Monday, 31 August 2009

Driving grouse can drive you mad

So today we were back to the serious business of driving grouse.

This short season (0 to 5 weeks, depending on the results of our pre-season counts) is our 'harvest' and the main earner for the estate for the whole year. The people who come here to shoot pay BIG money and, accordingly have big expectations.

And thus we try to run the shoot days as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It takes a lot of doing when you have to choreograph for a troupe of about 50 people (beaters, keepers, loaders, pickers-up, guests and assorted 'hingers-oan'.)

And when you bring a drive in, to do it right you have to tailor the line to take account of the wind and the lie of the land. Or attempt to. We consider ourselves lucky this year to have so many 'switched on' lads in the beating line( some years we get nothing but 'neds') in fact we have a good many students.

For the most part, they are doing really well. However I tempted fate at lunchtime by saying that they were starting to look like a proper team of beaters. Thereafter things went all to hell.

There they were, the cream of British youth with brains the size of small planets and TOTALLY incapable of walking in a straight line, despite encouragement of the 'keepers. Pass the Strepsils, will ya?

The icing on the cake was that the heavens opened on the final approach to the butts on the last drive of the day. Hey ho.....

All in all, we did have a reasonable day tho'. The final bag was 75 brace (150 birds) but, more importantly, the guests came off the hill with smiles on their faces.

Job done.

1 comment:

  1. Yo Bro.
    Nice to hear it's a good season for the grouse this year. About time too.... Gonna be a very busy Autumn for you huh? I guess you must be a little behind in your routine work from all the galavanting overseas..Saw BBC Earth Pole to Pole with a class over 3 weeks. Kalahari (and elephants trying to make the Okovango delta and water) featured prominently..A mad place!!!