Phil’s latest adventure - Shooting Article

Phil has joined John Norris recently as our Country Sports Advisor and this is his first tale  A crisp, bright and bitterly cold Scottish morning on February 1st finds me at keeper’s day, Glen Quaich, Perthshire.  Standing in line, not even my fellow guns, whose number comprises of several highland farmers, veterans of cold weather, could say conditions were particularly hospitable. Despite the temperature, I can feel the excitement building, the thrill of being in the field with some of my best companions, and the prospect of a few shots to round off the season. Why is it always the way? The first drive, distant wing beats, and cries of ‘forward!’- I watch the single pheasant diligently approaching my peg, with no sign of change, no sympathy for my horror as I realise that everyone; guns, beaters, pickers up, even the estate postman, is watching. I’d been dry mounting the gun for 10 minutes pre-drive, perfecting my swing, yet as the bird nears, my two shots ring out to no avail. Watching the bird disappear I try to act puzzled, but really, I just fluffed it! Merciless taunting ensues. Confidence - rock bottom!  Happily, my shooting does pick up, though I accept this will be little ammunition against the inevitable further mockery to follow in the bothy later. We finish with over 180 birds, a smashing day by any standard and enough to keep freezers stocked well into spring. Reflecting on the season over a delicious meal and a dram or two, it isn’t lost on anyone that the real joy in shooting is the company and the surroundings, not the bag. That’s why we go shooting, that’s why we feel that twinge of sadness knowing that tomorrow, it’s February 2nd. Phil is available for advice online at or on the phone 01768 864211…….. Never mind it will soon be August when we get to go grouse shooting again.