In AS­SO­CI­A­TION WITH Alan paine

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - LETTERS -

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

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