Hovis, was the nickname given to a beautiful black cock pheasant on our shoot. Otherwise known as Mothers Pride, as I was the one who used to let him pass behind in the beating line, I always said he was just too bonny to be shot. He was on the shoot for five years, but sadly this beaters day his end came, not by a shotgun but he got pegged by one of the beaters dogs. Trying as he always had to get out of the way by running and not flying as Hovis rarely lifted off the ground and if he did it would be only about four feet high. So beaters day had a bit of a let down for me, I know he'd had a charmed life and indeed a good life and maybe it was a fitting end to him, but it still was a sad day. He's now in my freezer, no not ready to eat,but still in his jacket and waiting to be taken to the taxidermist.
Apart from the sad end to Hovis, beaters day went really well, the lads had a good day with a bag of around fifty cocks only. The wind blew like mad and the rain fairly tipped it down at times, but all seemed to ignore this and enjoy their day. They've worked hard throughout the winter and deserve a day for them. My dogs both worked well, my little springer did her duty as efficient as ever, and the young labrador has settled down an awful lot and she too was quite steady. A couple of good retrieves and steady in the beating line I was very happy with her, and can't wait for next year when she can really do some proper work.
With the summer ahead I should be able to get in lots of training and then next season I should have a perfect pair to go to the shoot with. Talking of summer we will be at lots of shows again this year and with a bit of luck the weather will be better. We have a few new ideas for gifts and already I'm busy doing some new paintings. Look forward to meeting lots of you over the year.