Under normal circumstances March would herald the start of duck season and, with that in mind, our cover story this month tells you what you need to know in the breeding of the ideal gun dog as Chas Harding takes us through the step-by-step process of rearing a four-legged hunting buddy for life. Firearms in focus this month include the quirky but fun Pedersoli High Wall, a look back at the Russian-made Baikal IJ-58 shotgun and, exclusive to Australia, the CZ 527 MDT Varmint rifle in .223 Remington. And speaking of varmints, the nation’s pests have been put on notice with the introduction of the Varmageddon projectile, available in both tipped and hollow-point varieties, and Chris Redlich tested them to devastating effect. Senior correspondent John Dunn went in search of bigger game though and recalls the day he exceeded all expectations and claimed the buck of a lifetime. And those among us who enjoy a drop of fine wine can raise a glass to industry icon and keen shooter Wolf Blass as we turn the spotlight on this fascinating character.