Saturday, 31 October 2009


Well its been a while since i got out for a couple of hours propper shooting.Since my last posting i have had a couple of squirrels to remove from a large garden that were demolishing all the feeders that were put out for the birds.It was an easy job as the owner had seen them on many occasions and as squirrels are like clockwork it was a sit and wait and shoot on the hour and luckilly for us they was on time.The owners had seen two regulars and we thought if we got one it would be a good thing but we was suprised that when me old man took the first one within seconds the second squirrel was chuntering like mad at his mate twitching on the floor, so i obliged and sent him the same way as his mate.Just as we was ready to go back to the house a jay came in for some free nuts off the floor but the old man was sharp on this one and took a nice 40yard stander.The owner was very pleased with what we had done in such a short time they invited us back and will be recomended for future work with freinds of theres.

Today we had a call from a farmer who had drilled some maize,he had seen his field black with crows so on the phone to me old man and it was load up and go.If a farmer rings then its do whatever you can to help them out as its them that can soon put an end to some good sport if you dont keep up the work.I have seen on many occasion where lads have had good land and they are once a month shooters if the weather suits them that is,loose the lot and i have been happy to take over and do a job thats kept me going back for 20 years on some grounds.
Well as i was saying ,we drove upto the fields that were black with crows and inkeeping with farmer traditions 1 crow was 20,as 1 rabbit tail bobbing is 40 and over run,we have all seen and heard it at sometime so to see 20 on the field was at least a good start.We drove round to a suitable hedge that would cover us a bit and not show the hide so much and also gave us a bit of cover from above.Setting out 10 crow decoys in a spread out pattern 30 yards from the hide i also opted for some pigeon decoys in between them,i feel if you have both there is more confidence in the crows to come in closer and take a look.The old man had sorted the hide and got the guns out ready so off i went and parked the bus up.
On my way back to the hide i saw a crow coming in low 300 yards away it was great to stand back and watch it come all that way ,not even bothering with danger till me old man stood up at the last second and nailed it stone dead..That was my cue to walk faster and get in the hide before anymore showed up and give him another shot,no way it was my turn.We didnt have to wait long 3 jackdaws were coming at us pretty high but one decided to swoop lower hovering just over the deeks, i didnt want to blow the deeks to bits so i waited and took a higher one out and was just going to take the one that was lower but it went left so i left it for me old man to take out,we have an understanding when both of us are in the hide together no one passes half way if we have more than one bird coming.If its a single or double you take turns thats it,safety is paramount with any sort of gun so stick to it .Well i can talk about this shot and that shot but as you will see from the pick we didnt do to bad for what crows we seen at the start and im sure when more sprouts up it will be black with them,but we will be waiting aswell..

For the last hour we decided to have a go with the hmr on the rabbits around the wood,this year mixy has hit hard so it wasn`t a slaughter hour we just had a go at the 100+ ones that came out,we did manage 3 and a squirrel that was turned a little inside out,i couldnt believe it when we walked upto it..well thats it for another day and lets hope next weekend proves as good if not better..

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Well last week was a quiet one,i had managed to get out with the old man to zero his new hmr ,what a tool this is going to be.We had it shooting half inch groups at 70 yards without trying ,so we thought we would just give it a go on a few bunnies for the last hour.
Rabbit number 1 was a good shot taken at 98 yards hit in the neck ,well what was left of it and it did put a smile on the old codgers face,well that was untill he hit one at 120 yards then i didnt hear the last of it,clint eastwood springs to mind the way he was going on.We did manage to have a couple of long range squirrels aswell before the light faded to much.
While we were walking back we noticed a few geese dropping on a field on the farm next door to mine so we thought we would do a morning and evening watch and see if we could get on a flight line and drop some..the next evening didnt produce any in numbers but in the morning on first light there was loads flocking in on a newly planted field ,well out of reach for us but when they took off it was another matter.The main groups took off away from us but at least 100 of them circled around and came straight over us,some high but a few within range for a 12g.That was it we planned for a hide set up in the hedge about half way along the field and one sitting in the corner behind a sandstone wall that was hiding them from us in the other field.
Next morning after a 5.30 alarm call i got the gear packed up and went to pick the old man up.We arrived at 6 am and started to set up the hide straight away,it was now just a sit and wait and pray something would come .It didnt take too long and the light was just good to see about half a mile away a group of about 100 geese were coming up the heart was in my mouth listening to the sound of 100 geese honking their lungs out,god only knew what me old man was thinking but i could see them he could only hear them get closer and closer.
NO WAY you wouldnt belive it they turned from us about 60 yards out to my left  to far for the 12g and me old man was 100 yards to my right,gutted was an understatement but there was more we just had to sit and wait.The next hour produced over 500 geese and not one came within range of either of us,they all turned well before us to get to the field that they were all resting on,you could have just gave up, it was so frustrating to watch so many but not get a shot off, i can appreciate what the wildfowler must go through to get these huge birds the didication they put into it you can only admire.
Well we sat and listened for over what seemed hours to the honking from all the geese behind the wall and finally they decided to take off to their feeding grounds.I watched about 200 take off away from us but a group of about 10 circled right and came straigh towards me,they seemed to be climbing but as i stood to take the shot i was just smiling knowing i could easy reach them.Bang, i took one out from the lead 3 first shot but i was so exited i just couldnt take the second shot ,i just watched it fall and thump the ground like a sledge hammer hitting solid concrete.I looked towards the old man and gave him the signal 1.0 ,as i was looking towards him all hell broke loose ,300 geese took off together alarmed by my shot and they were going in all directions.I shouted to me old man that he had 2 coming straight at him over the wall and to get ready.
It seemed like an age watching for him as they came but eventually he got sight of them and bang he missed he turned and bang he took one dropping like a stone,as he took his second shot 20 more must have spooked because they turned 180 degrees and came straight for me.Bang Bang, i took my first right and left goose what a buzz , i was jumping like a kid who had seen santa with hundreds of pressents for him,me old man came out of his hide to pick his goose up punching the air so i looked about and seen the remains of the geese taking flight well away from us.It was great to see me old man walking up the field with his goose in hand what a treat for him to get one on his first time out on them.

Well that was it for the morning and we dicided to call it a day ,we just marveled in the moment of seeing so many geese and managing to get some shots off.We will be keeping a close eye out for them this week and hopefully they might be back.We will see.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Due to other comitments its been a while since i was out last.
I was recently invited to do a rabbit control job in welshpool on a few grounds that my cousin shoots.We had decided on a lamp session on a golf course and then shoot a couple of farms the next morning.After loading the car up we embarked on the 1 1/2 hour trip up the A5 to the welshpool golf club getting there just before dark.

On reaching the course we saw the odd rabbit out feeding,a good sign i thought to my myself,so off to the club house we went to get sorted and get the buggy ready.
It was dark by the time we had got lamps fitted and guns charged up so off we went to slaughter the green wreckers.

First shine round produced a nice 30yard sitter,i took him out and what a start i thought as we drove to the next green.The next shine showed 3 on the fairway about 80 yards away , within seconds they had bolted for cover,this was not a good sign.

The next 3 fairways produced the same thing , shine and scarper, it didn`t matter if it was red or white light they just wouldnt sit.

The 5th fairway did produce some action nigel took one out on the fairway and as a couple ran they stopped close to the edge of some bushes and i took one out as the other hopped to safety.

This problem lasted for hours and it was apparent that the course was getting poached big time,out of probarbly 200 rabbits that we spotted we only managed 24 shots resulting in 22 rabbits.It was probarbly one of the hardest and most frustrating nights work i have ever done to get a few rabbits in the bag.
The next morning saw a nice sunny day on the cards,warm sun at 7am is just what the doctor ordered and we hoped would bring a few rabbits out to bask in all their glory.We pulled up at the farm and got the kit ready and decided on a split up approach to cover as much ground as possible in double the time.

No sooner had we split up and nigel had bagged his first, i seen it tumble down a little bank stone dead.Great start again i thought but i wasn`t getting my hopes up this time,i had walked along a steep bank into some trees and within 2 mins i had my first shot, a nice squirrel was busy feeding and hadn`t noticed me sighting him up,one stop was all i needed and well ,the rest is history a nice head shot sent him tumbling down the bank into a small stream at the bottom of the steep bank.Now after my last trip where i went for a swim after falling down a bank into the river i wasnt going to risk a second swim so i left him.

On i marched along the thin track and within 40 seconds of shooting the squirrel a rabbit ran across me 25 yards away,it stopped just up the bank near a hole so quickly the rapid went up and i stoned him,after that shot it just went manic, i seen 2 more run about 20 yards behind him up towards some nettles so i walked another 10 yards and found a nice rest in a tree trunk and looked towards the nettles through my scope.

Scanning the nettles i saw the 2 that had ran so i took aim at the clearest in view,an estimate of 40 yards was in my mind so i gave him the first mil dot and let fire.Crack was the sound so i reloaded quickly and checked for the second ,no probs on him ,he was just behind the first one i shot so i took the same aim point and repeated the same thing,crack number 2.As i checked to see if i could see him dead i noticed some movement at the side of the nettles,at first i thought it was the second rabbit ,had i missed ,so i took aim again and made sure this time,just when i thought that was it i seen another hop through the nettles,i could see his head behind a nettle leaf so i took a guess where his eye would be and shot through the leaf,i heard a good crack and the hole in the leaf was just where i had aimed so off i climbed to take a look at what i had.

On reaching the nettles i was suprised to find a small warren ,i found the first and second rabbit right where i had thought i had shot them,the third one was lay over a hole at the side so where was the fourth ,i thought i had missed through the nettle but there was blood over a hole so i had a look down and i could see its tail,i pulled him out and it was a nice clean shot just below its eye,what a great 2 mins that was 5 rabbits and a squirrel, could it get any better only time would tell.

After picking the rabbits up and taking them back to where we split i noticed nigel lying infront of a warren on a bank,i scanned the warren and already i could see 2 dead ones so a good start for him also.
After another walk through the wood i took another squirrel and a rabbit in more or less the same place as the last but this time i picked up the rabbit and carried on to the edge of the path that leads onto the field,after a quick look round nothing was showing so it was back to nigel to count up and back to the farm for refreshments.

Nigel had took 4 more off the warren and what a start 11 rabbits and 2 squirrels in the first hour lets just hope the rest of the day was going to produce.
After a good hour of refreshments we decided on the same split and cover ground trick,i found a nice warren on top of a bank behind the farm and nigel took off along the bottom hedgerow.It didn`t take long before i got the first for me in the bag , a nice clean headshot on the top hole of the warren,in the next 2 hours i was there i managed 11 rabbits from the warren, so i decided on a walk back to the farm and drop off what i had shot before moving to another warren that i had spotted rabbits infront further down the field.While i was at the car nigel had been busy as i found 10 in a bag under the car,things were looking good.Over the few hours more that we had stayed the sun got hotter and the rabbits didnt seem to come out as much but after a good walk round we had managed over 60 rabbits to finish the trip,what a shame the lamping session didn`t live up to expectations.

Maybee next time.......