semi-retired dogs

Old dog, neat tricks

A team of dogs usually comprises varying age and ability levels. It is common to have at least one youngster that is in training and learning its trade from older members. The middle-aged gundogs are generally the main workers that are old enough to know their job and young enough…

Toyota RAV4 hybridge Excel AWD

Toyota RAV4 hybrid Excel AWD

Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid vehicles for a while and is starting to use the technology and green credentials from the Prius over more of its range. The new RAV4 has been given the hybrid touch and, along with all-wheel drive, could be right up our country…

GWCT wetlands project

GWCT calls for vital funds to continue essential work

A letter to members of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) from chief executive Teresa Dent CBE, has illustrated the extent of financial support urgently needed by the Trust. In spring the charity was forced to cancel its fund raising events and lost its paid work due to the…

pheasant kebabs recipe

Pheasant miso kebabs with seaweed and soy dip

It is very easy to get stuck in a rut, relying on the same old recipes 
time and time again, and there is nothing wrong with that; we all 
have our favourites. But I also get bored and I want to be constantly coming up with novel ways of making…

Pedigree dog health

Will my Labrador’s hips cause her problems in the field?

Labrador hips cause concern Q: I have a four-year-old Labrador bitch that I had intended breeding from, but her hip scores have turned out to be higher than we expected — not too bad but not good enough that we feel we should breed from her. However, I am now…

pheasant shooting

Why biodegradable shot cups are the way ahead for shooting

As we move inexorably towards a brave new world of shooting without lead or single-use plastic, I wonder how we will look back. I shall keep my powder dry on the lead issue. I have written before about my own positive experience of using steel for game shooting in my…

pheasant escalope recipe

Pheasant escalope Holstein

Pheasant escalope is simply delicious — a pheasant 
version of a classic escalope dish 
and all for a good cause to boot

Chapuis Armes C35 
Super Orion

Chapuis Armes C35 
Super Orion Classic

OUR Verdict on the Chapuis Armes C35 Super Orion Classic If you’re looking for an all-round game gun with great handling and looks, then Chapuis Armes has designed a gun that might interest you. Chapuis Armes started life in the 1930s in the St Etienne gunmaking region of France, with…

Black Labrador with partridge

How to buy a shoot on a shoestring

Many sporting folk dream about owning their own shoot. The idea can become a constant, niggling temptation and it is a recurring topic of discussion at shoot lunches. We all love to compare and contrast different shoots, and everybody has a favourite sporting scene in mind when we’re left nursing…

Piri-piri pheasant recipe

Piri-piri pheasant recipe

At the end of the season I like to make preparations for the freezer. I breast a lot of birds, take out the thighs and freeze a few birds whole. I don’t often cook the birds whole, particularly with pheasant, because I find the legs tend to contain a few…

sweet and sour pheasant recipe

Sweet and sour pheasant recipe

Full of flavour and crunch, Mark Hix’s sweet and sour pheasant recipe is a gamey take on a Chinese takeaway favourite and delicious with cold beer

why do dogs point

Why do dogs point?

Pointing is one of the most fascinating of dog behaviours and one that was recognised long ago as a useful trait to encourage in hunting dogs. Today, there’s a misconception that only pointers, setters and the continental HPR breeds point, but any breed of gundog will point, though it’s unusual…

pheasant Maryland recipe

Pheasant Maryland – a dish that children will love

My mother’s most-used everyday cookbook in the 1970s was an edition of The Constance Spry Cookery Book that she must have been given after her wedding in the late 1950s. I still use many recipes from this great tome: the dark and sticky Belvoir ginger cake, the toffee pudding and…

gundog training

Why it’s important to accentuate the positive when dog training

The world of gundog training is a rapidly changing place and handlers are now more than ever working on improving their dogs’ skills as well as their own. During the COVID-19 lockdown I have sadly not been able to get Sika to me for training, so I am working with…

clear pheasant pens of rats

How to use an air rifle to clear pheasant pens of rats

One evening that really sticks in my mind is a ratting session with my friend Kev Hawker in February. As the pheasant season had drawn to a close, we were allowed to shoot inside the release pens on a local estate and the early signs suggested that we were 
in…

how well can deer see?

Keeping an eye on you

Frost still clung to the grey carpet of oak leaves that clothed the forest floor. My breath hung around me in wreaths and you could cut the silence with a knife. I had been waiting on my stand in northern Alsace for perhaps an hour when I heard the doe,…