MONTHLY ROUND-UP OF WHAT’'S HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The Field Gundog Awards
Our inaugural Gundog Awards, in association with Skinner’s Pet Foods, were launched in the June Field and entries are flooding in. Whether your gundog is the finest companion to smalls, the most outstanding retriever or the naughtiest in the field, all are eligible. Belle is an early entrant for Best Family Gundog. “Belle has adapted to life brilliantly in a busy family household with two small young children and an old chihuahua.” Entries close 1 August.
The Berkeley browband
Spotted at Badminton, a distinctive browband unique to one hunt. We asked Fielders to identify the pack and the Berkeley was the answer. The super keen even recognised huntsman Michael Stokes’ mount, Mickey. The Berkeley is the oldest pack in the country and still family owned. The yellow coats with green collars worn by the Masters and hunt staff represent the outdoor livery of the Berkeley family, while their mounts have yellow browbands.
Retrievers must retrieve. For gundogs, the riverbank is no replacement for the field come summertime but it does have its diversions. Fielders were amused by working clumber spaniel Max’s summer picking practice while accompanying his owner fly-fishing on the River Avon. “The rainbow trout was dead, floating on the far side of the pool I was fishing. He couldn’t resist it, swam across the pool, retrieved the trout and delivered it to hand.”
A majestic quarry
Stalking and shooting a capercaillie is a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity. Rosie Nickerson’s feature in the May Field had readers taking to Facebook to share their experiences.
“Probably one of my best shooting experiences ever,” declared Michael von Forstner, who bagged his bird in Langau, Salzburg. “When he finally turned into a good position, I used the 5.6x50r Mag with a softpoint bullet. Damage was minimal.”
Our Sporting Dianas column launched with Field top shot and cover star Serena Williams describing her childhood on Caerhays Estate, pistol-shooting in The Pony Club and taking a gold-medal boar. “We recently stayed at the Caerhays lodge; definitely on my bucket list for an in-season trip,” said one Fielder. “Excellent shot and works for a brewery; my kinda woman,” said another. Turn to page 133 for the fourth instalment of the column.
Twitter Fielders loved this picture of the initial hatch at Milton Abbey School Farm. The school rear mainly blackneck pheasants with an aim to release enough birds to host seven driven days. “The pupils do the entire rearing, hatching, feeding, management and medication regime.”
MICHAEL VON FORSTNER