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Well the end of the season has been and gone . I managed to get a couple of invites for beaters/keepers days the one was a 410 bird day which was on the 31st and the one I was looking forward to was on the 1st Feb . However the snow turned up , so instead of the 300- 400 bird day I was expecting , the beaters (non shooters, who we chip in to pay ) couldn’t get there because of the snow, all except two . So we had a bit of a walk up / rough shoot and ended the day on 114 . We all had a great and memorable day . Have any of you guys had a good end to the season? 

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Sounds like a good day was had still.

We had a good beaters day with a bag of 68 which could have been more but quite a few older chaps only shoot on beaters day so a lot got past them, but the main thing is they enjoyed it! We finished the season on 45% which I was happy with. Had a walk up day with a couple of mates on the 1st and shot 33 pheasant a rat and 5 squirrels, was a real good laugh. I think I prefer walked up days to big formal shoot days. 

Now we’re onto roost shooting and getting stuck into a bit of ratting! 

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We will start roost shooting on Saturday 9th . Not many rats this year ? Not on my mates shoot either,  we put some poison down last year and I think it did a “proper” job on them . 

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That looks lovely, for me driven game is at its best in the snow, sadly we didn’t get a proper covering this season but our little shoot still shot well right through, our last day was over a week ago now so it time to gather up the feeders and start hammering the woodies 👍

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Our keepers day saw the lads shoot 90 on the driven day and 110 on the walk up day with 6 duck and 4 geese a few pigeon and a woodcock. It’s been a very good season , but we’ve had our problems with poor cover crops because of the dry summer, but you can’t have it all your own way and the birds grew very well in the dry weather. I’m having a few days off now ,  doing all the family stuff that has taken a back seat . Trying my hardest to convince my other half that I’m really a good guy who isn’t selfish and only interested in shooting. I’m typing this in the other room . Hope she doesn’t catch me !!

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That long hot summer that now seems a very long way away did the birds the world of good, I can’t remember a time up here where by the end of August everything wasn’t soaking wet, we had a little mycoplasma problem ( first time we have used this breeder ) early on but as the cold took hold it sorted the weak out, we had no cover crop around the farm this year so they didn’t stray to far from the woodland, all in all a cracking season, looking forward to the next one now

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4 hours ago, shovel leaner said:

We will start roost shooting on Saturday 9th . Not many rats this year ? Not on my mates shoot either,  we put some poison down last year and I think it did a “proper” job on them . 

The rats we need to sort out are by streams/ ditches and ponds. All nice and in the open though so stand back and let the terriers have some fun! 

Our cover crops were shocking this year as well, I think we went nearly 2 months without any rain. 

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Our season has been a bit of a washout and hardly anyone turned up for the last day. So with four guns and three beaters we had a walked up day with a bit of roost shooting. Much prefer it to the more formal driven day! I think I finished on ten head, mixed, with over ten miles covered. Here’s most of mine.

 

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8 hours ago, Born Hunter said:

Our season has been a bit of a washout and hardly anyone turned up for the last day. So with four guns and three beaters we had a walked up day with a bit of roost shooting. Much prefer it to the more formal driven day! I think I finished on ten head, mixed, with over ten miles covered. Here’s most of mine.

 

81B24EB0-240E-4D7E-963B-ACBB4E115393.jpeg

You had a couple of “greys “. Wow I’ve not seen one of them for a while. Do you release them ? I used to put some down, but the rarely got shot . Never managed to breed successfully and I judged it to be a futile effort. Nice to see though. It’s made me think of having another go . I don’t like being a quitter .

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31 minutes ago, shovel leaner said:

You had a couple of “greys “. Wow I’ve not seen one of them for a while. Do you release them ? I used to put some down, but the rarely got shot . Never managed to breed successfully and I judged it to be a futile effort. Nice to see though. It’s made me think of having another go . I don’t like being a quitter .

Shot three actually but can’t quite see him. Yeah we release a few hundred but never get more than 10% return. We have a fairly stable wild population anyway and it’s a pleasure seeing them produce young coveys. I’m of the opinion released birds do f**k all for conservation of the species and I believe the GWCT research supports that strongly. But they are a pleasure to have around no doubt and we do why we can for the wild stock!

I’d like to see them shot over pointers one day.

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10% is a decent  return on greys I’d say . Good on you for having a go . We have a few wild ones on ground about 2 miles from me but the shoot I look after is the wrong habitat for them really. The guns do like to see them and if they are willing to pay for some I will rear a shed . I’ve got a ladder trap now and am having an impact on the Corvid population , which can only help wild bird clutches. Be nice to see them around again , even if they are released and not wild . I think a strong wild grey partridge population is a long way off , if not impossible. 

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Last day on the Shoot I help out on see eighteen of us out , light covering of snow but bright and cold . Pushed in some of the far flung corners and some of the lesser drives which produced plenty of birds , and did a couple of the main drives the wrong way round which produced some stunning birds for a lucky few and then finished with a drive of a bank that never gets shot because of access problems , the keeper invited the landowner to shoot the drive which solved that problem and every one had a superb drive ...finished on just over 400 ..

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12 hours ago, shovel leaner said:

10% is a decent  return on greys I’d say . Good on you for having a go . We have a few wild ones on ground about 2 miles from me but the shoot I look after is the wrong habitat for them really. The guns do like to see them and if they are willing to pay for some I will rear a shed . I’ve got a ladder trap now and am having an impact on the Corvid population , which can only help wild bird clutches. Be nice to see them around again , even if they are released and not wild . I think a strong wild grey partridge population is a long way off , if not impossible. 

If you're thinking of rearing mate then read GWCT advice. They've studied releasing a number of different ways, it's worth a read.

https://www.gwct.org.uk/research/species/birds/grey-partridge/grey-partridge-releasing-experiment/

But whatever you do, they make for a nice addition, when a covey suddenly explodes out of set-a-side and over a hedge towards the Guns. French just don't compare for excitement imo.

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Also, yeah one thing we do thoroughly is larsen trapping. We'll take about 40+ magpies and 15-20 crows every spring off of about 1500 acres. Foxes get hit hard too but it's not foxy land. On a good year we'll kill 20+.

I've run tunnel traps before and killed weasels and rats but not enough to worry me too much and it's a pain in the arse for me to do frankly. But if circumstances changed I'd like to run a proper tunnel trap line through spring.

Edited by Born Hunter
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