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
Have you got as many weather ‘apps’ on your mobile phone as I have? All of my half-a-dozen promised a morning of no rain. Loaded up for a session on the squirrels I hadn’t even got to the end of the road when I had to turn on the windscreen wipers. Not a deluge but … Continue reading Boxing Clever
Half-way through my seventh decade, my infatuation with the great outdoors and hunting remains as fervent as it did in my first and second. The four-year-old who hunted snails in the garden gravitated through pond dipping, worm fishing, bird egg collecting, and lamping with lurchers. He emerged as a serious air-rifle hunter, with a book … Continue reading The King’s New Throne
Driving slowly along the concrete drive into my main shooting permission this morning, I felt like the prodigal son returned. A grey squirrel scampered from the grass margin and sprinted along the track in front of the motor. It’s presence annoyed me, sullying my reputation as ‘the squirrel man’ on this land. Yet I didn’t … Continue reading The Renegade: Tenkara, Rimfire and Reynard
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
The call of the gun was strong on this gorgeous Spring morning. After a week of working from home (in self-isolation) I was desperate for fresh air, yet I realised that my wife must be feeling the same. I suggested one of our favourite walks, from Strumpshaw out to Buckenham Mill and back. Old Charlie … Continue reading Another Shot Buzzard ??
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!
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