Any time i Can.
|Testing her Ladyship's SMK 15.|
I like a bit of hunting, it's very relaxing and helps relieve stress, it helps with self discipline and concentration, and when finally you get to take a successful shot you feel you have made an achievement and get to make a lovely stew to boot. You have to put in the practice before using any air rifle on any prey, and that in itself is the the best and most enjoyable part. Last year i only shot about 10 bunnies and the same in woodies which all ended up in a stew or curry, even the dogs and ferrets got to eat what was left over so nothing went to waste. I even got a couple of hares as there were a lot about last year, though they are pretty hard to kill cleanly past 20 yards with a sub 12 ft/lb air rifle so i tend to leave them be.
|Okay pooche, let me get a lead and some rifles.|
After fixing up one of the many air rifles i appear to be amassing i have to take it to my permission to test, as we have a neighbor who moans and complains every time he thinks he hears one of my air rifles fire in the back garden. Luckily this permission is literally on my door step and is accessable within minutes of walking out the front door, so for the sake of diplomacy and keeping her ladyship happy that's where i go.
For testing, practice, and general plinking i usually take one or more of the dogs with me as they get a bit nutty being indoors all the time, it's a great excuse to get out with a rifle and they are well behaved and resting behind me when i eventually get down to actual shooting.
|A 30 yard shot to a target on the tree ahead.|
I always check around to see if it's safe to take the shot before i do, any body could wander into the woods without you being aware of it. Having a keen eared dog with me is a bonus in this situation which luckily hasn't as yet been put to the test, i've been going there two years now and in all that time only come across one other person and that was while still walking the dogs.
|Edge of a field, good for stalking and good for 'Scatterbone' to go rabbiting.|
I tend to have a slope of earth as the back drop as well as a lot of trees, though i feel happier seeing that the pellet can only hit ground if i miss a target. This is a safe shooting practise and takes no extra effort prepare in advance, it would be bloody stupid to have a hedge as a back drop as you can't see where your pellet goes on the other side.
|Just part of the woods that has a slope i can use for a back drop.|
The woods around the fields i can hunt in are perfect for this, plus there are plenty of sticks to throw for the dogs before i get down to shooting. I find the trees handy for support, range finding and trajectory, sighting scopes, and attaching targets on to, though i usually take a resettable knock down target with me most of the time.
|My resettable target needs a repaint i reckon.|
It's a very relaxing place to be and very sheltered, it can be blowing a gale up the top in the village but down in the trees there is hardly a breeze.
The trees encompass a number of fields where i can stalk prey or build a hide. The crop fields are ideal for catching bunnies on their way back home or going out to raid the crops and woodies down from the trees in the morning, i can also set up a longer range at the edge of fields with a safe back drop which tends to be plywood then a stone wall.There is also a nice large field of grass which is splendid for a spot of lamping, though in high summer the grass is a bit long for hunting. If i'm just out to put a couple of rifles over the chronoscope, this is where i go. It's sheltered, nice and light, and the view is amazing.
|One of many field looking out from the edge, natural cover all around the edge.|
There are a lot of deer on the land which sensibly keep their distance and loads of pheasants which don't, the later are kept, fed, and shot in season by the land owner and his buddies. Badgers and foxes are seen on a regular basis along with a couple of birds of prey, all in all it's a pretty cool place to hang out with an air rifle and the pooches. Due to the land owner and his buddies out shooting, the rabbits are a bit shy by the time i get there, but i only want the odd one for the pot and this puts my skills to the test which is a good thing.
|Targets, pellets, and a couple of rifles ready for some practice whilst the dogs rest behind me.|
Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.