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
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
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
Is there anything more calming than the gentle patter of rain? The flautist on the branch had heralded the downpour with his trill repertoire. The cock blackbird is rarely wrong when it comes to forecasting precipitation. As the gun-metal grey clouds rolled across, I donned my wet gear and slipped a leash on Charlie the … Continue reading It’s life, Captain … but not as we know it !
Those of you who read Part 1 will know that Charlie (our OCD cocker spaniel) found that the UK Lockdown coincided with some serious landscaping of his humble jungle and hallowed hunting ground. We’re only talking an overgrown shrubbery but the fall-out was a huge event for the ‘dog who never obeys’. Not only had … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown: Part 2
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
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!
A hastily arranged Thursday afternoon off work saw me lugging a pile of gear into one of the coverts. I had an itch to scratch and it was all about ‘accuracy”. An issue that had been gnawing away at me since Sunday, the last time that I’d been shooting. The kit involved a game-bag carrying … Continue reading Picking The Right Pellet