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Stick to it

Marc Cotterill only recently came to stick making but can hardly keep up with the demand for his beautifully carved creations

Marc Cotterill used to be a mechanic, working on lorries, but three years ago he turned his hand to stick making.

“My grandfather had always made sticks and carved the heads, but only as a hobby,” Marc told me. “He taught me to carve the wood and how to make up the sticks. That was three years ago and I have recently given up working as a mechanic to concentrate on the sticks full time.”

Selling sticks to shooters and country folk

Mike sources his own shanks locally from hazel and holly, but buys in the lime or rhododendron, which has been kiln dried to make the heads. He started out slowly by making a Facebook page and now can hardly keep up with demand. Selling mainly to shooters and country folk, Marc is sending sticks to the US and Norway as well as the UK.

At the moment Marc specialises in bird heads and is renowned for his mallard. ‘I was asked to do a Hereford bull, which I enjoyed doing and I am planning to start doing dogs’ heads, but it’s just finding the time. 

“I’m not complaining, but keeping up with demand can be quite tricky.” When Marc explained that it takes him a couple of days to make one of the more simple sticks, including the carving, I can see why.

Marc has never shot but used to go beating quite regularly with his cousin. Unfortunately, that has now had to take a back seat as Marc is always found working in his studio, busy at home making sticks to keep up with demand.

To find Marc follow him on Facebook under the name The Wild Stick Maker, or tel 07854 527381