I feel compelled to write to you regarding the large photo used recently (In the lap of luxury, 2 January). I have been shooting for nearly 60 years and have only once in all that time seen anyone shoot a pheasant as close as that. I was both dismayed and disheartened to see such a photo in Shooting Times.
If you say the Gun is 6ft tall, and allowing for the fact that he is bending his knees, the distance from his head to the bird’s is less than 20ft. Any shot that connected would have blown the bird to pieces.
This type of photo, if seen by antis, does shooting no good at all. I, and I am sure all other Guns, would be pleased if a similar one was never again published. It gives totally the wrong impression of what we do.
J. G. Pickard, Devon
The Editor responds: The bird looks to be rising quite sharply but it does look to be a little too close. Your second point about the antis is an interesting one. Surely a sub20-yard bird hit hard — if it is a safe shot, of course — is less problematic than a very tall bird that gets pricked?