Shuffling along the track toward the wood, the nightcap port and cheese hanging heavy in my head, a repetitive bird call lifted my spirits. The obstinate song of a chiffchaff confirming that spring was snapping at the tail-feathers of a bland winter. Underlining the sudden (perhaps premature) change, a brimstone butterfly danced amongst the primroses. Yellow … Continue reading Shadow Dancing; A Woodland Stalk
In the UK, the legal power limit for air rifles is less than 12 ft/lbs though you can own a higher power air rifle if it is registered on your Firearms Certificate (FAC). I’ve held an FAC for ten years, purely for air rifle use. There is a limited use for an ‘on-ticket’ air rifle … Continue reading FAC Air Rifles … a waste of money?
A juvenile big-cat is washed up on the Pembrokeshire coast following a shipwreck and manages to survive in the Welsh hills undiscovered. As it matures, the cat is driven by a natural urge to head East. Its journey leaves behind it a trail of chaos and death, none at the claws of the beast. A female … Continue reading Jaguar: The Black Angel … a synopsis.
(Reprinted from Airgun Fieldcraft, 2016 and updated, Feb 2017. Excludes Scotland.) The air rifle is a hugely maligned tool where the press and general public are concerned ... and quite wrongly so. There are a reputed four million airgun owners in the UK. In the past it was a relatively unregulated gun so no-one really … Continue reading The Air Rifle And The Law
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” So said Walter Hagen, many years ago. My choice of wood today was awash with snowdrops. A welcome diversion from the drabness of the mist-laden morning and the monotonous drip, drip, drip from the … Continue reading Snowdrops & Anarchy
It was late afternoon in the garden wood and I was indulging in my passion for roost shooting. For the uninitiated, that is culling woodpigeons as they head into the trees to settle and rest overnight. The birds float in, randomly, and sit amongst the bare winter branches before picking a niche amongst the ivy … Continue reading A Passage Of Ghosts
I am often asked (not just by fellow shooters but also landowners) why I stick rigidly to air rifles as my preferred hunting option? The answer is carved through my books on air rifle hunting as vividly as a placename through a stick of rock. Yet, not everyone buys a book about air rifle hunting … Continue reading A Gun For All Seasons
The Range Rover Evoque purred up to the huge iron gates and Megan Dale waited for the security system to recognise the vehicle and open them. It was nine o' clock on a bitterly cold Christmas Eve. As the courtyard beyond the gates lit up, Megan took a deep breath. She hadn't been back to … Continue reading A Christmas Ghost Story
I was stunned today when one of the magazines I write for forwarded this reader letter for me to respond to. “Reading your December issue I was upset and angry that your expert, Ian Barnett, shot a beautiful stoat – the birds of prey take more game birds than one poor stoat. I hope he … Continue reading The Beautiful Stoat
The rising influence of social media engagement won’t have been lost on anyone reading this blog … because doing so means you have a PC, tablet or mobile phone. Many of us will be logged into social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. We might be members of select groups on … Continue reading Un-Social Media; The Hunter’s Bane