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
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
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