Hi lads and lassies, I decided on the Articles section as there is a bit of a story to it.
Hopefully it will raise the hopes of people without their own ground.
Back in the spring my wife and I went with Daughter and future son-in-law one evening to collect our grandson from his martial arts lesson. It ws a chilly evening and I slipped on my 'Deerstalker' gillet. At the end of the lesson we were chatting to grandson and the Chief instructor came over and said "You look to be a bit of a shooting man". I replied "I do a bit." Which caused guffaws of laughter from the family. My wife told him that I helped out on a shoot but mainly did stalking, to which the instructor replied. "Oh, my uncle has a farm north of Oxford and has a lot of deer causing trouble. He is looking for someone local to shoot some deer". "A man came down from the north a couple of times but charged him and charged to take the deer away". I showed surprise at this and said that I would not dream of charging anyone. He asid that he would talk to his uncle and let me know.
Several weeks went by without hearing anything then about four weeks ago my son-in-law said could we meet the uncle, his keeper and a couple of members of the syndicate at the weekend. We duly arrived at the farm five minutes before the appointed time and met their team.
After a chat lasting half an hour or so I was able to give them my background, answered a number of questions and felt that I had impressed them with my knowledge. The farmer suggested that I take the keeper round the shoot to look at the woods and the boundaries while they went in for a cup of coffee.
On the way round I was able to chat to the keeper and discuss the problem in detail. He is under pressure to apply for an FAC, does not mind shooting rabbits but does not really like the idea of shooting deer.
On the tour round the 350 acres or so, we saw five roe does under hedgerows and in the wheat and I had the impression that the main problem is the family groups that are seen over the winter months.
We came back to the yard after an hour and the rest of the group were waiting. I said what I thought the problem was and outlined my plan. I explained the seasons and what needed to be done with some new planting, which seemed to go well. The farmer then closed the meeting and said goodbye, while his nephew said that they would be going back into the farmhouse to decide that they thought of me.
Son-in-law and I discussed the morning on the way home and we felt overall that things looked favourable despite the farmer's slightly abrupt ending.
Another two weeks have gone by but on Friday evening I had a phone call to say that everyone really liked what we had to say. Can we make a start in the next couple of weeks on the deer and everyone would like us to join their pheasant syndicate.