Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Get­ting my team of dogs and fer­rets phys­i­cally and men­tally fit started the mo­ment the Game Fair fin­ished. The fer­rets com­pletely switched off and re­laxed over the warmer months. Now they just need to be tweaked with a few warm-up days. When the weather is warm, I usu­ally swap them about rather than work them as hard as I would in a cooler cli­mate.

The dogs on the other hand, even af­ter a com­plete rest, take a lit­tle longer to get fit, not just fit­ter. Mil­lie, at 11, just does what she does.

Her days are over, save for the few oc­ca­sions when her ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired over the youth­ful ex­u­ber­ance of Tawny. I’ve started to ex­er­cise Bella and Tawny on the beach, where they are able to run and en­joy them­selves with­out fear of them putting up game in in­ap­pro­pri­ate cir­cum­stances.

Sprint­ing on the beach

Along with the miles I do with them when I am out on my bike and road walk­ing, I have con­tin­ued us­ing my Bull-x lure ma­chine. It is light and por­ta­ble and per­fect for tak­ing down to the shin­gle beach to re­ally get the dogs sprint­ing.

I am a strong be­liever in get­ting the dogs down the beach. It is just be­hind my house and great for their feet as much as their lungs and mus­cles.

This year I am also go­ing to swap Tawny’s food back to a raw diet. I have found a good source of raw food and with the Dor­west Herb Keeper’s Mix sup­ple­ment I use, I’m hop­ing to boost Tawny’s fitness to a whole new level.

Years ago, I fed the now-late Maud this diet and her fitness and stamina were un­be­liev­able.

And as for me, I do have to get fit­ter, eat more healthily and worry less, which is easy to write and a lit­tle bit harder to put into prac­tice. But I’ll try.

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