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 low winter sun that blinded me on the drive to the wood augured well for an extended shooting session. It was 2.30 pm on the penultimate day of the year. It would make a welcome change to stand in the dry after what seems like weeks of torrential rain. I’d already checked the wind … Continue reading A Red Sky Roost Shoot
Dawn is an enchanting time for the shooter and wildlife observer. Today, on the cusp of the winter solstice, it came late and allowed me to linger longer in the comfort of my bed. I woke to wind and rain battering the south-facing bedroom window, yet the temptation of lazing was immediately dismissed. For today … Continue reading Wildscribbler’s Diary – December 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
I stepped outside and the cool morning mist caressed my face like a lover's gentle kiss. The swirl of vapour swathed the motor and for the first time since winter, I had to scrim the moisture from the windows of the vehicle. The yellow halo of a veiled sun was already auguring an Indian Summer … Continue reading Wildscribbler’s Diary – September 2019
This book is for anyone who ranges the countryside harvesting meat for the table, undertaking crop protection and protecting vulnerable species from predation. It is for the mature adult venturing into shooting with a limited knowledge of bird and beast. Or perhaps changing from air rifles to more powerful tools. It is for the kid … Continue reading New Book Launch – Hunting and Fieldcraft with Shotgun and Rifle
I’m of an age now when sitting behind a leaf-net, as I did this morning, sometimes feels like wasting precious time. The purpose of the exercise today was woodpigeon control and it was effective. It usually is. Of late, the absence of my old cookpot mainstay (the rabbit) means that the woodpigeon has become a … Continue reading Wild Time, Precious Time
I cross between two coverts following the tractors trail between a thigh high crop, under a cloudless azure sky. The fronds are still glistening with dawns dew and my trousers are soaked. A head pops up just five yards from me, amid the barley, startling me. Then a second head. Then a third, a … Continue reading Control and Conscience
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.