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SABS's Shooting Tales 15/16

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Thanks, all the best with the "taster" day you're hosting for your pals.

Don't forget your hamper like I did :oops:

 

 

Cheers, I'll try and do a write up and will endeavour not to forget the hamper!

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Wappenshall

15th September 2015



The day started once again, with a dark very early morning walk with Indy, who is now at the back end of her season, so she should be out with The Good Lady and I on our next day.
We left the house around 06:30 hrs in the direction of the shoot, with the sat nav suggesting a journey time of around 90 minutes :/ I have never been one to trust sat navs, but to be fair, we were within one mile of the shoot by 08:00 hrs.
With the arranged meeting time of 09:00 hrs we had a little time to waste, so a quick google for the nearest pair of "Golden Arches" (McDonald's), where we could use the facilities and grab a quick drink. Once refreshed, we headed back towards the rendezvous and followed one of the other gun's vehicles down the lane to the farm, with the another 2 vehicles arriving shortly after.

On arrival, Jonathan, the shoot captain/keeper, was there to greet us all and formal introductions were made.
I was only a single gun on this day, joining an established team of guns, from a syndicate based in Oxfordshire. They were all very friendly and The Good Lady and I were made to feel very welcome to be a part of their team of guns for the day.

Once the introductions were over, we were all invited into the farm house for morning coffee and biscuits. During this time we were handed a small list of shoot rules, to familiarise ourselves with as we enjoyed our coffee and biscuits. Jonathan then gave the safety brief, we picked our pegs, finished off the coffee, jumped into our vehicles and headed off to the first drive.


1st Drive.
We were placed on our pegs by Jonathan and I was on No 8. This saw me out towards the far left of the line, pegged around 80 yards off the hedge, with my neighbouring guns around 30 yards to my left and right.
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As the drive got under way, there were plenty of birds showing. Unfortunately the ones that passed by myself, seemed a little scared of heights, skimming the ground as they flew by. As the drive had only just started, we had some hope the birds would lift a little as it progressed. This they did, and soon the shots were ringing out along the line.

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I bagged my first of 2 on this drive (for a good few shots :blush: )

Soon the drive was over and the pickers up set their dogs off in search of the fallen quarry.

2nd Drive
Moving up two, this drive saw me on No 1 on the far right of the line. Again pegged around 70 yards off the hedge and my neighbour around 40 yards to my left, the drive kicked off with steady flushes.
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The guns further along the line were having a fair amount of sport, then rapid blasts on the whistle, indicating a large flush was heading towards the guns. Sure enough, the sky went dark and around 300 birds flew over my head with a good height to them. There were that many birds, I couldn't decide which one to lock onto so missed the bird I snap shot at and then I was trying to reload before the flush had passed. Luckily I managed to get the cartridges in the gun in enough time to swing through and drop one with my second barrel. The drive continued with a few more flushes offering some sporting shots for the middle of the line.

Elevenses.

Cheers
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3rd Drive
I gave this drive the nick name of "The Pink Dog Drive".
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Yes that was an actual pink poodle :huh: Poor dog

As the day was starting to get warmer and the sun began to shine, most of the line, including myself, decided it was time to lose the heavy coats and risk the rain staying away :/ it was still a touch on the chilly side, so out came the hip flasks for a small nip.
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For the majority of the drive, the rain did stay away, but with around 5 minutes from the end, it started. Light to begin with and got heavier right up to the whistle signaling the drive was over, when the rain stopped :rolleyes:

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With the rain the night before and the openness of this drive, there was not a lot of sport offered and probably less than 25 shots fired. One of those was a fantastic shot taken by my neighbour and it was the highlight of the drive for me. Good shot sir :good:

4th Drive
Now on peg 5 with a 20ft hedge in front of me, this drive looked promising.
20150915_125349_zpsoaqslodf.jpgI was in the hot seat with most of the flushes flying down the hedge line and lifting over it in front of my peg, which in turn would have also offered some good sport for peg 4 on the opposite side. My memorable shots of this drive were my first bird, as a partridge lifted from the other side of the hedge and climbed over with enough time and height for me to squeeze off a snap shot and drop the bird stone dead out of the sky. I also had a few other shots, dropping another bird for my efforts. I was also very glad I missed one, as it was a stray pheasant that had found its way into the cover :oops:
The other memorable shot was my neighbour who dropped a pigeon from a great height. As mentioned above, he was a very good shot and didn't miss much.

5th Drive
This was the last drive before lunch and again plenty of birds being flushed over the guns.
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Some of them offered sporting shots as they lifted to climb the trees that were behind. I managed a further two for the bag off this drive, one as it appeared over the hedge 40 yards in front and the other taken as it climbed over the trees.

Lunch.
This was served in a local pub about 2 miles from the shoot. On arrival Jonathan asked us all what we wanted to drink and the young lass behind the bar poured them. Pints in hand we headed up stairs to the dinner table.
Lunch was a Steak and Kidney pie served with chips and veg, followed by a rhubarb crumble. Very nice :drool:
Over lunch, Jonathan apologised about the birds not flying as well as he hoped and jokingly said at this time of year the nights are light enough to keep shooting until seven. All the guns were happy with the level of sport we'd had so far and reassured Jonathan that we were all enjoying the day.
Once fed and watered, we headed back to the farm for the last 3 drives.

6th Drive
This saw us standing in front of the cover we shot on drive 2 again.
This time I was on the opposite end of the line, over on 9.
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I had a few birds fly over and present a sporting shot or two for the little 20b (the lunch was quite filling and I didn't fancy swinging, or carrying the 12 :whistling: ) I only managed one to the 20b, I put it down to the copious amounts of food I had enjoyed some 30 minutes earlier.

7th Drive
By now you will have noticed that all the drives involve pushing birds over hedges from cover crops behind.
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This drive was no exception and much sport was had by the guns. Again I only managed one left to right crosser on this drive. I also had a cracking bird coming from my left with a good height to it and when I lifted the gun to address the bird, about to pull the trigger, I heard the shot ring out from my neighbour (the good shot mentioned earlier), who had pulled his trigger just before was about to pull mine. "The bar stool had poached me bird" :lol: To be fair to him, he did lift his hand and apologise straight away, plus I have done the same to others in the past myself, so couldn't and wouldn't hold it against him. We all had a good old giggle over it and it provided much banter for the other guns who were ribbing him for poaching :lol:

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Especially as we struggled to find it.
I actually shook his hand over the shot as from his position it was exceptional :friends:

8th Drive
This was to be the last drive of the day and from my peg the hedge in front, from where the birds were to be driven over, was on steroids. It was a copse of trees.
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Throughout the day we had been live on pegs as soon as we were placed there by Jonathan. On this drive,it paid off as no sooner had Jonathan placed the gun next to me and walked up to the gap in the hedge a lone partridge lifted and flew straight up and over my peg. I gave it a 2 barrel salute and watched as the "poacher" next to me swing through and drop it stone dead as it curled back over towards him. At least he had the decency to let me at least have a go first this time :lol:
The drive progressed with a good number of birds flying over the top of the trees and curling in front of the guns on their way back into the covers.
The majority flushed over the guns on the far side of a small stream that split the line of guns. One or two came my way and one fell to the 20b. With that I handed the gun to the Good Lady for her chance to bag a bird. Sadly there were no other birds that presented a safe shot for Amy and she didn't get a chance to pull the trigger let alone bag a bird :/ not to worry, we will be out again soon :good:


That was the day's shooting finished and it was a long walk back to the farm for the final tally. Everyone was in high spirits of the day and the banter continued.
Once back at the farm, we put the guns away, changed our footwear and headed back into the farm house for afternoon tea and cake which was served by Jonathan's parents. This was a nice touch to finish the day and it also gave the keeper a chance to do the tally of the day's bag.

Which was:
84 Red Leg Partridge
2 Gray Partridge
2 Pigeons
2 Magpies
90 Total

I would like to thank Jonathan and his team for all the hard work they put in for this day, under difficult weather conditions, to give us a good day's sport which we all enjoyed very much.
Also for the hospitality he offered, it was exceptional.

I would also like to thank my fellow guns (even the poacher :ninja: ) for making The Good Lady and I feel very welcome and part of their own team/syndicate of guns for the day.
They were all a great bunch of chaps, good safe shots, with some of them being members on here. They were all up for a laugh and a joke (I have learnt a few, new, little windups), and top class chaps all around.
It was a pleasure to shoot in their company :good:

Again, I would like to thank The Good Lady for her efforts with the camera and joining me for the day :wub:
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Finally we finished the day with handshakes all around and of course, not forgetting the Keeper :big_boss: who presented us with a brace of oven ready birds. We then made our separate ways home at around 18:15hrs with smiles on our faces after a good day's sport.
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Thanks for reading, I promise the next one won't be as long :whistling:

All the best,
Sabs Edited by shoot and be safe

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Thank you sabs. I enjoyed reading that a much better shoot review than you get in the shooting magazines.keep em coming.

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It was a pleasure to welcome you & Amy onto our team Mark & many thanks for the lift on the 3rd drive. We all had a great day & even though my severed Achilles Tendon kept me from shooting some of the Partridge that got past me I did get my fair share of the bag. Jonathan was great in loaning me the quad for the day to get about.

 

All the best

 

Chris

 

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Edited by ChrisR

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Thanks for the write up, really enjoy reading them!

 

I shot Wappenshall last season. I must admit I struggled with some of the drives and found myself mounting and then un-mounting more times than I actually fired a shot. That's my own fault for being used to shooting things up above rather than out in front at hedge/ cover crop height. Saying that, the pics you have put up seem to show a fair bit of height on the birds. Anyway, looks like you had a great day.

Edited by OJW

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Excellent SABS.

Looking forward to you going shooting more than I am me.

Regards.

Fatty

Thanks for your kind comments :good:

 

Brilliant again, keep 'em coming :good:

Thanks Todd :good: How are things looking up at "Glyn"

 

Thank you sabs. I enjoyed reading that a much better shoot review than you get in the shooting magazines.keep em coming.

Glad you enjoyed reading it :) I was worried it was a tad on the long side (which can put a lot off reading). The first draft was much longer :whistling::lol:

 

brilliant write up..keep em coming....are you sure that pink poodle wasn't yours... :whistling::whistling:

I wouldn't be so cruel to a dog :lol: Everything at that house was pink;

Pink dog, Pink cars, Pink windows and doors, Pink gutters, soffits and fascias, Pink gravel on the drive.............. Each to their own :whistling:

 

It was a pleasure to welcome you & Amy onto our team Mark & many thanks for the lift on the 3rd drive. We all had a great day & even though my severed Achilles Tendon kept me from shooting some of the Partridge that got past me I did get my fair share of the bag. Jonathan was great in loaning me the quad for the day to get about.

 

All the best

 

Chris

 

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Thank you Chris. Please pass on out thanks to the rest of your syndicate for welcoming us both into your team for the day :friends: I hope your ankle recovers quickly :yes: I look forward to the next time we shoot together.

 

Thanks for the write up, really enjoy reading them!

 

I shot Wappenshall last season. I must admit I struggled with some of the drives and found myself mounting and then un-mounting more times than I actually fired a shot. That's my own fault for being used to shooting things up above rather than out in front at hedge/ cover crop height. Saying that, the pics you have put up seem to show a fair bit of height on the birds. Anyway, looks like you had a great day.

I know what you mean about mounting and un-mounting the gun. The majority of the birds didn't lift that high and on one of the drives, one of the flushes dropped to within 2ft of the ground as they appeared over the hedge :w00t: , it was interesting standing with 100+ partridge flying past you below shoulder height :crazy::lol: Having said that the ones that did lift, presented challenging shots :yes::good:

 

 

It was a good day all around and I would definitely return again :good:

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Hi

Great write up thanks for sharing 😋

 

Looks like you and the good lady had a great day out with some good company

 

All the best

Of

 

Ps lt is Sabs house and poodle

Pretty in pink

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Thanks Todd :good: How are things looking up at "Glyn"

Not too bad mate. The birds at CM are doing well, but I'm chasing my tail at TR :lol: It's all part of the fun though!

 

No doubt I'll revisit the 'rough shoot' thread in the near future. Stay tuned :good:

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I know what you mean about mounting and un-mounting the gun. The majority of the birds didn't lift that high and on one of the drives, one of the flushes dropped to within 2ft of the ground as they appeared over the hedge :w00t: , it was interesting standing with 100+ partridge flying past you below shoulder height :crazy::lol: Having said that the ones that did lift, presented challenging shots :yes::good:

 

 

Yes quite, I shot with a group of guns that had shot there before and were used to the topography. They didn't have any issues, but to be honest I was wincing at some of the shots that only required their gun to be lifted a matter of inches! My instincts are not to pull the trigger without blue sky behind the bird, I just didn't feel comfortable firing when I actually had a beater in the same field of view as the bird. That's the essence of traditional English partridge shooting though and therefore the shoot delivers exactly what it says on the tin and with great hospitality and friendliness. Also, as you said, there are drives where they do lift, think the pink poodle one was one for example when I was there. Jonathan is the head of The Game Keepers Association (I believe) so must know his stuff.

 

Do you ask permission from the shoot to write reviews or do you just do it as you have the right as a paying customer? I only ask because I would like to do a similar sort of thing but I'm worried I might not allowed back onto a shoot if put up photos and videos of their shoot without permission. I wouldn't put up pics of any other guns, just GoPro footage from a head mount of each drive.

 

Where are you shooting next? Thanks again for the write up.

Edited by OJW

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Hi

Great write up thanks for sharing

 

Looks like you and the good lady had a great day out with some good company

 

All the best

Of

 

Ps lt is Sabs house and poodle

Pretty in pink

Thanks OF :good:

 

Ps - I very nearly bought a pink tie and matching socks at the midland yesterday :oops: decided against it as i thought it would rock the apple cart a bit to much :lol:

 

Not too bad mate. The birds at CM are doing well, but I'm chasing my tail at TR :lol: It's all part of the fun though!

 

No doubt I'll revisit the 'rough shoot' thread in the near future. Stay tuned :good:

Glad CM is doing well. TR is par for the cause I suppose. Ill lookout for the your thread :good:

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I know what you mean about mounting and un-mounting the gun. The majority of the birds didn't lift that high and on one of the drives, one of the flushes dropped to within 2ft of the ground as they appeared over the hedge :w00t: , it was interesting standing with 100+ partridge flying past you below shoulder height :crazy::lol: Having said that the ones that did lift, presented challenging shots :yes::good:

 

 

Yes quite, I shot with a group of guns that had shot there before and were used to the topography. They didn't have any issues, but to be honest I was wincing at some of the shots that only required their gun to be lifted a matter of inches! My instincts are not to pull the trigger without blue sky behind the bird, I just didn't feel comfortable firing when I actually had a beater in the same field of view as the bird. That's the essence of traditional English partridge shooting though and therefore the shoot delivers exactly what it says on the tin and with great hospitality and friendliness. Also, as you said, there are drives where they do lift, think the pink poodle one was one for example when I was there. Jonathan is the head of The Game Keepers Association (I believe) so must know his stuff.

 

Jonathan did give a thorough safety brief before the day commenced and strongly stipulated that every shot had to have clear sky behind them. All the guns respected this and we enjoyed a safe day with great hospitality :good:

 

 

 

Do you ask permission from the shoot to write reviews or do you just do it as you have the right as a paying customer? I only ask because I would like to do a similar sort of thing but I'm worried I might not allowed back onto a shoot if put up photos and videos of their shoot without permission. I wouldn't put up pics of any other guns, just GoPro footage from a head mount of each drive.

 

The reviews are something I started doing after my first time on the crown shoot 3 years ago and enjoy I writing them as my personal view of the day.

I write them as a appreciation of a good days sport and to serve as a shooting diary for myself. If there are any negative parts of the day, I don't comment on them in depth as I don't see it being fair to the shoot, besides, I value the day as a whole and the good parts far out way the bad. The reviews are my honest memories of the day as I saw them. :yes:

 

 

 

Where are you shooting next? Thanks again for the write up.

That would be telling, you will have to wait as I don't actually know myself yet :oops:

Thanks for your feed back :good:

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Crown Shoot

10th October 2015

Today was small bore day and the first time all of the shoot had been together since the end of last season.

The day started with the meet and greet back in the Crown car park at 09:30hrs.
It was good to catch up with the old crew and welcome a couple of new comers to the shoot also.

We picked our pegs for our respective teams, tossed a coin for which team was in to bat first, received the safety brief which included the order of the day, jumped in the vehicles and headed off to the first drive.

The first drive saw Paul's team (the team I'm on) beating, with Rob's team shooting.
We didn't do all the main drives today, it was more of a "boundary day". This drive involved pushing the hedgerows of some stubble fields.
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A number of birds were presented well with a good height to them and flew through the line of guns shot streams. One gun taking 17 shots with his 20b for no reply :blush:


2nd drive saw Paul's team on the pegs.
I picked peg 2 and this saw me out on the left of the drive.
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From my peg I saw a good amount of birds flushed over the other guns on the far side. They flew well and had a good height to them and it was a pleasure to view from my peg.
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3rd drive (Rob's again), saw the first birds in the bag.
Good flushes of both pheasants and partridge.
Mr Brown also added a pigeon to the bag from a great height and it made up from his 17 shots earlier.

4th drive saw my first bird in the bag with 3 others soon following. Indy the dog, also had her first warm retrieve of the season, which was a cock pheasant that landed in the river. Well done kid.
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5th saw Rob's team add a few more to the bag. Indy and I took up a position in the woods behind the guns to pick any birds that may fall this way.
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6th drive was on the outside of the "Nant"
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Sadly no shots were taken at pheasants, just pigeons, none of which had any hope of being added to the bag, but we had a giggle at the expectations of a .410.

We finished the day with a walked up drive.
All guns of the day (18), lined up on the lower hedge of a sugar beet field with the beaters of the day filling up the gaps.
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This was to be a bulk dogging in exercise with shots only to be taken at birds that lifted and went back over the guns.
A good number of birds lifted and went forward towards the pen, which was the desired intention. A few also curled back and presented shots for the guns.
This concluded the day's shooting and it was back to the vehicles for the final count of the day's sport and then off to the pub for a pint, some hot stew and watch the rugby.

My personal bag for the day was 4 pheasants for 12 shots
plus 5 shots at some rather high pigeons :whistling:

We all had a good day with good company out in the fresh countryside air. Plenty of banter was to be had and a pleasure to be part of the day. :good:
Well done to all involved.

All the best,
Sabs.

Edited by shoot and be safe

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Hi

Good to see you all had a good day and pleasant weather to enjoy your first get together of the year

Great rite up very enjoyable to read about a day

 

All the best

Of

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nice pics and good write up......keep em coming....nice to see you left the pink poodle at home this time..... :whistling::whistling:

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very well written and extremely well dressed again mark , i may have a go at this pheasant shooting malarky one day . :good:

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The Good Lady's Day
On The Crown Shoot

24th October 2015

The day came about from one of the half guns not being able to attend. So with the 24th being one of the day's that was deducted from myself (for not doing the required amount of work parties) I offered to swap one of my later days in the season for this one.
As it wasn't "my day to shoot" I gave the day to The Good Lady to shoot the drives that our team would be shooting, with myself standing along side to offer advice, load and spot for her.

The morning started in the usual way with pegs being picked in the car park. There were a number of guests on the shoot and they were invited to pick first, with the other guns following. A coin was tossed to decide which team was shooting first, followed by the safety briefing.

The first drive saw us on the beating team. We pushed a side cover towards and 30 yards up into the main cover crop for the drive.
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Where we remained as stops for the duration of the drive.

The birds broke from half way up the cover and presented some fantastic high sport for the guns.


The second drive saw The Good Lady standing on peg 4 on the FF drive.
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The drive started slow, but soon enough reasonable flushes were flying over the guns.
One of the guests was PW member "Youngie" who had a superb shot at a pigeon beautifully retrieved by his dog Meg.
The Good Lady accounted for 3 birds off this drive for 11 shots, the first 7 shots were to get her eye in on the pheasants and the last 4 shots dropped the 3 birds. A very proud moment for me. And to top it off, Indy retrieved 2 of them at the end of the drive.
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The Good Lady with her personal bag of the drive.

The 3rd was the gulley and again saw Amy and I as stops around 30 yards from the bottom of the drive.
This is the view Amy had on the gulley drive with the guns 30/40 yards below.
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I was on the other side of the gulley as the other stop.

A good number of flushes went soaring over the guns at well over 40 yards plus. Some excellent shooting from the guns below with the bag growing.

All the birds were picked along with a duck shot by Paul223 on the first drive. There were a good few dogs looking for the duck and another proud moment for TGL and I, was when Indy came out of the stream with the duck in her mouth and gave it to hand.
It is moments like that, that makes our sport a lot more than just about the shooting.


Tiffin was provided by Mr Brown (pies) and magman (Prosecco). Good pies and a interesting mix of strawberry Pimm's with Prosecco :hmm:
Thanks chaps for the refreshments :good:

Next up was the Territories, with Amy shooting one of the Starling pegs. We were stood at the lowest part of the shoot with the cover being at the highest. When the birds broke over the trees on top of the hill they were wasps. Some of them dropped low enough to present a shot for her 20b.
Sadly by the time Amy had lifted the gun to address the birds, they were out of range for her but not for the experienced neighbouring gun, who dropped 3 birds from this drive.


Next was the Nant and again The Good Lady and I, along with another gun were to act as stops on the top cover crop.
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This was the first time the sun had shined all day and gave us a chance to dry out.
We were complimented on our "stopping duties" as when the beaters arived to push the top cover, they flushed a good number of pheasants, partridge and 2 foxes out of the cover.
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Soon enough the drive was over and we all regrouped back at the vehicles.


The last drive was pushing a beat field from the border of the shoot back in the direction of the pen.
On the last shoot, all the guns walked up in a "mass dogging in" exercise. This time the guns were placed on the boundary, behind the beaters who pushed away from the guns. The idea being that any birds that broke and went back to the pen were going to be around for the next shoot and the ones that went backwards were to be shot.
Amy was pegged at the top end of the cover (the hot seat that would have been on the last shoot) and very kindly offered to let me have a shot as this was the last drive.
I wasn't dressed appropriately to shoot, the wearing of a hoody, standing on a peg, on a driven day just isn't cricket although I was wearing a tie so some standards were maintained :whistling:
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I only held the gun for Amy for a short time as it was her day to shoot.
Unfortunately the birds behaved as wanted and curled back to the pen 80 yards in front of us and no shots were presented.

I believe that everyone had a good day and a reasonable sized bag for the day was shot:
53 pheasants
2 partridge
1 duck
1 pigeon
For 259 ish shots.

We then retired to the pub for some refreshments.

I would like to thank everyone for a fantastic memorable day and making The Good Lady, Amy, feel very welcome.

I really enjoyed the day, even though I wasn't shooting. I'm made up that Amy rose to the challenge and shot a few birds with her personal bag of the day being 3 for 14 shots. Indy had some great retrieves, including the duck from the stream. Great memories were made on this day.

Thanks for reading,
All the best.
Sabs.

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Many thanks SABS for sharing, a grand report of a good day. Yes makes you feel good when your dog keeps at it and finds that nearly lost bird.

 

Regards Konnie

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I hope that these diaries are not becoming too much of a chore for you. They are enjoyable reading and the photos are always good.

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