A novice’s fore­taste of the fore­shore

Richard Ne­gus finds out how easy it is for a novice to join a fowl­ing club and won­ders why some of them strug­gle to re­tain new mem­bers

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Septem­ber brings an im­por­tant rit­ual. Ap­pre­hen­sive chil­dren through­out the coun­try are cer­e­mo­ni­ally dressed in strangely coloured, over­sized new clothes. They are posed by their front door for a pho­to­graph; images are posted on to Face­book and off they go to their first day at school.

De­spite my 40 years’ se­nior­ity to these ner­vous young tykes, this month I too will be re­turn­ing to ed­u­ca­tion. I shall be garbed in a brand-new out­fit of many colours and my satchel will be tightly clutched, though the con­tents will be duck de­coys and Mag­num 3 car­tridges rather than Poke­mon cards and a Min­ions pen­cil case. My ed­u­ca­tion will be mud­dier and my teach­ers will be earth­ier and I truly doubt my wife will take any snaps of me as I sneak out the front door at 4.30am to be­gin wild­fowl­ing school.

My path to ed­u­ca­tion came about thanks to the BASC per­mit scheme, which pro­vides a “suck it and see” op­por­tu­nity for novices to try their hand at fowl­ing. Luck­ily for me my local club, the great yar­mouth Wild­fowl­ing & Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (GYWCA), is a keen par­tic­i­pant of the scheme.

A phone call ask­ing if I could have a go on the marsh led to my 4am wake up and a glo­ri­ous morn­ing on the east Anglian fowl­ing Mecca that is Brey­don Water un­der the knowl­edge­able eye of long-stand­ing club com­mit­tee mem­ber Terry.

My in­tro­duc­tion to wild­fowl­ing com­prised noth­ing more than watch­ing wigeon flight­ing at near­su­per­sonic speeds miles out of range, re­treat­ing hastily in­land to the safety of the sea­wall as a record high tide ar­rived an hour ear­lier than ex­pected, and fi­nally wit­ness­ing the wa­tery ris­ing sun ac­com­pany

Richard Ne­gus’s in­tro­duc­tion to fowl­ing was watch­ing wigeon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.