Avoid­ing the churn

Sporting Shooter - - Experts -

I have a real prob­lem cov­er­ing my per­mis­sions for night shoot­ing at the mo­ment due to the bad weather. Any ad­vice?

DOM HOLTAM replies: I am sure that your landown­ers will be sym­pa­thetic given the in­cred­i­bly wet win­ter; a few ex­tra bun­nies and foxes are a nui­sance, but churned-up fields are never pop­u­lar.

The wet will prob­a­bly have an im­pact on the rab­bit pop­u­la­tion. Flood­ing will af­fect warrens and the in­sect car­ri­ers of dis­eases such as myx­o­mato­sis will be thriv­ing with the un­sea­sonal warmth. That said, with lamb­ing com­ing up, it is a cru­cial time to be con­trol­ling preda­tors.

Firstly, can you man­age to cover the ground on foot? If you can, that is the easy so­lu­tion and it’ll help shed those Christ­mas pounds into the bar­gain. How­ever, on large per­mis­sions, it might not be fea­si­ble.

The best op­tion for wet con­di­tions is prob­a­bly a quad bike. The bal­loon tyres and light weight make it ideal when the ground is soft, while its compact di­men­sions are also a bonus and make it eas­ily trans­ported on a trailer. Some­thing like the Quad Mul­tiMate from Keith’s High­seats (www.kei­thshigh­seats.co.uk) will trans­form it into a su­perb shoot­ing tool. The down­side is that you are look­ing at a four-fig­ure in­vest­ment for a de­cent bike.

One way to avoid leav­ing ruts on the fields...

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