Last week, I was in Lithuania hunting driven wild boar along with other members of the European press.
The trip was laid on by the Swedish rifle sights manufacturers Aimpoint; ear defender specialists Peltor; clothing experts Seeland; communication suppliers iCom; and the German rifle makers Heckler & Koch and Merkel.
The aim was to showcase the various products we used, as well as the experience that a hunter can expect in Lithuania. There will be a feature article to that effect in the magazine on January 3rd.
Without wanting to give too much away, it was one of the most exhilarating weeks of my career.
The specialist ear defenders and radios allowed each of the Rifles to communicate down the line, as well as pick up any rustling in the bushes from 100 yards away, so your senses were alive throughout every drive.
The woods were teeming with wildlife, including some memorable boar, and each of the participants left with lasting memories. As you will read, my own experience came with a rather painful sting in the tail.
The people of Lithuania were all extremely generous, not least with their homemade firewater; while our agent Albertas was the perfect host.
The apres-hunt consisted of long saunas, cold lager, hearty food and tall tales about the ones that got away. You often hear stories about Eastern European hunting trips that turn sour, but this is not one of them.