Avoiding the churn
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...