Archive for Jan 12th, 2015

12
Jan
15

Shoot and ask questions later

When I was knee high to a grasshopper and God was but a boy things were different. In the corner of my uncles lounge stood a piece of deadly Ironmongery no longer found in the homes of sensible householders. Not subject to today’s security next to the shotgun were boxes of shiny cartridges; irresistible to a young boy. If I told you what I did with them it would make you wonder how it’s possible I didn’t prematurely meet my creator. Guns; … tut! Now, it’s my firm belief a gun is only fit for a criminal or a policeman. It has no business in the hands of anyone else. Sadly however in reality that’s not the case.

I met the local keeper the other day. He was pleased when I told him I’d seen the Grey Partridges he’d laid down last year. He hadn’t seen them of late … but they were still around. As I sit here in Falcon Cottage writing this post I can hear the sound of discharging shot no doubt whizzing around the head of the birds here on the hill. Something’s don’t change. I’m not someone who believes all meat arrives vacuum packs from Sainsbury’s and I’m not naive enough to believe the copses and game crops so important to our wildlife would not be under the plough if pheasant shoots didn’t take place but why do some people cherish the taking of life? As I’ve said before here on Letter from Norfolk if gun owners know what they are shooting at I guess I have to be satisfied as long as they limit their attention to what they have reared.

I was talking to a guy with a gun last year and when I questioned him he had no idea how to tell a Bean Goose from a Pinkfoot at distance. One is (legally) fair game the other is a protected species. Wouldn’t it be good if everyone who wants a shotgun licence underwent an eye test (not currently part of the health considerations for a firearms or shotgun certificate) and importantly a quarry identification exam?

… and if you are still wondering; even the best of birders with a state of the art spotting scope will have difficulty in telling a Bean Goose from a Pinkfoot … when it’s on the deck … let alone in the air!

Grey Partridge




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