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Big Al

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About Big Al

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    Co. Antrim
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    I have been shooting for around 30 years. I started off shooting rabbits, pigeons and crows on my uncles' farms. Being the only member of my family who shoots, I have had to work hard to get shooting. Things finally came good for me about 20 years ago after a long spell of letter writing to wildfowling clubs.
    I was invited to interview and accepted as a member of a wildfowling club on Strangford Lough. Sadly the club has now folded, but the contacts I established through it mean I am seldom stuck for a place to go.

    I am a member of a Game Shooting syndicate and that takes up 10 Saturdays of the season. The other days of the season sees me in pursuit of my "first love" - wildfowl. Geese are not too numerous here in N.I. so it mainly involves the pursuit of ducks.

    Pigeons are a February and summer pursuit.

    I have 2 dogs - two labs, Ted and Bear.

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  1. Big Al

    Benelli M2 or Vinci?

    I own an M2 and have shot a super Vinci. I like both . I was told the Vinci will be more cartridge fussy with lighter loads if you're thinking of clay shooting with it. Mind you, I put 28g through it no bother. The M2 is probably more of an all rounder and Vinci more an out and out fowling piece ( with it's 3.5 inch chambers and oversize safety) Horses for courses. If it's only or mainly for fowling the Vinci is a clear winner. If it's more of an all rounder then the M2 has it. Both cracking guns.
  2. Big Al

    End of Season Near Miss

    Wow. Scary. Very glad hear you are okay. Very lucky too! I'll be very interested in the findings.
  3. Big Al

    First Labrador

    I wish you every success in training your lab. It is very rewarding when a dog you trained yourself pulls off a good retrieve. Good dog work more than compensates for the odd poor flight. The books I used in my early years were the PRA Moxon and Joe Irving ones but I learned most when my wildfowling club arranged dog training sessions among its members. We ran classes and working tests and I learned plenty. Id add that every dog is different but getting help and advice for more experienced trainers in person or on PW can help you around more specific problems. I did this earlier this year and got advice from friends and PW members. Keep the training fun for you and the pup. Stop if it's no longer fun for either and leave it for the rest of the day.
  4. Big Al

    Lough Foyle Wildfowlers

    I'm afraid I know very little about the club but a quick Google brought up their website http://www.wildfowlers.com I see they are BASC affiliated so that may be a good place start. One of my mates was in it many years ago when he lived in Coleraine- He said the widgeon arrived there first in big numbers before dispersing to all four corners of Ireland. Only hear say though!
  5. Big Al


    Geese and old guns. It doesn't get any better. Well done Sir.
  6. Big Al

    Proud Dad

    Brilliant story and pics. I really enjoy seeing the next generation getting the bug!
  7. Big Al

    Waterproof moleskins?

    I have these: https://www.newforestclothing.co.uk/sherwood-forest-kingswood-trousers.html They are a bit noisy until they warm up but very tough, waterproof and comfortable. You'll get them cheaper than this too if you shop around. Edit to add, I know they aren't moleskins but .......
  8. Big Al

    Michigan Nylon Waders

    I never spend a lot of money on chest waders. I'm not too tight it's just that they get pretty rough treatment. In my experience the nylon ones are much more sturdy than pvc. Added to that that I'm no small creature, I also find the nylon more roomy than the neoprene. I was really wondering if anyone has experience of these? https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F202436664980 The price and material is right!
  9. Big Al

    Benelli Shell catchers.

    It looks like kydex. If it is, then yes, it is heat moulded. Someone on here recommended it for me when I was looking for a custom knife sheath. It is bought in sheets and is very easy too use. Very forgiving too - a wrong shape is heated with a hot air gun and reset.
  10. Big Al

    This years flu jab

    I get it annually. Last year's jab (whatever wasn't in it) was the first that didn't knock me off for a few days. It normally make me feel under the weather for about a week - but certainly not like flu. I can't lift my head off the pillow for a week when I get flu for real. Have only had it three times in my life and I'm 51.
  11. Big Al

    Recommend sat nav for Canada

    I'm looking at second hand ones now with both European and North America. Backed up with a good old fashioned map.
  12. Big Al

    Recommend sat nav for Canada

    Cheers guys. Sounds like a plan.......
  13. Big Al

    Recommend sat nav for Canada

    Thanks for that. I've been looking online and it seems to be very geographical - buy in Europe and that's what you get. Buy in N. America that's what you get. Is it even possible to get both?
  14. I'm going to be in Canada soon and I will be driving. I've avoided sat nav up until now but will have to relent now I fear. If I'm getting one, I'd like one for UK AND IRELAND with Canada thrown in too. I'm not even sure if this is possible! Could anyone who knows about these things (and I fear it may be everyone but me!) recommend at sat nav unit that A - doesn't break the bank B- Works well in UK Ireland and Canada C - Is easy enough to use. Thanks in advance. As you may be able to tell, I am Totally ignorant of these things.
  15. Big Al

    Barrels for Miroku MK70 or MK38 or Browning B525

    Thanks. I have pmd wabbitbosher. Will do. Cheers.