I can’t quite work something out. How is it some people think that shooting is a cruel and bloodthirsty sport, but have no problem eating the meat set before them on the dinner table, wearing leather shoes, belts and handbags, or promptly reaching for the bug spray everytime a bee enters into their home?

How is the killing of some animals and insects acceptable, but the shooting of others is not. Is it purely the sporting angle? This is surely the hardest issue that we as the fieldsports community have to overcome when justifying ourselves to others.

Take deep sea fishing for example. You never hear anyone complaining about a fish that it taken out of water and left on the deck of a ship to gasp for air until dead, but as soon as a gun is used to shoot dead a bird or deer, there is suspicion and ridicule. Surely the fisherman and the game shot are one and the same, they are killing an animal so it can be eaten – one is doing it for the money, the other the enjoyment. Just because one is done using nets and overalls and the other using gundogs and tweeds doesn’t make it any different. Maybe it’s still a class issue.

With all this in mind, I’m not sure I agree entirely with the view that if you live in a town or a city you won’t at least be open to understanding the ways of the countryside.Too often I read of people outside of the countryside being described by those within as ‘urban dwellers, concrete-junglites, the great unwashed’ – descriptions like that do nothing for either side. 

Dislike for fieldsports doesn’t come soley from people living in urban areas. I’m proud to say I’m from an urban area and there are plenty of shooters in the UK who come from the same background as me. The thing that I learned within one day at Shooting Gazette is that shooting is for everyone, no matter what background, pay grade, age or ability. What I learned on the second was that for this sport to survive, we would have to educate people. Maybe this works both ways. We can’t assume that just because someone lives in a town that they hate fieldsports and everyone involved in it.