Thursday 16 July 2015

In the thick of it

I was pleased with this nicely timed shot which I took at a recent World Pheasant Association charity shoot at the excellent Oxfordshire Shooting School. This was the flush, with 80 or so clays thrown over four guns in what feels like no time at all. Things get very heated, not least the barrels! It's one of the few occasions when a side-by-side is an advantage, but you do need a good glove on your left hand.

This shooter is doing the sensible thing, holding the breech high to throw the empties over his shoulder without hitting the loader in the face, and presenting the empty chambers ready for loading while keeping his eyes on the targets. The loader has one shell in each hand, which I've found is the quickest way, rather than trying to get too clever and manoeuvre two cartridges into the breech with one hand.

When my turn came I was keeping up a good rate of fire when suddenly my gun wouldn't close. In the heat of the moment I grabbed someone else's Beretta o/u and kept going. It turned out that a screw on the barrel lump had started to undo itself, and the head was hitting the floor of the action before the gun was shut. Not what you need in the middle of a flush!

More photos from the day here.

Probably the best ferret in the world...

Just a random ferret photo really, but I couldn't resist. This is one of three youngsters born to my jill a few weeks ago. And no, I wasn't really getting it drunk, although it did seem interested in the taste around the rim of the can.

World Pheasant Association - a great conservation success

Much of what appears on this blog is shooting videos of one sort or another, but of course I write several columns each month in various publications, one of which is Sporting Shooter - the mag I edited for several years.

A recent issue featured this article on the World Pheasant Association, a terrific organisation that does a great deal of conservation work around the world to help the galliformes, or game birds, that are related to our familiar pheasants, partridges and grouse.

I do what I can to help the organisation, as they do a lot of good conservation work with very limited funds, and rarely get the recognition or support they deserve. Their Pipar Project in Nepal is a wonderful example of practical, pragmatic conservation that works with the local population rather than against them.

The WPA celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Check out their website and see if you're tempted to make a modest donation, or even join as a member - for a mere 30 quid a year it's a great way to support a conservation organisation that is pro-shooting rather than ravingly anti!