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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. Only spotted this thread. I qualified as a teacher in 1991, so almost 30 years experience. I'm Deputy Head in mainstream primary school and I certainly don't earn 50K (pay structure is different in NI.) I'm responsible for KS2, Literacy, Numeracy, Child Protection as well as my DH duties. Oh, and I have a class of 35 10/11 year olds ( including 4 Statements of Special Educational needs, including Downs Syndrome and Autism.) My days fly in - I'm very busy all the time and that is one of the bonuses. I never clock watch. Things have changed a lot since I started - but the kids haven't. They are challenging but great fun. The teacher who is old school won't last too long. Parents are the biggest problem, and partly because of the perceived injustices they received at school. The parents primary concern is not education, but that their children are happy. It is up to the teacher / school leadership to strike the balance between the two. At times I have called it "Edutainment." Within the last month, extraordinary duties have included the removal of drug - fuelled , highly aggressive parents and being reported for all manner of nasty things for refusing to lie on a DLA form. Staffing issues are always a doozy because you are dealing with menopausal women. I'm approaching early retirement age now and am more grateful than ever for the holidays. They are brilliant but I'd be a frazzled wreck without them. Edit to say that i have the immune system of an ox as I am daily exposed to every germ, bacteria and virus in the country.
  2. Excuse me for I am thick. I can't see shotguns. I can see the air rifle bands can be changed for anything from a .177 to .25. No mention of shotguns. I assume that it can't be done. I'll ring Tannyoky tomorrow. Gavin will definitely know. Thanks for all the help guys.
  3. I did but couldn't make sense of it! I thought it was all about rifles. I'll have another look! Thanks Millrace.
  4. If you are adding a gun to your fac (of any variety) you have to apply to psni . In the meantime the gun is held by the rfd. Can take weeks or can take months. A one-on one-off of the same type of gun can be done by an rfd, who notifies the psni of the transaction. My query is concerning the swapping of an air rifle for a shotgun. I don't know if it is possible. It depends on how the psni views the two categories whether they are categorised as being the same. It's a bit of a cod to be honest. If only if was as simple as the mainland UK.
  5. Probably - although I tend not to bother them. Id have to go hunting for who and where mine is. Just wondered if anyone else knew. I'd normally call an RFD but they are closed on Mondays!!
  6. Its all different here. No SGC. Everything (including my sub 12ft lb air rifle) is individually listed on an FAC.
  7. NI firearms query. I have an air rifle on my fac which I hardly use. Can I do a one on one off for a shotgun??
  8. Some of those pigeons were a long way out judging by the lead you gave them. I enjoyed that. Thanks for posting.
  9. I would. But buyer beware! They aren't. And maintenance is simply a state of mind for them! Maybe I'll save a bit more then. But I've 3 trees lying flat waiting for me. Might have to take a punt. Do you know anything about the bombardier ones? Thanks. I reasonably proficient on small engines, but have zero experience on quads. The technical challenges appeal to me though.
  10. Cheers. Yes - I was factoring that in.
  11. I'm thinking of buying a second hand farm quad to haul firewood out of fields, help feed on the shoot and around the farm. Ideally I'd like a 4x4 with a bit of grunt but want to keep the price around 1k to 1500. I know the red Hondas are pretty good as are the yamahas and have been looking at a bombardier (can-am) one. Is a half decent one achievable at that price? Any pointers in make / model/ common weaknesses?? Thanks in advance.
  12. Thanks Cranfield. I hope to escape work early tomorrow and get a last walk round and finish up in the hide. I goes by too quickly. Cheers ditchman. They love every minute - at least as much as me.
  13. Winterdance by Gary Paulsen. True story of Paulsens journey from trapper and novice dog sledder to running the Iditarod. The descriptions of dogs, landscapes and hardships are just fantastic.
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