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Winter season 2016/17
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Clare
Bretonnier


Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 331



PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Yesterday was the last shoot of the season at Glyndyfrdwy.  Guns, dogs and beaters were all in high spririts despite the cold, damp weather.  Pat and I started off working our dogs through the rough cover.  A couple of pheasants and a woodcock were flushed on this drive.  The majority of the guns lined out across the big field for the next drive but no birds were flushed.

Fleur

We pushed through the lower part of the forest then lined up guns and beaters for the drive back through the upper slope.  Pat took the dogs up towards the fence line whilst I beat lower down.  The beaters out on the moor put up a couple of nice pheasant and a woodcock and several birds were put up by the dogs working through the forest.

We had a brief stop for a drink and snack before tackling the afternoon drives.  Pat and I worked the top of the slope, with frequent stops to let the dogs work the ground thoroughly before moving on.  Jean and Fleur both put up birds.  As we reached the edge of the forest, Pat halted the beating line and allowed all the dogs to work the forest margin, which resulted in half a dozen birds being flushed.  A little further on, there are several trees down surrounded by ground cover.  I stood on the far side as a blocker whilst Pat and another beater sent their dogs in to wrok the ground.  Jean put up a super bird which flew high over the field where the guns were standing and was shot by one of the shoot captains - his bird of the season.  Fleur ran on ahead and refused to return despite repeated whistles from both myself and Pat Embarassed  After several minutes, I heard the unmistakeable sound of a pheasant flushing (followed by several gunshots) and Fleur reappeared looking very satisfied.

View from the edge of the forest.

At the end of the drive, everyone agreed that it had been the best shoot of the season.  After drying the dogs and giving them a quick snack, we headed to a nearby hotel for the shoot dinner and plenty of banter about people's shooting abilities and whose dog had flushed the most birds (our Brittanys, of course!  Very Happy)
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Clare
Bretonnier


Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 331



PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday 30th

Pat and I had booked a couple of days holiday so that we could shoot on the last 2 days of the season.  We had been invited to shoot at various locations around Shrewsbury today but, unfortunately, this fell through at short notice. Sad  

Instead, we set off early for a spot of pigeon decoying on one of Pat's permissions.  The journey out was somewhat hair-raising due to thick fog - we could barely see ten feet in front of the headlights  Shocked  However, we made it safely to the farm and set up the hide alongside a hedge, between two large trees.  We spent a relatively successful couple of hours here, bagging a total of 7 pigeons.  

After packing away all the decoying gear, we took the dogs onto a field of stubble beet.  I flushed a nice cock bird which stayed low and flew diagonally behind me, so not a safe shot for Pat.  A couple of feet further on and both dogs locked on point.  Pat sent them in and Jean flushed another nice cock bird which Pat shot.  

Further on round the field, Fleur went on point.  Pat sent her in and she produced a lovely hen bird.  As we headed back towards where we had parked the car, Fleur went off for a little hunt on her own and produced a cock bird but it was too far away to shoot at.

We called in at another farm on the way home to see if there were any pigeons around but all was quiet.
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Clare
Bretonnier


Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 331



PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday 31st

Our original plan was to start with a session of pigeon decoying but it started to rain sharply as we were about to set up the hide.  As it wasn't yet fully light, we drove a couple of miles to another farm and walked to a small coppice on the edge of a large field which has been plagued with pigeons recently.  For the first half an hour or so it was pretty quiet - we saw a number of crows, several skeins of geese and a buzzard that quartered low over the field within twenty or thirty feet of us.  All of a sudden, a group of about half a dozen pigeons flew past at speed - Pat shot one and Fleur partially retrieved it (she's not keen on retrieving pigeons as the feathers are so easily dislodged).  Several minutes later, a couple of pigeons flew high over us and Pat shot one - another cracking shot.  Both dogs were sent out to find it and after a couple of minutes searching, Jean found it.

Next, we headed to a nearby farm.  We walked round the edge of one field into a small wood.  It was lovely to see snowdrops flowering - although I don't think the dogs were impressed at having to stop hunting so they could have their photograph taken Rolling Eyes


Pat carried on to stand on a grassy area of set aside whilst I worked the dogs through to the end of the wood where Jean put up a pheasant.  We carried on to a small reservoir.  Pat waited with Fleur whilst Jean and I made our way round the base and walked up the side so that we could drive any ducks towards Pat.  Sadly, when we got to the top there was not a duck to be seen Sad  On the way back to the car, Fleur pointed and flushed a lovely cock pheasant.

Our last port of call was the beet field we had visited yesterday. Although both dogs indicated strongly at times, we didn't find any pheasants, nor were there any in the adjoining field of rape.

Both dogs have done us proud this season - they both have strong prey drive and are hard-working and enthusiastic hunters.  They've found, flushed and retrieved birds - mainly pheasant and woodcock with an occasional partridge.  Altogether, it's been a cracking season.

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