In ASSOCIATION WITH Alan paine
The winner of Letter of the Week will receive an Alan Paine Aylsham Fleece Waistcoat. Warm and practical, it is ideal for colder days in the field and available in sizes S-5XL. For more information visit www.alanpaine.co.uk. Colour dependent on availability. of the population that is allowing precisely such a commodity to go to waste. I believe the two could be brought together to everyone’s benefit.
We must rid game meat of its elitist image and invest in operations to process game birds into ready meals or sausages. The proportion of shot birds that are presented to be cooked whole is relatively low: people don’t want to buy something that looks like it’s been run over by a tractor.
Finally, we need investment into sensible marketing and branding to convince people that they are being offered wholesome foods at affordable prices.
With the party that at least claims to support the countryside under pressure at Westminster — with many of its members finding it more difficult to defend the excesses of the larger shoots — being able to deliver positive benefits for the wider population may prove the one thing that saves shooting from the heavy and highly unwelcome hand of harsh regulation.
Tom Houghton, co-ordinator, Farmers for Action I was recently discussing, over a large Bloody Mary after a walkedup day, how it is that I am so quick on the draw. The chap across the sitting room was dissecting his performance and was perturbed by the fact that his quarry was well out of range by the time he had seen it, reacted and taken the shot. “How do I get better?” he mused. The only suggestion I could think of was to go and spend a childhood walking hedgerows, .410 under the arm, hunting bunnies, pigeons, corvids and, when Granddad wasn’t looking, a pheasant or two. This was how I learned to shoot.
I whiled away hours and hours with a gun in hand; evenings after school, Sunday mornings before church, lamping at night in my grandmother’s old Rover Metro. I feel it so instinctive when I pick up a shotgun that I hardly have to think about each shot I take.
I am blessed to have been lucky enough to have hedgerows to walk and a grandparent willing to lend her vehicle to her young grandsons. Not everyone will