Monday 25 February 2008

Tolley 8-bore shotgun

For those of you who wanted to know more about the J&W Tolley 8-bore shotgun I mentioned in an earlier post, here's a video of Dick Shelton going fowling with the beast, on the shore near Cellardyke. I've included a sequence of him cleaning the gun afterwards - cleaning seems to take almost as long as going shooting! "The trouble I take to clean the gun is because the bores are on the rough side!" he says.

Dick tells me the gun was made in around 1878 or 9. It bears the serial number 5636 and the address St Mary's Square Birmingham. It weighs 13 1/4 lbs. He used to fire loads with 2 1/2 oz of lead shot; now that lead is banned for this sort of shooting in Scotland he fires ITM (tungsten matrix) shot, with loads just over 2oz.

Saturday 23 February 2008

Venison casserole recipe video

While we were staying with Andy Richardson in Fife, he cooked up an amazing roe deer casserole which, with his typical wry humour, he called his 'Venison Casseroley Type Thing'. I videoed him making it - here's the result...

Andy commented that the same recipe works well for rook breasts too. And in case you're wondering, yes it really was delicious!

Thursday 21 February 2008

Airguns at a crow roost

IMG_7022, originally uploaded by james.marchington.

Went shooting crows, rooks and jackdaws at a crow roost in Fife with Andy Richardson, using airguns (BSA 10-shot pre-charged pneumatics) as the birds came in to the roost in their thousands.

The noise was incredible, and the shooting fast and furious - we had nine picked up before it became too dark to see to shoot.

Saturday 16 February 2008

Fowler's breakfast

Out early this morning with Richard Shelton and his lovely old Tolley 8-bore. Saw a few duck but shot none. Back for a hearty fried breakfast!

More photos in my flickr album.

Mitsubishi Outlander test

Heading to Fife for some end of season fowling, testing a Mitsubishi Outlander on the way...

Stuck in a jam on the M58, still, the sound system is good!

...and the satnav is helpful, showing traffic problems ahead, and suggesting ways around them.

Filling up on the M6, the Outlander's tank took fifty quid to fill from 1/4 full. We're getting 40.3mpg on the motorway - impressive for a vehicle of this size.

Made it to Cellardyke - lovely weather, and the Outlander is proving ideal: swift and relaxing on the motorway, agile enough through the streets of Edinburgh and the even narrower streets of Cellardyke. I'm getting the hang of the satnav now, too, and have even worked out how to tap in a postcode.

A frosty start the next morning, but the Outlander fired up first time, and the powerful heater soon had the windows cleared.

The Outlander made a good shooting platform for some feral pigeon control.

Plenty of room in the back for dog and pigeon shooting gear. That's not my dog, by the way - it's Andy Richardson's lab Yazz. And we didn't actually shoot any woodies; the day was too foggy and the birds weren't moving about. But in the interests of investigative journalism we filled the boot with pigeon gear and drove the Outlander across a muddy field, just to see how it might have performed... and it was great. Plus when you've finished shooting and have to take the kids to school next day, there's a pair of fold-down seats in the boot to give a seating capacity of 7 including the driver.

Sunday 10 February 2008

Ferreting again!

Just got back from a great day's ferreting with Mark Gilchrist - Sporting Shooter's game chef. We didn't get a lot of rabbits - four to be precise. Still, it was a lovely bright sunny day and we had a good natter about everything to do with game meat and cookery. Perhaps those two things could explain why the rabbits were so reluctant to bolt!

Mark served up what must be the poshest ferreting lunch ever, with foie gras, brioche, smoked wigeon and dried strips of mallard, which we ate in the field.

And he explained why sometimes my rabbit turns tough as old boots. Apparently, if you cook rabbit for about an hour, it turns like rubber - you can actually bounce lumps of it off a hard surface, like a rubber ball. But if you cook it for 2 hours it goes tender again. Mark says it also helps to soak the rabbit overnight in salt water beforehand, too. So, my next rabbit stew is going to get the full 2 hours, and we'll see if it works!

More photos from our day here.

Sunday 3 February 2008

Ferreting with Sten

Today I took Sten, the Suburban Bushwacker, ferreting (see my earlier post for what that's all about). I think he enjoyed it! We caught three in all - one in a purse net, and the other two dug out with the aid of the Deben Ferret Finder 3 - a fine piece of kit.

Friday 1 February 2008

Last day of the game season

I was lucky enough to be out on a shoot in Herts on the last day of the season. Glorious sunshine, great company, and some terrific birds - pheasants and redlegs mostly. The only drawback was, I was doing my shooting with a camera and not a gun. Still, you can't have everything!

Screaming foxes

It's that time of year when foxes are mating - and boy do they make a noise about it! Here's a short sound file recorded in my back garden last night. The traffic from the road is a bit intrusive (it was recorded about 9.30pm), but there's no mistaking the foxes...