Shooting Times & Country magazine is saddened to announce that our Country Gun columnist John Humphreys, who wrote regularly in the magazine for the past 40 years passed away last night, 7 February, after a six-month battle against cancer.

Editor Alastair Balmain paid tribute, saying: ?The shooting community has lost one of its foremost writers and one of its best-loved characters. Well-known throughout the world of fieldsports, John?s life was dedicated to the promotion of shooting, fishing and the countryside.

?His enthusiasms, boundless knowledge and passion were beautifully communicated in his weekly Country Gun column ? an essential page for Shooting Times readers ? and his work also found a wider audience through the many books he wrote, including classics such as ?Poachers? Tales?, ?A Countryman?s Year? and ?Hunter?s Fen?.

?An outstanding raconteur and wit, being with John was, without fail, both an entertaining and educational experience and it is a mark of the man that his passing will be felt by thousands who called him their friend and their champion. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Angela and his family.?

A full obituary, tributes to John Humphreys and his last Country Gun column will appear in next Wednesday?s 15 February issue of Shooting Times.

Shooting Times will be hosting readers’ tributes at If you would like to submit one, please send it to

  • Alistair Reid Williams

    John Humphreys or Mr Humphreys
    Dept. Headmaster and English Teacher at Bottisham Village College.
    Indtroducing many young lads to the world of Fishing, Shooting, Jazz, Rugby and literature.
    He took us on a anual fishing trips to Hauxton where I caught a monster carp of 7kg on a Woolworths beginners fishing rod.
    He wrote a great article on this around June 1982.
    He made a firm mark on all of us at Bottisham VC and I’ll never forget the smell of pipe tobacco.
    I went to School and played rugby with John’s sons Peter and David, and played at Newmarket Rugby Club with many of his students aswell.
    Piking was also one of our great days out at Upware all arranged by John and the excliusive “Pike Club” us being the Jacks of the trade.
    Fly tighing in the closed season, with talks on nature by local gaming experts, fantastic.
    Yes we where introduced to the Fens by the Fen Man
    Thankyou so much for your knowledge and presence, and knowing your spirit will live on in your family and friends in the area.

    Thankyou John Humphreys

  • robert leonard eva

    I have been very entertained and informed over the last 5 years of reading shooting times and reading johns weekly contribution has often filled me with laughter . there will be one important page missing from now on in shooting times. happy hunting john and all my thoughts are with your family and other readers.

  • Ray Leake

    So sad to hear this news, a truly remarkable sportsman, never short of wit and not afraid to stand up for what he thought was right.
    I had the pleasure of spending a day on a peg next to John last November, and he didn’t stop talking all day, you would never have believed he was so ill.
    My sincere condolences to John’s family and friends.

  • David Cheesley

    Farewell my dear friend. For your friendship, hospitality and kindness for over fourty years. For the wonderful times we had shooting at Game Finders and many other shoots. Wild fowling on the marshes and duck flighting on my washes on the Bedford Levels. Sharing a boat trout fishing at Grafham and Pitsford. My best times were spent on ‘The Moor’, grouse shooting at West Stonesdale and at the cottage Happy memories which will live with me forever. Thank you John. David

  • adrew collins

    such a loss to the countryside,shooting times will never read the same again!!!!!!!!!!

  • C.Carter

    John Humphreys –

    On every page we could taste and smell the countryside. Your finely honed narrative lifted the senses, informed the mind, gladdened and saddened the heart.
    May your old hunting companions, both two and four legged, be there to greet you, with a fine malt upon the table and a heavenly skein of geese to trumpet you home.

  • Steve Pena

    Very sad to learn that John has left us. I have some of his books, read his Country Gun column for many years and met him several times and he always had time for a chat.
    My condolences to his family.

  • Dennis Aston

    I started as a beater on John’s Lords ground shoot,
    many years ago , now a full gun all this was down to JH , which I’ll always be thankfull for , I have enjoyed many happy hours just listerning to JH’s tales on shoot days in the guns wagon also both John and Angela company away from the guns.
    I have Tess renamed Jess John’s lastdog, so I’ll have something to remind me of his self , I’m not sure if The Lords Ground shoot will ever be the same but I’m sure John will be looking down on us , and giving his normal comments on the way things are being run .Both my wife Karin and I pass on our best to Angela, David and Peter , and we should all celebrate his life and remember the good times.

  • anthony evans

    The countryside has lost a true countryman,a sporting great.RIP John.

  • James Woollard

    I am very saddened to read this. John Humphreys (Mr. Humphreys) was my English teacher and Deputy Head at Bottisham Village College. He went out of his way to be a kind influence in my life during my awkward teenage years. I always felt he was an advocate. Later on in life, I became a teacher and am now the equivalent of a deputy head teacher in a school in the United States. I am sure he played a part in inspiring me to become a teacher and modeling how that should be done well. I am not a hunter, but I shared John’s passion for the great outdoors. Nature is a beautiful thing. James Woollard (BVC, 1976-81), Seattle, WA, USA