The best of sport
Last weekend, after breakfast, I walked out across the hill with my gun, stopped briefly for a sandwich at lunch and didn’t get back to the lodge I was staying in until darkness was descending and geese were in the air.
In nine hours I shot a brace.
Some days later, while heading south on the Caledonian Sleeper, it suddenly struck me that the birds wrapped in newspaper in my case represented the smallest bag I’d shot all season. As I fell asleep, I recalled every detail of that day on Lewis, right down to how the birds fell among the heather.
This season I’ve been very lucky to stand on a peg on a number of occasions and, as a result of fantastic keepering and great landscapes, I’ve seen some tremendous drives. Yet, already, memories of birds I shot during those days and of others that passed above the line unharmed are starting to fade.
But memories of grouse shot over HPRS seem to last forever. One of the things I enjoy most about fieldsports is the variety, but if I could only ever participate in one form of shooting from here on in — and if money were no object — I suspect it might have to be the pursuit of grouse over dogs.
What would you choose? I’d love to hear about it. Follow Patrick on Twitter @paddycgalbraith