Airgunners offer a valuable service to landowners, says the editor
I ’d love to say that I was the quiet genius behind this month’s articles, but I’d be a liar. A number of our brilliant contributors have arrived at a similar conclusion, which is that we airgun hunters have something of real value to offer the land managers we meet. Jim is in Costa Rica helping farmers reduce the numbers of non- indigenous iguana lizards from decimating their meagre crops; Charlie is working with a local gamekeeper to reduce the damaging animals and birds that make his life all too hard, and Jamie is helping local farmers by reducing the pest burden on their land.
This mirrors my own shooting life that is tightly bound to the landowners I help. In return for the shooting rights, I diligently endeavour to deal with any problem they ask me to address. It might be rats in a yard, squirrels chewing through pheasant feed bins, or rabbits damaging gardens. If they tell me they have a problem, I’ll be there at every opportunity until the problem is dealt with.
As Charlie explains, it can be a slow process of offering help to begin with, until the landowner gets to see the kind of person you are. Trust is slowly earned and quickly lost, so patience is the key. Don’t expect to get shooting rights quickly; they’re much too precious to be easily won. However, having your own shooting permission is one of life’s greatest pleasures and any time and effort spent in winning one will be rewarded a thousand times over. Ed.
Finding your place in the hunting world takes patience