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  1. scotslad

    Westmorland Red Squirrels

    Cheers fisher i never knew that. By right that would be illegal anyway even under the present laws,.same as a BoP (or in theory any nesting bird) trees should be left till birds are finished nesting But and i'm sure no forestry company/landowner would knowing fell a wood while young still in the dreys, but in practice it woud be almost impossible to identify every drey in a woodland, even in small areas it could be easy to miss 1 when u have the pressure of work to survey 'X' ammount of acres/woodlands
  2. scotslad

    Petition not quite how it should be.

    But are we not just as guilty of it?? (Ony pretty rubbish at it, mainly due to apathy) How often is there a thread on here linking some random petion or poll about shooting. Fair enough a properly worded well thoughout petion but some are just complete drivel even thou the intention was good. Same with local papers polls, even if i feel strongly about the subject having a raft of folk from outside that 'local' area just demeans the poll and makes it worthless. Many local rural type papers aren't completely anti and would write a balanced or favourable piece if the evidence supported it I think something has to change with online petions, in the past getting 100K people to stop and actually physically sign a petion is quite some achievement now with a click of a button many might not even have a clue wot they've signed for
  3. scotslad

    Westmorland Red Squirrels

    Totally agree with wot u say Garnet, BUT the massive problem is Common sense, with conservation it is so often thrown out the window if it ever exisited. Slightly different is scotland as we're just so blaise?sp about Reds, places that have them have loads, which has also been our downfall as greys have sneaked in under the radar and are now almost everywhere in southern scotland, esp the easter/borders side, west coast is hanging on a bit better but still a lot og greys moving in. Like many things really depends on the woods/local area, plenty of big landowners/forestry interests in this area (and scotland as a whole really) so if u cut down some trees they usually can move elswhere quite easily so not really that big a problem. I would imagine could be quite different down south thou, possibly more areas of smaller 'isolated' woods so being felled in 1 harvest (not mixed age/rotation stands) so if any forester/ecologist ticks the Red squirrel box on felling licence i bet alarm bells will be ringing al throu english nature and english FC offices who issue felling licences. If u have a small say 10-20 acre wood of single age SS they're really isn't much scope for anything else but clear felling.to make it profitable. Even if u felled half the wood in 2 stages the 1st stage would never get old enough quick enough to become vaible habitat and the old trees be be either windblown or worthless as over grown/over sized.by the time theyoung trees are a vaible habitat Reds will move from wood to wood if they have too, or even trap them and move them if no suitable local woods close by I hope it won't be a problem but after being involved with the local bat group years ago who had similar powers, wot a bunch of absolute fruit cakes. Sadly a lot of conservationists are animal nutters, and often very focussed/blinkered on their favourite species/habitat and don't reallly care wot happens to others as long as they they're animal is ok. Over the past few years i've felled some quite big areas of prime red habitat (acres of mature scots pine, real proper old 1's) in cumbria all in the name of conservation Bloody scandalous in my opinion and EN was paying for it all, try to restore peatlands, throwing millions at it, complete waste of money but has given me a bit of work so wot can u do?? I'm actually quite worried about the scottish red squirel groups at the moment, quite a few studies are showing Pine Martin can increase Reds number and decrease grey's, which is brilliants BUT wot about all the other wildlife?? I can see a widescale release programme of PM in the not to distant future, which i don't think will even help the reds that much (it wonder be th emiracle they expect) but fear the price for every other animal may be too high as PM are prolific hunters For me the problem is 100% geys and disease caused by greys so why target habitat loss, probably more suitable red habitat now than there ever has been So this rule is just an easy fix for a problem that hardly exisits and makes them look like there doing something (typical government/civil service really) and then the nut job bunny huggers can hit the landowners/foresters, in practice almost like class war/anti shooting again. Just noticed ur in south cumbria been plenty of felling been done down there (not by me thou but heard the boys on about sites/jobs down there) in the name of peatland restoration, not sure the tree species but almost always mainly Scots Pine and Birch And all that is government/EU money, bloody millions and millions being spent on it essentially trying to turn back time and stop natural succesion, no reason % of that money could not go into protecting red esp killing greys
  4. scotslad

    Westmorland Red Squirrels

    Nice newsletter sciurus. Do u think the petion/protection for trees felling licences is a good thing?? I got a reminder from our own squirrel group about it recently too, I haven't signed it as like many things becomes more about the stick than the carrot, if u own a commercial woodland near felling age which could easily be prime squirrel habitat woudl u encourage them if they could stop ur woods being felled?? It is the same with bats, i own a small woodland and built a good few bat boxes for it when i 1st got it with every intention of encouraging as many as possible (anything that eats midges should be encouraged in my opinion 😀 ) BUT the legal restrications that follow if ur succesful has meant i doubt i'll ever stick them up. Which to my mind defeats the purpose and is causing more harm. than good Same goes for many other protected species, a lnature reserve i'm involved with looked at possible re-intro of GC Newts, but the legislative hoops u have to jump throu would mean u couldn't manage the resrve normally without having 'qualified' peopple there all the time. Sorry to be a stick in the mud about the petition but i think its a bit like grey partridge or Black grouse on the quarry list, no one ever really shoots them despite managing habitat for them but if u took them of quarry list that habitat work might stop. I think for rarer animals to thrive the owner has to WANT them to be there, but he also mst be allowed to work the ground also
  5. scotslad


    Flighting out of forestry blocks u have to be very careful; not to overshoot, as they do tend to be more ur resident birds and u can very quickly spook a lot of birds in a short time. I rarely lift my gun to 1 now and never shout 1 on a driven day. Personally i don't think shoots shooting more than once a week should be shooting woodcock.
  6. scotslad

    Gundog working tests

    BB for a working test cna dogs not be ran individually?? Do they not run on there own at the Scone game fair test? (been years since i've been thou) Been a few years since i've hosted 1 but sure the dogs ran on there own. I usually end up a dummy chucker (usually get a good view of the dogs working) and the way they done it sure only room for the 1 dog running at a time. As for cover for the puppy test was just rashes althou thickish with tiny patches of bracken, the other tests (novice/open) were more brambly but not massively thick, on a shoot day i'd expect my labs to hunt those same brambles out
  7. scotslad

    Gundog working tests

    I used to host a spaniel test on my shoot, it was KC registered but have no idea if it was the 'normal' set up but imagine it would be. The puppy test was hunt up a wee bit of cover/rashes, possibly ask it to sit/recall on command, hunt on shot fired (so drop to shot/steady) and then a fairly simple seen retrieve. All pretty basic stuff really. Lasted just a few minutes,. At 1 test 1 couple drove for well over 3hrs to run there pup in the pupy test, to be fair it was a cracking wee dug and won the puppy test, but u didn't have to drive for hours to see that, seemed a waste of time/desiel to me to travel so far for a few minutes hunting. In fact they drove all the way down from ur neck of the woods heckler to south scot. Must admit i never thought the novice test was an awful lot easier than the open, only difference i can mind was the open had a 'blind' retrieve whereas novice all were seen. Best bet is to try and contact a local club that hosts them throu the spring/summer months and ask wot they do.
  8. scotslad

    Tip 'guidance'

    I'd say 10 per 100 is a bit light as a golden rule, wot can u buy nowadays for a tenner?? Days probably cost u 3-400 quid so an extra tnner to make £20+. But i'd also say 40 is too much as a basic minimum. Nowadays i'd say its hardly worth tipping less than £20 even for a small walked up day , althou my tip would stay similar right up to 100 birds but a lot depends on the day itself and the keeper. Been on a dog training day as a gun where it was like herding cats with the handlers, we failed to shoot our bag 30 head, only shot about 20 but that was not the keepers fault (or ours as guns) wot should of been an easy 1/2 day turned into a nightmare for the keepers. The doggy folk agreed to all chuck in £5 each, me and my mate done our own thing and gave the keeper a better tip,still only £20, think the keepers appreciated getting the craic with them more than the tip I also know of local 'toff's' (for want of a better word) that get invited to plenty of decent shoots (for free) and think of nothing to tip £5 as standard no matter the bag size, i know off a few 250+ days for a fiver tip. That hardly buys the keeper a pint in some pubs, so seems almost insuling esp when u have not paid a penny for the day (and don't have a shoot/keeper of their own so not returning the favor to the landowner either) While i've yet to hear of a keeper sharing tips out to beaters, sometimes don't even split it with beat keepers/under keepers,. 1 keeper mate used to put on a crascking 3 day keepers day, took u to the pub 1 nite and hardly let u buy any drink, and great big barbie in a shed on the sat avo and he supplied all the meat etc. That was his way of thanking the beaters and he paid for it out his tips.
  9. scotslad

    Excited on shoot days

    Mibee there's a reason why folk with trained gundogs don't bother going to that shoot??? I know i wouldn't bother going to a shoot where all the dogs are *****, i ilke to enjoy working my dogs and watchng other well rained dogs and am lucky enough to pick the shoots i'll work them on.and have plenty of offers elsewhere I'd echo exactly wot mocha said far easier for a dog to riun a days shooting than help if wild esp a more walked up/rough shooting day where birds could be scarce, no good if all flushed at 100m's when u've walked miles for them. But as long as u are happy with ur dog.
  10. scotslad

    Old Hilux Advert

    There is a couple of other cracking kiwi hilux adverts. A country that still has a sense of humour.
  11. scotslad

    Excited on shoot days

    Some decent advice above esp from mocha and dave, it could be hard work with a dog that age but the fact its a lab may mean its not impossible as they generally want to please. Ideally the best thing u can do is leave the dog at home, but i doubt that'll happen. the 2nd best is leave ur gun at home and just take the dog and concentrate 100% on him, even a long line if needed, so when u blow recall he comes back. Training throu the summer with other dogs/groups would help to replicate a shoot day, possibly even just basic obediance classes at local church/town hall?? while not specially fr gundogs will get it used to other dogs and obeying ur commands (plus indoors so u can do a bit the now) Also have the dog on a lead far more between drives, or if he is off lead make sure he really is at 'heel' (i know i should do this more often too) if u do stand a drive take a corkscrew so he has no option but to sit still while u shoot. Carrying on as ur doing now will only make the problems worse and more ingrained and like others have said the dg is elf rewarding so be bad to stop It may sound like a big thing leaving ur gun behind but u still hae another 4/5 years shooting with that dog a little time invested now will make the next 5 years far more enjoyable for u. A little investment now will be well worth it further down the line Nothing worse than having a dog that annoys u and spoils ur day, ur lucky it is ur own, the only thing worse is when it is someone elses so there's nothingu can say or do.
  12. scotslad

    Midge repellent is Smidge any good ?

    Smidge is quiet good but really the best thing is just biting the bullet and putting a midgie jacket on (hoody with face viel) Smidge is good but if ur doing something physical and sweating or midges are terrible the jacket is the best way (without coating ur face in toxic chemicals, i'm amazed beet is still allowed to be put on skin the mess it makes of other things)
  13. scotslad


    Best way is learn how to guestimate hieghts like u do ranges for airgun/rifle shooting. I used to guess a distance along a fence then count the fence posts when i was a kid (usually 2m or 6ft spacings) Mibee not so handy on the foreshore but inland if u can roughly measure the trees and take it from there, very very few hardwoods are taller than 30m/100ft But if u want to estimate a tree hold ur stick midway (so top is the same length as ur arm+ to chin) then hold it vertical with ur arm out at 90, when ur fist is at the base of the tree and stick top at tree top ur standing as far away as tree is tall (just simple geometery/right angle triangle stuff, all the stuff u thought u'd never use at school). Mibee easier to estinate a range on the ground (or pace into the tree, ur usually within 6ft) than it is in the air Another way is to turn around with ur back to the tree and bend down and look at the tree below ur legs, u will look a complete tool, but when ur standing and can just see the top ur same distance away (think thats meant to work as ur looking at tree top at 45 degrees, must admit never used that method, but the stick 1 does work)
  14. scotslad

    I really don’t get it

    There is plenty of shoots shooting similar bags somes times quite a few times a week, 1 near me often shoots similar bags with 2 different parties on the same day. Big money, plus with bags of that size u getting inot loader territory so another 8-10 wages. To be honest the demand for those sort of days just seems to be increasing, 10-15 years ago that would be quite rare in my area now loads of shoots doing it and shooting 80+ days a season (althou not all that size) Really no wonder the game market is over supplied with far more birds shot + far less folk eating/buying game
  15. scotslad

    fox red lab mistaken for fox

    No but i've been around shooting/beating lines long enough to know it happens. 1st time i heard of itmust of been 35yrs ago and a gsp got some how mistaken for a rabbit (or he shot behind the rabbit and got the dog) on a keepers day, so its nothing new Althou thankfully pretty uncommon but still there is little point in buying/breeding fox coloured dogs ur just increasing the chance of an accident. Newbie i wasn't there but it couldn't really of been anything, really only a choice of 2 things fox or dog he got it wrong, if ur in an area where u know u normally see a fox i can see how it hapened just a tragic accident If u've never misidetified anything u've probably not been shooting that long (thankfully i've never pulled the trigger) but lost count the number times i've stalked into tree stumps that look like deer or snow on SS branches which look like a roe back end. Ur mind can play tricks on u esp if u expecting to see something