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 Fruits of the Forest
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
Being granted new shooting permission is a red letter day for any shooter. How many of us, though, seriously consider whether the ground is suitable for our rifles and their calibres? If you're shooting 'on ticket', your FEO (firearms enquiry officer) will insist that any new ground is covered by existing approval ... or may … Continue reading Risk Assessing A New Shooting Permission
Working farmyards are busy places; full of people, moving machinery and livestock. Being offered permission to shoot freely around a yard is a great privilege and a huge responsibility. It's certainly not an environment for the shotgun but much useful vermin control can be carried out with a legal limit air rifle; silent, accurate and … Continue reading The Air Rifle Around The Farm
Sheep farmers need more help to protect their flocks from this carnage which is happening on a daily basis across the UK. Look at that poor beast! A benign animal, torn up ‘for fun’ by an uncontrolled domestic dog and watched (no doubt) by a distressed owner who hadn’t taught basic recall commands to Fido. … Continue reading The Silence Of The Ewes
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.
The decision this morning wasn’t whether to brave the winter weather. It was what guns to take? Looking out of the windows at home I could see the light boughs of young yew and cedar bending under a Northerly blow. In the habit lately of taking both air rifle and rimfire, I glanced at the … Continue reading The Buzzard and The Betrayal
The Fairy Tale Of Rewilding It was Christmas Eve, in the inn next the muir Ex-keepers debating how life could endure. Re-wilders, with funding, had bought up the land No shooting, no snares, all vermin control banned. They planted the hillsides; a young forest grows, The grouse have all gone, replaced by the crows. … Continue reading The Fairy Tale Of Re-Wilding
Forgive me for starting this piece with a quote. While researching the history of camouflage, I stumbled across (on Wikipedia) this superbly appropriate comment by none other than Charles Darwin. He noted, in his iconic 'Origin Of Species': "When we see leaf-eating insects green, and bark-feeders mottled-grey; the alpine ptarmigan white in winter, the red-grouse the … Continue reading Camo – Crypsis or Contemporary?