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Another One In The Memory Bank


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We often hear that shooting is not all about pulling the trigger and I couldn't agree more, those who shoot with a dog relies on his or her dog to earn it's keep once you have had a successful shot , more so in wildfowling when you are shooting in poor light and often over water and also for the rough shooter who drop dead and wounded birds in heavy cover .

Today was a perfect example , with the weather being dry and mild with hardly a breath of wind it was an ideal day to have a wander around the marsh rather than go for a flight when the day draw to a close .

I started off with low expectations but as a rough shooter you always think there is hope and something in every dyke , reed bed or any where with a bit of cover , after walking around three big marshes and along the reeded margins around the dykes I had seen nothing to raise my heartbeat , this was the same at the start of the next marsh and I am sorry to say the concentration was waning a bit when my dog who was about 15/20 yards in front put up a Cock Pheasant out of the side of the dyke , by the time the gun got into the shoulder and I was ready to pull the trigger the old cock bird was just about on the limit , at my shot with the chocked barrel it staggered a bit and glided into the reeds a good eighty or so yards up the dyke and I knew we were going to have a job on our hands as it was only lightly hit .

When we roughly got to the spot where he first went in my dog was on the scent straight away but after a lot of splashing about and working on both sides of the dyke the scent was getting less and less as he kept coming back to where the cock bird first went in , after a good search in that area I was beginning to think this one had got the better of me , we carried on working our way forward and my dog was really enjoying himself jumping in and out of the water and sniffing just about every reed he came across , after making our way nearly the full length of the dyke my dog was a good thirty yards in front when he emerged from the side of the dyke with a very lively Cock Pheasant , this was one of the best retrieves he had done in his five and half years and I don't know who was the happier , me or him as his tail was going ten to a dozen and when he shook himself and I was covered in muddy water I swear blind he was laughing as much as me .

As I said , shooting is not all about pulling the trigger and instances like this one will stay in the memory bank for many years to come .

THANKS       MM

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13 hours ago, marsh man said:

We often hear that shooting is not all about pulling the trigger and I couldn't agree more, those who shoot with a dog relies on his or her dog to earn it's keep once you have had a successful shot , more so in wildfowling when you are shooting in poor light and often over water and also for the rough shooter who drop dead and wounded birds in heavy cover .

Today was a perfect example , with the weather being dry and mild with hardly a breath of wind it was an ideal day to have a wander around the marsh rather than go for a flight when the day draw to a close .

I started off with low expectations but as a rough shooter you always think there is hope and something in every dyke , reed bed or any where with a bit of cover , after walking around three big marshes and along the reeded margins around the dykes I had seen nothing to raise my heartbeat , this was the same at the start of the next marsh and I am sorry to say the concentration was waning a bit when my dog who was about 15/20 yards in front put up a Cock Pheasant out of the side of the dyke , by the time the gun got into the shoulder and I was ready to pull the trigger the old cock bird was just about on the limit , at my shot with the chocked barrel it staggered a bit and glided into the reeds a good eighty or so yards up the dyke and I knew we were going to have a job on our hands as it was only lightly hit .

When we roughly got to the spot where he first went in my dog was on the scent straight away but after a lot of splashing about and working on both sides of the dyke the scent was getting less and less as he kept coming back to where the cock bird first went in , after a good search in that area I was beginning to think this one had got the better of me , we carried on working our way forward and my dog was really enjoying himself jumping in and out of the water and sniffing just about every reed he came across , after making our way nearly the full length of the dyke my dog was a good thirty yards in front when he emerged from the side of the dyke with a very lively Cock Pheasant , this was one of the best retrieves he had done in his five and half years and I don't know who was the happier , me or him as his tail was going ten to a dozen and when he shook himself and I was covered in muddy water I swear blind he was laughing as much as me .

As I said , shooting is not all about pulling the trigger and instances like this one will stay in the memory bank for many years to come .

THANKS       MM

What a lovely account of your trip out. A very persistent and well deserved retrieve by Bobbie. Thanks for sharing.

OB

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First of all many thanks for reading my post and your kind words , much appreciated .

I dare say that the ones who shoot with a dog go through a phrase where the retrieved bird or animal is more important than the retrieve itself , I know that some retrieves are easier than others but we still expected our dogs would find everything it was sent to look for , after a while we realise this is no longer the case and no matter how hard the dog try we have to accept that some birds are lost forever , this is when we start getting more satisfaction from a good retrieve than the retrieved bird itself , I know when my dog can't find something he is often more disappointed than me and he would love to keep looking until he was to tied to carry on .

I have been very lucky in owning some good , honest working Labradors over the last half century , I must admit that some have been better at certain things than others , like wildfowling , pigeon shooting and rough shooting but all of them have put a 100% and sometimes more when it comes to playing there part in our shooting duo , I have never been into trials although I have helped out on several we have had on our estate , some of the entrants were very good working dogs but some of them just couldn't think for themselves and needed a lot of arm waving , blows on the whistle and instructions for the dog to pick up a Pheasant that lay in full view on a ploughed field , still , like children they are all different and the same can be said about the owners .

I know that not everyone who go shooting are in a position to own a working dog mainly due to there life style , family commitments and where they live , but once you have had the pleasure of shooting with your own dog you will never want to be without one .

GOOD LUCK for the rest of the season      MM

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8 hours ago, bishop said:

For far too many people especially younger shooters its about nothing other than pulling the trigger and shotcams. I find it  sad the way  wildfowling has became through social media 

Although there are things I do not like with Social Media and the apparent desire of the younger generation for instant gratification, look on the bright side.... In the old days we would not have heard Marsh Man's account unless you happened to drink in the same pub a him, he wrote for the ST or you waited for him to publish a book....

 

Nice to read the account, thanks

 

Nic

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2 hours ago, nic said:

Although there are things I do not like with Social Media and the apparent desire of the younger generation for instant gratification, look on the bright side.... In the old days we would not have heard Marsh Man's account unless you happened to drink in the same pub a him, he wrote for the ST or you waited for him to publish a book....

 

Nice to read the account, thanks

 

Nic

Evening Nic .... You would had been more than welcome to had a pint in our local but sadly it have now been demolished and turned into four houses , our wildfowling club was born in that pub with the landlord and his son both into fowling , the edge of the marshes and the estuary were only down the end of the road and I can remember the odd meeting night where someone had been shooting and got back to the pub just as the meeting had started , when he came into the room there was the normal bit of leg pulling , he had no more to do than prop his sleeved gun up the corner and drop his game bag on the floor , the ones who were close by were keen to look to see if they could see any wings sticking out from the top of his bag , once he ordered his pint and sat down the meeting could restart.

When the meetings finished the beer started to flow freely and I can safely say there were more duck shot in that pub than on any marsh and it was a wonder we didn't turn out at closing time covered in feathers and peppered in shot . as I said , you would had been more than welcome to see how the boys from the out backs spent there Friday night in the early 60s

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@marsh man I always love reading snippets like that. One man and his dog working together for a common goal. Both enjoying themselves. Thinking about it the same thing may have happened to a shooter back in the late 1800s or maybe further back in time. Glad it all came together for you and Bobbie 

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17 hours ago, figgy said:

Another good report of your outings.

Cheers figgy , How have your season been going up your way ? , we have got a lot of duck , but not sure if we have got as many Pinks as we normally have .

 

8 hours ago, aister said:

Excellent read. I had to shoot last season with no dog and it's just not the same. I love watching a good dog doing what it was bred for.

Thanks aister , Touch wood I have had at least one dog every season since my early twenties and I am now well past three score year and ten , rough shooting would be very hard and fowling harder still , when I am flighting , all I have to do is to put the shot in the right place and as you well know that all birds you hit and bring down are not dead , this is when your dog come into play , our marshes are covered in water with dykes around the edge so it would be very difficult to find a wounded duck in nigh on pitch dark and have managed to reach the dykes without having the use of a decent dog , now at my age , if I didn't have a dog my fowling days would come to a close , far to old to be chasing wounded ducks in the dark :lol:

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Seen plenty of pinks going over, some earlier ones stopped a few days testing then moved on.

Our little marsh hasn't been producing this year, we've had major earthworks going on around us and it will take time to settle down.

Can't get out at the moment but hoping to get a chance of widgeon before season ends.

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