Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Targets wanted


I am looking for electronic copies of old civilian and service targets from all over the world. If you have any that I can have to build a library then please submit. I'm hoping to create an archive for shooters to access for historic matc hes or for sporting use.

I will have access to a scanner that will scan endless lengths of A0 wide paper so if you have it in paper form and it cant be scanned then I am willing to pay postage and scan it myself.

Something to tickle you?

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Perhaps this is an indication of the move for Land Rover away from Lucas for head lights?

I have been asked to complete a review of the book I mentioned earlier last week, A Long Long War by Ken Wharton, its up on Amazon at the moment. I know now that volume 2 is under way and I hope to contribute some more.

Meanwhile here is something for the big is beautiful boys out there;

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

I have been remiss of lately

I have been busy building a new pheasant and a new partridge pen. These will be finished over the next two months in plenty of time to allow the birds to be delivered hopefully after the feed, water and electric fences are completed. I have also been neglecting the camera work but with yesterday in London at a seemingly fruitful interview I have had my hands full. Today has mainly been spent preparing for this weeks 1 day introduction to stalking course running on friday. The weather has been checked and hopefully all sits reasonably well so far!


Life hasnt been too easy at the moment, no spare cash for all of the projects needed.


I have Richards Roebuck skull with slightly sniffy velvet needing preserving so a bath in meths seems to work for fox brushes so that will have to do here!



I will see how many dunks it needs and re use the meths for cocktail hour!

I know I could order some velvet preserver fron STS but I havent the spare at the moment and meths I do have for some reason.





This is his skull drip drying, he didnt want to keep it but each skull preserved is an aid to teaching how to age deer.




Beer and football tonight then sausage making for a friends BBQ starts tomorrow!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

A Long Long War.

People need to read this book;














Not only is it an account of how the troops were used to solve the problems made by politicians but also the views and personal feelings of those troops both male and female.
It can be bought here at Helion and for a review albeit in the daily excess click here!
There will be a volume 2 and perhaps even some further contributions pictorially and editorially from yours truly!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Prepare for the interview

Ok, possibly my major fault when it comes to dealing with those self believers (they like to believe that they are demi gods and baby eaters) is lack of preparation.

I hate interviews where the interviewer is either trying to show you how good he is, how great his job is or how pants you are. The worse than that sort are those trying to recruit in the style of thank wa***er in the apprentice which lets face it the BBC is a mere puff piece for certain egos nowadays as in Lloyd Webber.

Now I thought I could breeze through this one, really to help a mate out as I was on my way to sign up for a temp job for the next three months anyway.

My preparation consisted of some serious coaching. The only problem was it was clay pigeon shooting;


















Nigel who has graced these pages before, his wife Ness and two sons, descended upon our work party which really only consisted of me, my two lads and Richard measuring up the new pen.

I thought that some decent R&R was better than boning up on PM bullshoite and bluffing my way through another interview.

Nigel brought his deer rifle and his .22 to check zero and the boys all had a blast as well as taking clays going away with everything from a .410 through a 28 bore to a 12bore!















Alexander decides he can improve the Ruger 10/22 that he has blagged from Richard.



Ness gets her coaching from me and amazingly (My coaching isnt as good as my shooting which isnt great) hits the odd clay.

Needless to say a great day was had by all.

After a trip yesterday afternoon over to Chelmsford, a strange place deserving an entry all of its own I made it back to the pub for a swift half before entering the IWM (Mecca to those in the know) for a lecture. Sadly not the advertised one but in good company and enjoyable all the same.

The day before saw me taking a client for an evening stalk over on the eastern edge of the county, we have a few Fallow in this wood and they have been seen but apart from 4 taken last year by a guest I have yet to do more than pick up cast antlers and find boar indicators;















This looks suspicously like Boar have been rooting the bluebells up to get at something tasty below!

Still with lots of reloading to do for the next course and I am just starting to dry out a couple of skulls, one completely in the Velvet.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Recommended reading

Our shoot has some talented fox shooters on board. See here.

The last weekday of the easter hols is nearly over and I visited a local landmark to look at rusty tanks and even rustier

Guns, quite sad really as I wanted to go to Bovington but we dont have the derv budget!
Still a good look at some serious VCs,
























Some serious campaign medals:














Some serious shooting medals, (this man must have lived at Bisley)

























His Mum must have been sick of sewing badges on his blazer;







Thursday, 17 April 2008


I came back to this after an afternoon with Alex my 14 year old spent weaning him of a crappy old .410 onto a nice Beretta 686 28 bore. I am glad to say that despite the weight difference he managed to break a few clays with the 18 gram loads.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Birthday buck update

Well he was butchered quite literally and is in sausage and steak form at the moment, not a bad reincarnation I suppose. I have completed the boil out and with judicous use of the jet wash kept the velvet on the skull.























Just time either for bleaching in the sun or with some chemical help then its mounting time.

I caught up with Nigel today, had the whole story on his first deer, he has it so bad I dont think he will ever forget that one!

Thanks to financial incompetence

Mainly by the government it looks like I will much against my wishes be stuck in Blighty whilst the gravy train (funded by the taxpayer) known as the Olympics rolls into town. A multiheaded beast that devours tax pounds like they're crunchy little humans.

So sitting watching the Governments electronic poll tax funded propoganda organ also known as BBC News last night it dawnwed on me that to recoup the costs of building temporary sites for shooting in Woolwich that the other non shooting competitors could be asked to pay to take part.
After all should I have been lucky enough to be selected to compete in target rifle for my country it would have been at the financial penalty of paying for almost all of my training and equipment out of my own pocket.
Seeing how the NRA charges like a wounded elephant to use facilities in Surrey (Too far from London) perhaps similar charges could be levied for running around our purpose built at great expense training grounds. Should they decide not to pay they can save the money they will need for each event by overnighting in the fleapit B&Bs in Belgrave road.
Lets face it they will need the money to pay for all of the swimming heats we have to endure on the TV whilst waiting for one shot of the womens 10 m air rifle!
A new Olympic motto should be "Lets make it self funding!" with a £ sign as a logo!
Come on you know it makes sense. The scale of charges can be sent out now, book early to avoid dissapointment!

Monday, 14 April 2008

A busy day in the office

Writing up stalkers assessments, sorting out pass certificates for the two last candidates and also a little bit of post cull admin;

There are few smells quite like the boiling down of a skull to make trophy preparation easier. It has to be done and I need to keep the velvet on the Antlers as representative of the time of year.

Its not easy but there will be no jetwasher used today.

Yesterday passed with a strange trip, I towed the shoot caravan off the wood over to a scrap dealers in Kent and somehow came away with 2 piglets to be delivered next month. I suppose thats the summer BBQ sorted then. I just need a cheap spit roaster or I'll make one of my own again!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

A strange weekend

After taking two new clients on their introduction to woodland stalking course, two stalks apiece, one seeing 6 deer and firing on one, one seeing no deer but some spectacular wildlife.

There is one very lucky Roebuck who should be glad of the branch between the rifleman and himself for deflecting the .303 softpoint at less than 40 yards.

I decided that they both needed to retake their shooting test;















Robert here mastering a Roebuck target with my .303 from a high seat and below is Damian the evening before in another high seat with my 6.5 swede.














Which they both passed and after that they sat their written test and I am glad to say both achieved a good pass.

The best news of all has to be Nigel bagging his first deer, A Fallow Buck (antlers are currently cast), well done Nigel a long awaited for deer and hopefully I know what rifle an ammo took him!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Another wasted travelcard

Another hour and a half selling my soul for the filthy lucre. Another job interview which despite all the smiles on his face I probably wont get a look in.
If you know your naff architecture then here is where I sat drinking coffee and writing up a woodland Survey report for Roger before the interview;


Here endeth another busy day spent drinking tins of MacEwans on the train home. At least I stayed awake to see some of the football and good old TV replayed the goal that I slept through due to Merlot poisoning.

I'm off out to see if I can secure a lease on a field nearby for dog walking! TTFN.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Birthday Buck

Now for those of a Caledonian persuasion this isnt a bottle of Buckfast Abbey Tonic wine and I am no bucky swilling ned just yet!

This was the decision by me, fatal for bambis descendant that I should nip out at 0400 this morning to wander around the woods before breakfast and a trip to survey some new stalking grounds. I thought it was a nice idea, miss the rush hour traffic, a good breakfast and see some wildlife which was about all I had done, a fox stalking a cock pheasant!


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Usually on my birthday and this was the 43rd I have had the pleasure of, I waste away the day with a hangover.

Today I spent it sat on my rucksack for 2 hours as dawn arose around me and then staggered off to a high seat frozen to the core. I really havent been that cold since I left the Army over 20 years ago. The wifes enjoinder as I left our warm swamp to "enjoy playing soldiers dear!" ringing in my ears as I climbed the high seat and made ready. I hadnt even sat down when I spied the fellow. I strained hard and saw he was a buck. In Velvet it seemed and going back so over the age of being in his prime (didnt I just know how that felt?) so I lined up the CZ527 in 7.62 x 39 and waited for him to appear. Now he started to bark, I suspect he had heard me struggling and I'm sure I missed with the first and second shots but lo he popped out into the open and I squeezed one off and down he went.



As I approached he sprang up and ran before I could fire another shot into the dirt where he had been lying.

The god of incompetent hunters was with me today and the buck stopped not 20 yards away broadside on presenting a perfect shot. Down he went and I was ecstatic. Now to conduct the quincy style autopsy.


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I had shot high with the first hit causing the round to exit through the spine. I suspect a deflection but the second round was inch perfect destroying the heart and lungs.

The Buck was about seven years old and effectively past his prime, starting to go back on the Antlers, this was the main reason I selected him.


He has gone to a game dealer in Hampshire and weighed in dressed at about 50 pounds.











Here he is swinging in the family hammock before a trip in the back of the truck. The head I will mount later possibly next week, it will be a half skull on a shield. I have just the one for him!

Tip No1 never leave the house without a quality piece of rope, tip no2 should you forget tip No1 take a quality rope dog lead and dont tell the wife, the dog lead can also be used for removing Charlies Brush!

Monday, 7 April 2008

The usual post snow dog walk across the southern end of the downs

Was planned for this morning. I have to admit I dragged the wife out early to ensure that we beat the usual dog walkers who would try and drive their cars up the only untreated hill in the county.



















Of course its not always snowy and crisp looking but when it snows in April you have to make the most of it;

















I took a very similar picture last year, this year all the efforts are from my wife as my son wouldnt get out of bed!


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This is a view across the downs towards Arlington. The grey clouds are hopefully bringing more snow!

More Snow? Yes hopefully although the chance of a morning stalk looms so I dont want too much snow otherwise the roads will be closed!














In the meantime enjoy the pics of the dogs in the snow overlooking the town.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

The kids easter holidays have started

And with it comes the weather, despite a lovely dog walk this morning we took our youngest to ref a football match and he had it abandoned within 12 minutes as we could no longer see. A very slow drive back ensued, we got back to let the dogs and pups out into the back garden for a romp in the snow.

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If the snow stays put then the roads wont be safe till tomorrow morning after all the dipsticks have commuted in and piled up in the ditches.









It certainly didnt stop the pups enjoying themselves.







Or the older dogs;



As I sit here typing this looking out of my office window onto the snow and wondering what my Pheasants will be thinking all 11 dogs are lying behind my chair in a massive dog pile.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Move to Montana

Why I hear you cry?
After seeing this clip why not should be the question?

As for East Sussex, well whilst Richard is stuck in Caterham I have been entertaining the pups in the garden again, first one goes tonight and the last one in 9 days.




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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Living by the sea has its positive points

Today we took the pups for a trip to the beach, although it means carrying 6 pups down to the low water mark it does allow us to let them have a run around away from the back garden. They start to go tomorrow so this is the last chance for a group activity.




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They are without a doubt the cutest litter I have raised yet although I too will be glad to see them off to start their new lives and working careers.










At least our furniture gets a reprieve.


Unlike the beach and the new travellers living at the top of it, nothing like a biblical flood when its needed!




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Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Today I shall mainly be sat in the truck

8 hours driving, 450 miles and 2 hours in an interview for a job that I was unsure about.



Not quite up to Mr Free Markets standards but here I was at noon ish;

























I certainly dont want to move anywhere near here just yet if at all!

I certainly would miss this far too much;





















Besides I cant move too far from my personal range can I?


Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Last week of the dreaded puppies

Bar one, this weekend I will be puppy free bar one that will stay on for another week.

Things have been hectic with phone calls, e mails and visits to see the pups. I must say I will be glad to see them go but it will be a little bit sad, they all have their own characters which will now develop in a different way had they stayed on in our pack. Yesterday we had a delivery of 3mm thick rubber matting, I will probably be evil and sell it by the square foot just to see who I can wind up. The kennel is lined, the truck is lined, the doormat replaced and the dog cages both lined, nothing to do now but sell the tons of it on.

Just a quick look at the pups as they say goodbye;