Why studying your local roe deer population is essential to good stalking

April is always a busy month for stalkers. This year, it is even more so as we return to post-pandemic normality. It has been particularly nice to welcome regular stalking guests whom we have not seen at Garryloop for more than two years, due to the various restrictions. Demand for…

The problem with political intervention in wildlife management

Politicians should really keep well away from matters when it comes to wildlife management, for the simple reason that very few, if any of them, know enough about it to make the correct decisions. To compound matters, when a ruling party has to rely on another party with only a…

Lurcher

The lurcher – a designer cross-breed dog

The lurcher is not a breed but a variety of ‘types’ arrived at by accident. Mating a running dog such as a whippet, greyhound or deerhound to a non running dog such as collie, terrier or gundog is the best definition of a lurcher that you can get. The aim…

French bird flu outbreak

Bird flu outbreak tails off, but challenges still remain

New cases are still being reported in France, however the rate of increase in the crucial Pays de la Loire region has continued to slow. Only three new cases were reported between the 19th and 26th of April in the Vendée department and only one new case was reported in…

Rat

Over the counter rodenticides posing threat to Britain’s wild birds

Brodifacoum and Bromadiolone are types of poison called second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGARs). These poisons were introduced in the late 1970s as rats and mice evolved resistance to existing poisons such as Warfarin. Brodifacoum and other SGARs work by blocking the action of vitamin K and by weakening capillaries. Together…

springer spaniel in water

Do spaniels smell more than Labradors?

Q: I would like a springer or working cocker spaniel to train as a gundog, but my father is not keen. My grandparents had a show-strain cocker who was a lovely dog but she was one of those really smelly spaniels, no matter what my grandparents did to try to…

dog handler

Are you a natural born dog handler?

I work with all levels of dog handler, from first-time owners to well-seasoned competitive handlers. I often refer to other sports and use them to explain a theory or aspect of training that handlers may struggle to grasp. Not everyone is up to being a dog handler However, one thing…

Benelli 828U Field Silver 20-bore

Benelli 828U Field Silver 20-bore

The Benelli 20-bore 828U Field really is blue-sky thinking in its design. The established, reliable and respected systems of designing lock, stock and barrel have been shelved and the designers at Benelli have approached the challenges of gunmaking in a totally different way. The elephant in the room is why…

venison steak recipe

Venison steak with a blue cheese melt

Venison steak is primarily from the haunch muscles. The haunch can be broken down into three primary joints for cutting into venison steak — the topside, silverside and the thick flank. (Read more about which deer species offers the most delicious venison?) The topside and silverside muscles are solid pieces…

Cocker Spaniel

Removing anal glands from a dog: is it recommended?

Q: I am having to take my dog to the vet quite often to have his anal glands emptied. I have heard removing anal glands is possible in a dog. Is this something you would recommend? A: Each time a dog passes a firm stool, it voids an amount of…

mobile phone

Poacher caught out by incriminating WhatsApp messages

Thirty-eight year old Mark Bond, of Westwood Road, Maidstone, was found guilty of killing a fallow deer and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog after a trial at Maidstone Magistrates Court. Among the evidence offered at the trial were video and voice notes sent via WhatsApp. These included one where…

shotgun cartridges

How to get permission for pigeon shooting

Permission for pigeon shooting can be hard to get.  Think about it from the farmer’s point of view.  He or she needs to have complete confidence in the person asking and won’t give a permission to shoot their land to anybody they don’t know reasonably well. (You could also consider…

Roebuck stalking using non-toxic ammo

There are plenty of dates in the stalking calendar that I look forward to. I love stalking does during snowy Highland winters, calling roebucks during their rut in late July and listening to the eerie and haunting whistles of sika stags under an October moon. But if I had to…

Female gun

Inherited gun? How to make sure it fits you properly

There’s a certain prestige in an inherited gun, in using your grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s pair of Purdeys or Bosses, but how often do those lucky people shoot superbly? Not infrequently, I have older gentlemen come for a lesson and their shooting, in terms of their technique, is OK. (Read ‘are…

scopes on test

Scopes on test: two of the best for around £1000 and under

While some shooters are happy to spend thousands of pounds on high-end optics, you can still buy an extremely good telescopic sight for around £1,000. In fact, once you pass through that price barrier, improvements in optical performance and features only go up by small increments in relation to the…

game cottage pie

Mixed game cottage pie

Mixed game cottage pie recipe Prep time: About 40 minutes Cooking time: About 2½ hours Ingredients 2tbsp duck fat or dripping 2 carrots, diced small 1 stick celery with strings removed, sliced 2 medium onions, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1kg small-diced (1cm pieces) mixed game (venison, wild…

A show golden retrieving a grouse

The golden retriever: why it is a golden all-rounder

Exactly a century ago, a golden retriever called Balcombe Boy became the first dual champion in his breed, an impressive achievement then and an unlikely one now. Bred by Viscount Harcourt and handled and trained by his owner, Captain Dick Herman, Balcombe Boy became a show champion and a field…

place board for dog training

How can I stop my cocker spaniel creeping?

Q: I have done everything I can to stop my cocker spaniel creeping. I have consistently put her back where she started, never allowing her to have a retrieve after she has crept forwards. I tried place boards and she shuffled off them to get closer to me. She is…