The easing of lockdown restrictions this week has lifted my spirits enormously. As it has yours, I’m sure? A tentative call to ‘Landowner No 1’ to ask if I was welcome back yet, resulted in more than a positive response. I was virtually begged to return to take care of ‘those pesky squirrels’. A request I’m … Continue reading Hunter’s Musk: The Scent Of Gun Oil
For a habitual wanderer, confinement to the proximity of my home could have been hell. I’m glad to say it’s proved otherwise. The order to “stay close to home, don’t get too close to strangers and be home before dark” isn’t new to most of us. These were the instructions given to me as a … Continue reading The Lockdown Wanderer
Is there anything more calming than the gentle patter of rain? The flautist on the branch had heralded the downpour with his trill repertoire. The cock blackbird is rarely wrong when it comes to forecasting precipitation. As the gun-metal grey clouds rolled across, I donned my wet gear and slipped a leash on Charlie the … Continue reading It’s life, Captain … but not as we know it !
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’.
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
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
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
Strolling along the track from Buckenham Station car park towards the River Bure, it would have been easy to think that we were the first visitors to the Fen this morning. The cracked ice on the myriad puddles told a different story, obviously shattered by vehicle tyres. Scanning ahead, through frosted breath, we could see … Continue reading A Walk Amongst Wigeon
I have been overwhelmed by the response from family, friends and social media contacts to Dylan’s passing this morning. My wife and I are going to miss the old feller badly. It has been a privilege to work for nearly 16 years with such an intelligent, biddable and loyal dog. Many people thought it was … Continue reading RIP Dylan : Bless You, Old Partner
Ye Gods, I love a good storm! We’ve been rain dancing for weeks and tonight over Norfolk, the atmosphere started to change. The humidity was claustrophobic and the cloud base rolled into banks of grey and white cumuli. The birds stopped singing and even the woodpigeons abandoned the birdbath. The air was charged with … Continue reading Storm !!