There’s nothing worse than a gundog bore standing around you – you know the kind, those people who spoil the otherwise excellent reputation of pickers-up with their endless wafflings about their four-pawed companion. Apart from the reminders about faultless hip and eye scores while other pickers-up are trying to keep their eyes peeled, there are the thrice daily anecdotes about the dog’s lineage – out of FTCh Blatherwick Wombat, a litter mate of FTCh Sheldrake Samson, and a distant relative of FTCh Dowhatthouwilt don’t you know – plus the ludicrous claims about their acrobatic abilities – “he once retrieved a cock bird while it was still in the air.” The fact is that the best pickers-up are the ones who just get on with it, so shoots now have the power to create a “bore bin” in which any picker-up will be positioned if deemed by their peers to be, well, boring them to tears. Offenders sit within a roped off area of the drive wearing a pheasant costume. Pick that, pooch.

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