Stepping from the motor into my own frosted breath, I applauded myself for adding an extra base layer to the shooting attire this morning. The low winter sun wasn’t going to win against a scything Easterly breeze today. Before donning my shooting mitts I loaded two magazines with .22 Air Arms field diablo pellets. I … Continue reading Long Walk, Little Rifle
The Night Before Boxing Day She pulls up her collar and tugs down her cap Her ruddy cheeks stung by the Eastern winds slap. With rifle on shoulder, and spaniel at side She sets off for a last check of covert and ride. It’s now snowing lightly, the sun lowering red She leaves behind family, … Continue reading The Night Before Boxing Day
November, for the shooter, is the month (due to the clock change) to load the freezer with woodpigeon breasts. You can be out in the roost wood at 3pm, before the incoming birds arrive and shoot through to sundown. Whether you choose a shotgun or an airgun is a matter of personal choice. As someone … Continue reading Wildscribbler’s Diary – November 2019
The mellow Autumn morning mists have given way to more sombre weather already. We’ve yet to see a first frost here in East Anglia but the overnight temperatures have hit middle-scale single figures. The driven-shooting fraternity are two weeks into their sport where the birds have matured. I won’t join in, despite generous invitations. Put … Continue reading Wildscribbler’s Diary – October 2019
It’s a sad truth that the older you get, the faster the days fly by. Life seems to be logarithmical. The slow, impatient pace which frustrated your youth becomes the steady progress of mid-life. Before you realise it you’re trying to snatch the essence of every day in later life. You regret the indolent teenage … Continue reading A Strange High Summer Fox Encounter
"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
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 …’
Back in March this year, I had my eye on a new shotgun but knew would I have to persuade my better half that the investment was worth it? Bless her. No objection at all. She knows all the signs. I’d been studying the gun for weeks, reading reviews and asking shooting friends who owned … Continue reading Turkish Delight
The decline of the humble rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, across many areas of the UK has been notable. This has been reported by many country folk, hunters and conservationists. Yet the dearth of rabbits in distinct areas is matched by reports from some areas that the rabbit is alive and kicking in healthy numbers. So what’s … Continue reading Where Did All The Rabbits Go?
So today saw the launch of the Labour Party’s ‘50 point plan’ for Animal Welfare Reform and what a cuddly, gushing document it made too! Hardly nature ‘Red’ in tooth and claw, as would be expected. The brief introduction (by Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) sets the … Continue reading Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan? A View From The Countryside.