the tour's "50 Weeks, 50 States, 2500 Shots, No Cleaning" tagline.

Being a native of Delaware, I was tapped to handle The First State's leg of the tour. Armed with the Ethos and a box of Federal Premium's Black Cloud FS Steel Snow Goose load, I journeyed home to my home state last week with plans to knock a few birds out of the sky.

The Ethos and I didn't just make it to Delaware in time for waterfowl season—we made it in time for opening day. My party and I rose before 4 a.m. and reported to a field-based blind that my family has long used, located in Smyrna, Del.—just shy of an hour north of our hometown, Milton. Surrounding ourselves largely with Canada goose silhouettes, we readied ourselves for an unseasonably warm opener. There were showers throughout the hunt, and the rising sun brought temperature above 70 degrees. The early morning brought little shooting—from us or from nearby hunters. Three ducks buzzed us early, prompting some of my companions to raise their guns, but I didn't let the Ethos loose just yet.

Finally, around 9:30, we spotted a pair of Canada geese, coming in hard and fast. These two, at least, appeared willing to decoy. The atmosphere was tense, at least for me—I only had the Ethos for a day, and I hadn't fired it yet. I needed these birds.

Fortunately, fate favored me—our two birds decoyed beautifully, and the shot was called. Moments later, the pair had fallen to the ground, where they'd be retrieved shortly by the family Golden Retriever, Tank. One had been felled by the Ethos, fulfilling my obligation and ensuring that Delaware had done its part for the tour.

Not long after that, we called it a morning and climbed out of the blind. There have been better openers, yes—but there have been worse ones, too. And you can't harvest any waterfowl from the couch.

The next day, I packed the Ethos up and shipped it along to its next stop—Missouri. The tour marches on. You can follow it at


Melvin Forbes Obit
Melvin Forbes Obit

Melvin Forbes, Designer of the Famous Model 20 Mountain Rifle, Dies at 77

The world of mountain hunters lost a true pioneer on June 5, 2024.

Hunter Detained Overseas for 11 Weeks Returns Home

A hunter detained in the Turks and Caicos over ammunition forgotten in his bag was given a fine and a suspended sentence earlier today, allowing him to finally leave the country.

Head to Head: .243 Winchester vs. 6.5 Creedmoor

The .243 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor short-action cartridges are both very efficient and manageable, but which is the better choice for a hunter? We take a closer look at the pros and cons of each.

Davidson's Adds Kimber Manufacturing

Davidson’s firearms, ammunition, optics and accessories wholesalers has announced the addition of Kimber Manufacturing to its firearms product line category.

An Offseason Plan to Improve Your Wingshooting Skills

Were you dissatisfied with your shotgunning skills last hunting season? If you answered, “yes,” now is the time to devise a strategy to up your game.

SCOTUS Annuls ATF Rule on Bump Stocks

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) unlawfully exceeded its authority by classifying bump stocks as machineguns.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.