Sun Tzu and the War Against Shooting

There was a feeling of deja-vu when the BASC notification came through on my mobile phone today. Buried in the mundane depths of a day job which is the anti-thesis of my outdoor persona, I had to grit my teeth. My shooting, my addiction to being in the wild (and writing about it as often … Continue reading Sun Tzu and the War Against Shooting

A Clear And Present Bias – The Sculthorpe Marsh Harrier

  Please take a look at the screenshot above then allow me tell you a little more about the story. A dog walker took this picture close to boundary of a Hawk & Owl Trust nature reserve in Sculthorpe, Norfolk. Twenty miles from where I live. A beautiful place. The marsh harrier is an iconic … Continue reading A Clear And Present Bias – The Sculthorpe Marsh Harrier

Shooting – The Ethical Debate (An Extract)

The argument from anti's that we hunters are interfering with nature is not one that I can endure. As explained in the previous section, that we have become the dominant species on this planet is far from coincidence. As the creature at the pinnacle of the food chain, we have an immutable responsibility and authority … Continue reading Shooting – The Ethical Debate (An Extract)

A short extract from “Hunting and Fieldcraft” – Quarry Recognition

"If shooting quarry accurately and cleanly is important, making sure that you don’t shoot another species in error is equally important. Not just because it’s unethical but also because shooting any bird not on the General License or recognised as game could see you in deep trouble with the law. For example, shooting a stock … Continue reading A short extract from “Hunting and Fieldcraft” – Quarry Recognition

Writing In The Evening Rain

The scribbling started before the metronomic patter of summer rain. Outside, on my canopied garden deck, the tip-tap of precipitation on the glass roof lent punctutation to the creativity and the flow of ink on paper. All around me birds sang a tribute to the blessing of much needed drizzle. A warm, gentle downpour dispensed … Continue reading Writing In The Evening Rain

The Magpie (Pica pica)… an extract from my latest book

I respect most wildlife, even the pest species. Yet I find it hard to love the magpie, even as an adversary. Its cowardly ‘sneak-thief’ demeanour and bullying of lesser birds puts it high on my watch list. Over the past 40 years the British magpie population has multiplied ten-fold and is estimated now to be … Continue reading The Magpie (Pica pica)… an extract from my latest book

An extract from ‘Hunting and Fieldcraft …’

Crop, Shrub, Tree, Flower and Fruit “Growing crops are often why the landowner gives you, the hunter, the mandate to shoot vermin species on their fields. Spend some time studying crops. Know how to identify them during the various stages of growth. Understand when the seed is likely to be drilled, which creatures will attack … Continue reading An extract from ‘Hunting and Fieldcraft …’

General Licenses – A Restoration Of Common Sense

The breaking news this afternoon of DEFRA’s release of three new General Licenses is welcome news indeed. I’d like to be among one of the first to thank not only DEFRA for their intervention but also the aggregated efforts of our representative shooting, farming and conservation organisations for their lobbying and advice. Not to mention … Continue reading General Licenses – A Restoration Of Common Sense

The Dissection Of A General License

Having waited for six weeks, I was delighted to receive an e-mail on my iPhone telling me that my application for a personal General License to control birds ‘Preventing Serious Damage’ had been approved and the License was attached. It was issued by Natural England and signed by James Diamond, their Operational Director. The same … Continue reading The Dissection Of A General License

General Licenses – Defra Delay

So, tonight we learn that the review on the General License debacle is delayed for another week. The escalation from a Natural England legal capitulation (remember, Scotland and Wales have still refused to bow to the legal challenge) to the anticipated safety of DEFRA and the Secretary of State (SOS) was welcomed by the rural … Continue reading General Licenses – Defra Delay