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
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
A few hours around field and wood with the gun on Sunday gave me time to reflect on the extraordinary events going on at the moment. Out amongst nature, where danger and threat are components of every wild creature's life, it’s easy to dismiss the burgeoning threat to some of the human population. Sitting on … Continue reading Covid-19: A Reflection From The Forest
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!
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 drive home tonight filled me with frustration. The local farmers have been battling with the lack of rain out here in the East and so the irrigation pipes have been laid out and water hungry seedlings are getting a well needed boost from the sprinklers. I stopped near one of my permission fields to … Continue reading Revocation – The Aftermath
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 cross between two coverts following the tractors trail between a thigh high crop, under a cloudless azure sky. The fronds are still glistening with dawns dew and my trousers are soaked. A head pops up just five yards from me, amid the barley, startling me. Then a second head. Then a third, a … Continue reading Control and Conscience