No pay, but the re­ward is in the day

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - LETTERS -

Be­ing in­vited to a new shoot is al­ways wel­comed with de­light in my house. I am filled with ner­vous ex­cite­ment, so when I was re­cently in­vited to pickup at a new shoot in beau­ti­ful New­bury I was par­tic­u­larly en­thralled. How­ever, there was one caveat that stuck with me: “I am sorry that we can­not pay, I hope this isn’t a prob­lem.”

I paid no no­tice at the time and it wasn’t un­til I sat in my arm­chair that evening, tired and weary, that I found my­self irked by this hum­ble apol­ogy. I am a mem­ber of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces so not es­pe­cially well off. While £20 or £40 would have been a nice lit­tle ad­di­tion to the house­hold cof­fers, it doesn’t com­pen­sate for the ef­fort that it has taken to train, feed, in­sure and taxi my dogs to and from said shoot.

What more than makes up for it is that feel­ing of tired nos­tal­gia I have when I look back on a fan­tas­tic day; the feel­ing of sat­is­fac­tion that I’ve only ever ex­pe­ri­enced from the very real con­se­quence of the long, tir­ing, frus­trat­ing and of­ten la­bo­ri­ous hours train­ing my dogs; and, per­haps most im­por­tantly, the taste of the quarry that I have pre­pared, cooked and served to a house full of peo­ple who have been too afraid to try the de­lights of game meat be­fore.

The point to this lit­tle story is should we be ob­sessed with a fi­nan­cial re­ward for a long day of “work” or should we rel­ish the op­por­tu­ni­ties that could so eas­ily be snatched away? Help­ing on a small closeknit shoot like this stands head and shoul­ders above any of the big com­mer­cial shoots that I’ve helped on, where the re­spect, com­pas­sion and un­der­stand­ing of why we do what we do is far too of­ten lack­ing.

M. Wil­liams, by email

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.