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Thread: A lifetime of hunting.....

  1. #1

    A lifetime of hunting.....

    Well here goes an old mans rambling. I don`t know what to do.

    l look back to when I was 13 and was given a Whippet by Sid Gooding. I became a member of the New Mills whippet racing club. The Sunday morning weigh in, the banter between the grown ups and the feeling of acceptance of my peers. My whippet Shep his racing name "MR X," and he would squabble with the other dogs at the end of the race, and I would get grumbled at to keep my dog under control. The days I had with Shep, as he would mark the warrens to let me know if there where bunnies in residence on the railway embankment in Hazel Grove above the old dog track. I would smoke them out and shep would bring back my bounty after coursing them out and across the field. I would skin them and give them to my old neighbours.

    Then at 15 Shep had gone to the kennels in the sky, and I left school and was an apprentice jockey in Newmarket, my other passion was Horses. I got too heavy and returned to Stockport and worked on Building sites. At 17 I then got into beating on the Grouse moors in the peak district. I purchased my first Spaniel. I was now smitten and I built a kennel and added another 2 Spaniels and a Labrador, by this time I was 21 and married. I then got to pick up on moors that belonged to Lords Saville, Mountgarrat and Vesty. I was fortunate to run in Spaniel trials all over the country and also judge some very fine animals. I was fortunate on Keepers day to shoot grouse and then at the end of January Pheasants. I worked hard for those keepers and they appreciated my commitment, I would go foxing with them before work. I now acquired my first rifle, a Parker Hale .243 and was allowed to stalk Roe Deer on an estate in Nidderdale, under the supervision of my dear friend Peter. When I applied for my license with GMP 40 years ago it was granted and returned to me within 4 weeks. Now I have been waiting since July for a 1-4-1 variation and now renewal. This is not the reason for my ramblings.

    I had been out with a friend in Yorkshire lamping, and was on my way home at 1 in the morning. I was about a quarter of a mile from home going down the road of double parked cars, the car in front was a taxi. It stopped to let 2 people out. However, the occupants had, had a few and were just sat there talking, as I could see the back of their heads in my headlights. I couldn`t get past. I flashed my lights to make the driver aware of my presence, and I couldn`t get past. I got the 2 fingered salute, and one of the drunks got out and wanted to fight. Being 60+ I did think about getting out, but being a bit wiser now I sat there for another 10 minutes until the taxi driver decided to move.

    Now here`s the rub:
    I have been fortunate to have trained Spaniels, Labs, Setters for some fantastic people of all levels. I have been on the Queens estates at Windsor and Sandringham during my trialling days. I have had the privilege to have shot every kind of quarry, in the most glorious of settings. I have known and learnt from some of the greatest country men in the country. I have fantastic memories for which I am very grateful.

    I am now thinking of giving up shooting, yes I will at some point get my FAC/SGC returned, and maintain the status quo. However, that night on the way home, minding my own business, I couldn`t even remonstrate with a couple of drunks and a taxi driver for fear of being reported for road rage. I would have then been branded not to be a fit and responsible citizen, and the privilege to own a gun and shoot. I have had wonderful experiences and met with the best people ever, but now is the time when I think all good things must come to an end. If I give up know I will have the control, and not feel bitter of the way things are going for the country sports people.

    I might feel differently tomorrow!!!

  2. #2
    Spaniel, there are always bed eggs in every walk of life, you are a passionate man with a wealth of knowledge to pass to some of the younger generation coming through, i wish i could have had a mentor such as yourself with the whole breadth of knowledge growing up. Don't give up just for 1 incident of people being foolish, find someone to pass your knowledge on to and help them, that will be a way to keep at least one person from becoming the idiots in the taxi.

    "Eagles may soar, but, Weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines" Anon

  3. #3
    Spaniel. You should be quietly congratulating yourself upon your good judgement and restraint. Have a large one and look forward to your next shooting trip.
    It was actually one nil to you.
    Best regards.

  4. #4
    The time to give up is when YOU want to, not because of some rude drunk plonkers in taxi or anywhere else...

  5. #5
    You did better than most and can now laugh about the night don't stop shooting because of a couple of drunks.
    Who knows one night you might see the taxi broke down you could remind him and laugh as you drive home

  6. #6
    At least youve got great memories spaniel all they got was a thick head,,

  7. #7
    As stated above I'd love to be in a position to be able to learn a few things from someone such as yourself who's got a vast more experience than most

    don't feel stigmatised because your a legal gun owner, enjoy what your doing and just carry on

  8. #8
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    Berkshire then Dorset now Herefordshire with a good dose of Dorset
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    Sometimes it makes me very despondent that many of our older sporting people with so many tales of what shooting used to be like are not getting them down on paper before their day arrives.
    I'm not saying your about to croak but if you have done so much and can give joy to your fellow sportsmen with your tales then why not?
    and don't give up shooting if you still enjoy it.
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

  9. #9
    Some people maintain there is a book in everyone, you could consider one, (While you wait for your 141 ), memories are stacking up for me too, along with many incidents like your early morning taxi friend event, all shooting people live under the sword of Damocles in our interactions with others, biting your tongue & appearing to have a yellow stripe down the back, are part of the price we pay for our sport.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  10. #10
    First of all, I think you did the absolutely right thing, whether or not you are a certificate holder. Drunks are drunks and really aren't worth arguing with because you never win and they never listen. There's only a down side should something go wrong! So frustrating as it is, just remember that if they continue to act in such an anti-social behaviour, sooner or later they'll get their just desserts, some big hulk with a fuse shorter than yours will show them the error of their ways or they will actually stagger into the path of a moving car perhaps and you won't have needed to have lifted a finger.

    As for giving up your sport, NO! I say, NO! The only two reasons for doing that are either because you don't enjoy it any more (obviously not the case with you) or you are physically not able to do it. And the physical thing is a slow, gradual thing anyway. Some things might become too much but others won't. Adjust what you do and in some form you can probably continue shooting for the rest of your life.

    So in the meantime, how about writing about some of your exploits on here? I for one would enjoy it.

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