Mick Gar­vey

Airgun World - - Contents -

Mick’s out in the woods with a cam­era­man - a star in the mak­ing?

Fol­low­ing on from my meet­ing with Paul at the North­ern Shoot­ing Show, we had loosely ar­ranged to meet up for a morn­ing’s squir­relling when he was go­ing to be in my area, along with his cam­era and film guy, CJ. I know CJ from so­cial me­dia and we have spo­ken many times, but I had no idea that he was Paul’s me­dia man, so it was quite a sur­prise to see him with Paul. CJ and I had only spo­ken the week be­fore about meet­ing up and about our shoot­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, so this was a great day to break bread with two very pro­fes­sional peo­ple from our in­dus­try.

A seven o’clock meet had been ar­ranged at my place, and the plan was to leave their truck and take mine with all the shoot­ing gear and CJ’s film­ing equip­ment, too. It soon be­came ap­par­ent that more than a few snaps were re­quired and CJ’s gear was go­ing to need more room than I had avail­able so we took both trucks. Paul had brought along the Aim­cam Pro 2 and was hop­ing to get some pro­mo­tional footage for both the Aim­cam and the North­ern Shoot­ing Show.

As you know, I am a big fan of the NSS. I’ve at­tended the show since the start and have de­vel­oped a great re­la­tion­ship with Paul and Richard, the or­gan­is­ers, so I was only too happy to help with any­thing that would not only pro­mote the show, but also our sport and pas­time in gen­eral. I am very com­mit­ted to the tech­nol­ogy side of our sport, so the Aim­can also in­trigued me im­mensely.


Pri­mar­ily used as a coach­ing aid for shot­gun­ners, the Aim­cam is also very use­ful to pis­tol users, and for record­ing your day out – not just for shoot­ing, but most sports and pas­times. The qual­ity of the glasses is top shelf, you hardly no­tice you’re wear­ing them, and with a one-touch record­ing fa­cil­ity and wi-fi link to your phone, you have ev­ery­thing cov­ered record­ing-wise.

My one con­cern was if I’d be able to see over or un­der the scope’s side­wheel to get a view down­range, and this con­cern be­came a re­al­ity as soon as I checked out the video streamed to CJ’s phone. How­ever, I have an idea for how to over­come this, and I’ve spo­ken to James at Aim­cam about it. He is look­ing for­ward to my feed­back, so this lovely piece of kit should prove to be more than a one-trick pony.

The kit it­self com­prises; the glasses frame with four sets of lenses – yellow, dark, pur­ple and clear – a clean­ing cloth and mi­cro USB ca­ble for charg­ing and down­load­ing. Ad­di­tional lenses and power packs are also avail­able. The Pro 2 I had was in a camo fin­ish, but other fin­ishes are avail­able. There is also a small torx screw­driver, lan­yard and in­struc­tions, along with a few stick­ers which I have al­ready claimed – like stick­ers, I do.

Power, record and wi-fi are all eas­ily reached on the left arm of the glasses, and the cam­era lens is sim­ply ad­justed to point wher­ever you want to be look­ing, and all record­ings and im­ages can be viewed on your de­vice be it phone, PC, lap­top or tablet. I am think­ing about try­ing them out as a re­place­ment for my dash cam and they would be a great as­set for record­ing sit­u­a­tions where con­flict or hearsay might need to be proved. The list is end­less, and at un­der £250 could well be a worth­while pur­chase.


So, back to the hunt. Once we had spo­ken to Mick, the keeper, about where we would be film­ing and as­sured him that our ap­proach and re­spect for the game birds were of the ut­most im­por­tance, we en­tered the woods. Im­me­di­ately, we saw a cou­ple of skin­nies chas­ing round the beech trees, and along with the ever-present buz­zards soar­ing the ther­mals way above, I could feel a good day in front of us. I had been and prepped the feed­ers with peanut mix and the trail cams had told me that they were in­deed draw­ing the at­ten­tion of the skin­nies away from the nat­u­ral

feed of the beech trees.

I had an idea of how we needed to be set up with the cam­eras and had gone to the trou­ble of get­ting enough area cleared to ac­com­mo­date the three of us in my hide. The .25 Im­pact was in for a long over­due ser­vice, so I de­cided to take the FAC Wildcat/Air­max, along with the sub-12 Im­pact/Sidewinder, in case any­one wanted to try out one of these su­perb com­bos. I was sure they wouldn’t be able to re­sist.

Once set­tled in and with cam­eras ready to roll I told my guests to ‘give it 20 min­utes and they’ll come – they al­ways come!’ You know what? I was spot on, and with 20 min­utes gone the first skinny showed and ex­actly where I said it would come from, up the bank from the left. Know­ing your land and the habits of your quarry will make your job much eas­ier and gives you the ad­van­tage you need. It’s known as PPPPPP – you’ll have to work that out your­selves. The skinny was taken whilst feed­ing on the peanuts, and was left out rather than col­lected be­cause we didn’t want to spook the rest of them.


Hav­ing three sets of eyes re­ally shows how much you can miss around you. I was us­ing my ther­mal to spot them com­ing from way out, to be ready for their ar­rival, but both Paul and CJ were just scan­ning the tree­tops for move­ment and the con­stant, “One there,” and “One com­ing down,” had me in a spin, but be­tween us we man­aged to clear up most of what we saw, and CJ even man­aged to get a crack­ing record­ing of me weav­ing an Air Arms 18 grain Di­ablo straight into the skull of a sun­bathing skinny through the leaves and branches at around 55 yards. I even got a “Great shot!” from him, which from a top shooter is praise in­deed. Both my guests had a crack with the FXs. They were suitably im­pressed, and along with a few tips, I’m sure they’ll be nail­ing the tree rats on their own land very shortly.

“We re­turned to the first wood and pretty much did take af­ter take”

Lunchtime ar­rived and we re­tired to the lo­cal pub, to whom I give most of my quarry, which goes into many of the meals on the menu, in­clud­ing the ex­cel­lent game pie and var­i­ous cur­ried dishes for which we opted. We dis­cussed the ap­proach for the af­ter­noon and gen­er­ally chat­ted about our own cho­sen shoot­ing dis­ci­plines. It is al­ways a plea­sure to chat with shoot­ers, and even more so when the peo­ple are so pro­fes­sional and pas­sion­ate about their work. Paul is very laid back, but so pas­sion­ate and ded­i­cated about the North­ern Shoot­ing Show that you can al­most see it ooz­ing from his pores, and CJ is the very same about his part, and his pro­fes­sion­al­ism also pours from him.


Now, this is where we have the ‘It’ll be all right on the night’ sce­nario. Paul had lost his newly pur­chased spec­ta­cles and no mat­ter how hard we searched we couldn’t find them, and then whilst check­ing out an­other area for some pic­turesque footage, CJ’s cam­era man­aged to fall into the stream, with dis­as­trous re­sults. The lens was full of water, and the im­pact had caused the lens cover to lock into place … silence reigned, and my heart sank as I looked at CJ, and I knew they needed time to pull it to­gether and re­group.

I hung around the wood, hop­ing to pick off an­other skinny while my guests re­turned to the truck to try to sort out the cam­era and a back-up plan. I gave it 20 min­utes and re­turned to the truck, hop­ing that an ex­tra squir­rel I’d nailed from an­other feeder was enough to lift the mood a lit­tle. I needn’t have wor­ried and like the true pros they were, the cam­era had been dried, al­though it wasn’t us­able, and a back-up plan had been hatched.

We re­turned to the first wood and pretty much did take af­ter take, get­ting some very us­able footage with the back-up cam­era, and we even man­aged to take a few more of the grey men­ace out of the game.

Work­ing be­tween two feed­ers, I took the lead and when in place, I called them on and CJ man­aged to cap­ture some great footage. We ended up with seven skin­nies, which is only a frac­tion of what would be around, but tak­ing into ac­count there were three of us squeezed into a hide try­ing to keep still and quiet – apart from the sneez­ing and cough­ing fit ... Paul, I’m look­ing at you – we did okay. In fact, we did more than okay – we did great! The Wildcat/Air­max and the Im­pact/ Sidewinder com­bos worked their usual magic.

The end of the day came all too quickly and I was left the Aim­cam to re­view and field test. I’m sure we can get the view down­range sorted and by next month, I hope, a much an­tic­i­pated pack­age from Swe­den will have ar­rived and I’ll be play­ing with some­thing very spe­cial. Un­til then, adios ami­gos I

Hunt­ing with a top guy like Paul was al­ways go­ing to be en­joy­able, and the film­ing only added to that.

Take Aim-cam ... fire!

Trail cam for PPPPPP.

Seven in the bag, but it could have been many more.

Never with­out the ther­mal.

We did OK, ... con­sid­er­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.