ED’S LET­TER

Air Gunner - - Contents -

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

EDI­TOR

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