Spent 3 days in Aberdeenshire with our prizewinning young shots, who won the competition in the magazine earlier this year for two days of goose and duck shooting with noted goose guide Andrew Richardson of Safari in Scotland.
Andrew laid on the trip of a lifetime for the five youngsters, starting with an unforgettable dawn decoying session on a field of winter barley. We arrived in pitch dark (and minus 6 degrees!). Andrew's partner, Mark, set up a hide against a wall, with a pattern of huge "magnum" goose decoys that looked as big as bathtubs!
As the sky lightened we were treated to the awesome sight and sound of thousands of pinkfeet heading from their roost straight towards our decoys. Time after time small groups would break off, set their wings, and glide in to the pattern.
The youngsters shot well, and eventually Mark called a halt when they had reached their bag limit of six geese each - a total of 30 pinks in the bag.
That evening we went flighting ducks at a local pond. It was virtually dark when the first ducks appeared, looking like shadows against the darkening sky (hence the rather dark video below). Once again the youngsters shot remarkably well, and put a total of 24 mallard and wigeon in the bag.
Finally, the next morning we went out for another goose flight. This time the geese were less eager to come in to the decoys. Mark and Andrew reckoned this was because they had been feeding under the moon the night before.
We still saw literally thousands of geese, and our young shots managed a bag of six between them, so a good time was had by all. We would have had another duck flight in the evening, but by now all the ponds in the area were frozen over.
Congratulations to our winning young shots - you can read about their adventure in the March issue of Sporting Shooter.