Our Boxing Day walk is a long standing family tradition which is withering as fast now as the family tree itself. The top end of the tree is thinning out through natural wastage (worryingly, I’m just fourth from the top now!). There is a lack of new growth at the base of the tree and … Continue reading A Boxing Day hike in Grouse Country
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
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?
I'm an addictive and prolific writer but even I get 'writers block' from time to time. You pick up a pen or open up a blank Word document and waste time staring at a blank page or screen as ideas won't come. The best cure for which, I find, is to just put down random … Continue reading Overcoming “Shooter’s Block”
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 title? "We do it to ourselves we do." is a line from a Radiohead song. Never more pertinent. That I'm a committed 'shooter' is beyond doubt, despite a CV which predominantly reads 'air rifle' and includes many hundreds of shooting press articles. Not to mention several books. I have three shotguns and a .17HMR … Continue reading ‘We Do It To Ourselves, We Do’
Many anti-hunting protagonists debate from a standpoint that there is no place for hunting wild creatures in the twenty-first century. I'm sorry but I fail to accept that the hunting gene had a 'use before' date. What has modernity got to do with it? Half the world still has to hunt for (or grow) its … Continue reading The Importance Of Our Hunting Heritage
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?
(An early extract from my forthcoming poetry collection.) "What Can You Scent On The Wind, Old Hound?" What can you scent on the wind, old hound, As you stand with your nose to the gale? What pheromones float on the breeze, all around? And if you could talk, of what tale? The coney's are out … Continue reading “What can you scent on the wind, old hound?”