We asked a good airgunning friend of ours, who lives in the UK out in the wilds of East Anglia, to give us a regular flavor of life there. Here is his latest post.
Easter 2016. It’s been chilly weather at Home Farm in Norfolk. The winds have been blowing in from the south with an unexpected vengeance, cutting straight across the county’s flat fields, skimming across the huddled backs of wood pigeon which have flocked down onto the fields. Yesterday we had a hailstorm. The oil seed rape has been growing well, but this has drawn in pigeon to feast on the burgeoning crop. They have been devastating field after field. One of our neighbours, a farmer, knocked on our door in the last week – “Airgun or shotgun, don’t really care. Please just spare some time to take out some of those pesky pigeon.” So midweek finds me trudging across wide open fields to one of three very small woods which will afford me enough cover to take some shots. I have a trusty old FX Verminator (I really should upgrade to something more 2016) and an Italian Fabarm 12 gauge, over and under. This was my first ever shotgun bought 26 years ago and still going strong.
Snuggled down in the wood, facing the wind, with a few pigeon decoys tucked in the lee of a hedge 70 yards away, the waiting begins. As the pigeon drop in, I keep a keen eye but a still hand. Finally, I have around 40 or so in sight. With the airgun, I pick out several single birds on the outer edge of the group, closest to me. The noise of the wind and the excellent Huggett moderator on the airgun combine to mask the shots. After 10 minutes, I have enough pigeon for the pot and it’s time to do my proper job and move them all on. The shotgun is readied. My movement disturbs a ‘sentry’ who, unseen by me, has flown into a nearby tree. The flock lifts and my two last-gasp shots miss, but still, I scare them off. Switching between rifle and shotgun is not so easy as it was in earlier days.
As the light starts to fade, I head for Home. By now the fire will be lit and a strong cup of tea will warm me up. But there is one last treat as the great indoors beckons. I walk quietly past Home Meadow, and there, with her back to me, is our wild barn owl, getting ready for her hunting time.
Until next time,
Get out and shoot!