Since changing breeds many years ago to HPR's,specifically Large Munsterlanders, it changed my shotgun shooting. Shooting became calmer, more exciting (partly due to being less frantic than chasing a spaniel through the woods) and the bags increased each season. I enjoy a pure form of shooting, myself, a good friend, and a couple of dogs, walked up. On an annual invite day with a similar setup over the past decade, I have enjoyed some great days, and in the past few years, a couple of opportunities of a left and right including two years ago hitting the first but missing the second! Not necessarily the pinnacle of shooting but always one of those things I would love to do given the team of dogs we have worked over the years providing good opportunities, although often not with the necessary two witnesses.
Yesterday on this invite after a very slow morning, a woodcock got up which I shot with the first shot and as I broke the gun to re load, a second was up and away, dog handler and second witness next to me, never mind! On a bit further and the dog came on a staunch point, so I got in position and before I was stood we heard the wing-beats of a woodcock getting up and away, but the dog was still on point. So the dog was sent in, up got a woodcock that I took with the first barrel at the same time I took the shot, right by the dog I could hear another one get up, so swung the gun round to immediately pick it up and shoot it with the second barrel, in-front of three other guns, two dog handlers and the owner of the small shoot!
Two retrieves later my challenge of two woodcock, two shots, two witnesses had been completed so the shoot owner is going to write in for my acceptance to 'The Woodcock Club'!! What did it mean? For me and my friend who was handling the dog yesterday, it was something we always said would be a great achievement after all our hard work trudging through the undergrowth in search of our truly wild quarry; for HPR handlers, there is nothing more special than a dog getting a full HPR (hunt point and retrieve), to have it pointed and not bumped made it very special. For me personally I changed guns this year after a ten year relationship with my last one and it has been a challenging season, although a much better fitting gun it is taking time to hit with the same success ratio; confidence is everything with shotguns so I will be getting back out there this week!
Attachment 36705Attachment 36706
A fantastic ending to a fantastic week, especially as earlier in the week we managed a snipe, woodcock, pigeon, rabbit and crow all before lunch: Attachment 36707
Not deer stalking but thought I would share!