First Words

Sporting Shooter - - News -

I’m still in de­nial about my ad­vanc­ing years, so I don’t yet have a bucket list, but if I did, walked-up grouse shoot­ing would def­i­nitely be on it. I’ve had the plea­sure of at­tend­ing a driven day on the grouse moors of North York­shire, with the cam­era and dog, so I know how breath­tak­ing the land­scapes are and how ex­cit­ing the sport is. And hav­ing walked-up for wood­cock, I also know the im­mense sat­is­fac­tion this sort of shoot­ing brings – so to com­bine the two would surely be epic! For the Rough Rovers syn­di­cate, a walked-up grouse day last sea­son pro­vided an af­ford­able way to shoot this most glo­ri­ous of game­birds. You can read all about the ‘best day’s shoot­ing they’d ever had’ on page 20, to­gether with some tips on how to get the most out of a day like this.

Still on the sub­ject of grouse, we are head­ing state­side this is­sue. Writer and hunter Jar­rod Spil­ger of­fers us a glimpse into the ‘Amer­i­can way’ as he de­scribes hunt­ing for prairie grouse on the Great Plains of Ne­braska. There are par­al­lels with our own rough-shoot­ing scene, but also some big dif­fer­ences and it makes for very in­ter­est­ing read­ing [p14].

Whether it’s grouse you’re walk­ing-up, or any other bird, the shoot­ing tech­nique you’ll need to en­sure you don’t go home empty-handed is, of course, very dif­fer­ent from that re­quired for driven shoot­ing. We’ve got a dou­ble dose of ad­vice for you this month: Steve Rawsthorne ex­plains how to con­sis­tently con­nect with walked-up tar­gets [p18], while Tim Mad­dams finds him­self in the rather en­vi­able po­si­tion of need­ing to hone his skills for a driven grouse day – dou­ble guns, no less! He books a les­son at Calvert Sport­ing, where he finds the sim­u­lated ver­sion of the ‘sport of kings’ is al­most as thrilling as the real thing [p50].

It’s an ac­tion-packed is­sue all round this month… Andy Crow and friends have a bumper day on a field of flat­tened wheat [p28], man­ag­ing to turn a prob­lem into a tri­umph; while Deano is busy keep­ing the foxes at bay on a friend’s small­hold­ing [p54].

These last few weeks lead­ing up to the game sea­son are usu­ally fran­tic for keep­ers, but Rod Green­wood’s ad­vice may of­fer some wel­come re­lief. He sug­gests that by slow­ing down, you ac­tu­ally see and learn more about your birds and what’s hap­pen­ing on the shoot [p64]. It’s a nice idea and prob­a­bly some­thing we could all ben­e­fit from try­ing in our ev­ery­day lives. So why not sit back, re­lax and en­joy a leisurely read of your favourite shoot­ing mag… RE­BECCA GREEN Ed­i­tor

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