It was just after sunrise when I pulled open the curtains and cranked open the vertical blinds. The frosted scene outside warmed my heart, for today I was guaranteed my first ‘pass-out’ for nearly three weeks. I mentioned in my last blog my lovely wife’s cancer diagnosis and the enforced shielding before her op. Thankfully … Continue reading Scent, Stalking and Sanity – Why I Shoot
We all know that climate change has truly screwed up our old concept of winter. I have enough decades behind me to recall my father having to go and rescue (on foot) my mother who had been trapped in a local school where she worked as a cleaner when I was ten years old. It … Continue reading In The Bleak Midwinter
By the third week of the new ‘lockdown’, I had stuck rigidly to the rules. My Twitter timeline (about as live and topical as you can get) described how even deer stalking was being curtailed by various corporate landowners. Concessions have been made for essential pest control. Grey squirrel and corvid control can hardly be … Continue reading A Lockdown ‘Call To Arms’
It was a splendid morning to be walking the wood with a gun and a camera. Predicted by the weather oracle to be the last day of Mediterranean warmth for a while, I was determined to get some miles under my belt. The rain has been long-awaited, particularly by my farming friends. Their concern was … Continue reading The Owl and The Jackdaw
During the first phase of 'Lockdown' I missed my patrols around the naturalists paradise that is my shooting permission. A mixture of woodland, arable land and livestock farming. The first sensory delight to greet me on my return to the wood was ‘the orchestra’. I stepped into the ride beneath a verdant canopy illuminated with … Continue reading Squirrels and Jackdaws: A Return From Lockdown
Those of you who read Part 1 will know that Charlie (our OCD cocker spaniel) found that the UK Lockdown coincided with some serious landscaping of his humble jungle and hallowed hunting ground. We’re only talking an overgrown shrubbery but the fall-out was a huge event for the ‘dog who never obeys’. Not only had … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown: Part 2
I paid a visit to my gunsmiths this morning to top-up on some .22LR ammunition. Inevitably, the lead-shot versus steel-shot dialogue came up and what I learned was both illuminating and disturbing. Nine of the leading shooting organisations (let’s call them A9) recently aligned to jointly announce a planned phasing out of the use of … Continue reading The C Word. Shootings ‘Shot in the Foot’.
Guardian newspaper columnist and conservation writer George Monbiot published a piece this week titled “I shot a deer …” I found it fascinating, from a ‘hunters’ perspective. George had (with noble intentions) put himself behind the rifle scope, to stalk and attempt to shoot a deer. Which he did, humanely. In this latest blog (prompted by … Continue reading Monbiot and the Deer
With the weather front named ’Ciara’ forecast to hit, I was determined to walk my woods today. As a countryman, shooting conservationist and wildlife lover my affinity with trees is immense. Not just because of the photosynthesis which sustains life on earth. Trees are far more than just oxygen generators. Adult oak, chestnut, beech, sycamore, … Continue reading Storm Ciara, spare my giants!
A hastily arranged Thursday afternoon off work saw me lugging a pile of gear into one of the coverts. I had an itch to scratch and it was all about ‘accuracy”. An issue that had been gnawing away at me since Sunday, the last time that I’d been shooting. The kit involved a game-bag carrying … Continue reading Picking The Right Pellet