Well on Monday we had our second day of the season on our small friends and family shoot. It's not a serious affair but there is lots of banter and leg pulling going on, bit like Last of the summer wine meets the shooting world. This year we have a new gun, at last we have another lady to our group, she's only in her twenties and comes along with her Dad who's been coming for years. This was only her second ever pheasant shoot, though she has been putting in lots of practice on the clay field.
First drive and first shot and first bird down to---- Yes Kim, well done girl. She was really chuffed and rightly so, she then went on to get two more in the day. Her Dad was so proud and all the Compo's and Cleggys were full of praise in the new guns ability, saying that next time she'd get harder pegs (ha ha ha), keep it up lass and you'll soon be better than them.
Myself, I was in th beating line, when I say line it's me and four dogs, my team worked liked troopers, with three labs and one springer we can certainly cover a fair bit of ground, no radios with weird messages, no shouting banging or bad language, just me and my team. Luckily they all work very steady, my only problem is the old girl, who knows her job really well but is going deaf, so I have to keep her fairly close to me, but she enjoys her day out and she contributes well . The springer is a treat to work and virtually does the job without much interference from me, then there's the other two labs. Clives bitch is a bit of a headcase and can run in, she just gets a bit hot headed occasionally, but on monday she was pretty good.The other lab the young one, I've spent hours and hours with her, and she has streched my patience beyond belief in the past, but on Monday she was a pleasure to work, she was super steady throughout, not a hint of running in or taking off after birds she'd put up. Then to cap it all she did some fab blind retieves, whoopee what a super dog.
Mind you, being the only one with dogs is a serious disadvantage when it comes to picking up after each drive, cos you end up with four dogs bringing you birds, and there's a definite limit as to how many I can carry.
So our little shoot is not all singing and dancing, it's not about numbers and shot ratios, it's not about the latest gizmos or the most up to date fashion, you'll not see a mobile phone or hear any of them talking business, it's about a day in the field with people of a like mind, it's about getting back to basics, where the pleasure is in seeing birds fly well and letting the gun off irrespective of wether you get a bird or no, it's of good humoured banter, it's of a hot soup and bread bun lunch, and yes Monday was a very, very good day.