5 min­utes with...

The man from the Fox­den­ton es­tate and drinks com­pany on his pro­mo­tion from ca­nine re­place­ment to walk­ing gun.

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot briefing - Nick Rad­clyffe

How were you in­tro­duced to shoot­ing?

From the age of eight I used to ac­com­pany my father on his an­nual rough shoot­ing trip to Corn­wall. We would stay in Pen­zance and each day jump in a Mor­ris Ox­ford and trun­dle round the lanes look­ing for wood­cock, snipe and plover. For the first few years I was the dog and was of­ten dropped off at one end of a field and told to wait and then walk through the field putting up the snipe and plover. In those days, the 1960s, we still shot green and golden plover. As a re­sult I started on rough shoot­ing and it was only when I was 14 or 15 and had been shoot­ing for three years that I ever went on a driven pheas­ant shoot.

Who has been the big­gest in­flu­ence on your shoot­ing?

Un­sur­pris­ingly it was my father. He claimed not to be as good as his father (who claimed that un­less one fired 5,000 car­tridges a year one had lit­tle hope of be­ing a good shot), but in my eyes he seemed to know ev­ery­thing and be able to shoot just about any­thing. Years of walk­ing the fields of Corn­wall and then load­ing for him on grander shoots set the seal on my love of shoot­ing. St. Giles, the Earl of Shaftes­bury’s es­tate in Dorset, and we have great fun at the par­tridges there. When I am lucky enough to be in­vited by friends in York­shire I am al­ways thrilled to shoot on Frank Boddy’s shoots. In the last few years I have also shot with a charm­ing French­man, Ar­naud de Marmies, at his es­tate in Bur­gundy where we com­bine a day at pheas­ants (he has two English keep­ers) and a day at the wild boar. The dif­fer­ences are won­der­ful and I think we can al­ways learn from our con­ti­nen­tal neigh­bours.

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