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Dog Gun - Monday 02/05/11

Despite the forecast, no rain has fallen. The broad beans are yellowing and the ground is solid and cracked. No dawn patrol for me this morning. Last night and most of the day today was very windy. The strong squalls creating challenging shooting conditions and heightening the risk of wounding, not killing my quarry. So I had a lie in.
Late afternoon, whilst Emma and Fran were visiting the beach at Mwnt, I re-zeroed my rifle and sampled some of Nicks pellets. He had a mixture of RWS Superdome 14.4gr and Webley Accupells. These performed far better than the cheap SMK Spitfires I've been using. Decent pellets are around £10 for a tin of 500. My knock around Spitfires are £4. Great if like me, you just need to line the rifle's barrel and get it to 'settle in'.
With the Raider zeroed at 40 yards to the new pellets (Nick very kindly gifted me the tin!) I went off for my evening hunt. This time I saw two rabbits. I did everything by the book, even crawling to get as close as possible. And still missed. Afterwards I took a practice shot and found it was I, not the rifle at fault. I was too close. If I had correctly gauged the range, I would've known I'd have needed to aim a mil-dot down and not use the cross hairs. The rifle's accuracy was good and is improving rapidly with these quality pellets. So with practice and experience, hopefully my marksmanship will improve too.
I have chosen to view these situations and occurrences as lessons I have to learn, not as a success or failure. It is becoming quite clear that if I were to get dejected and negative then I may as well sell my rifle. Hunting is not easy. Walking slowly and quietly is easier and I am very much enjoying it. I try with each trip to recce somewhere new, and in so doing have discovered a few hidden and/or overlooked gems. The scenery is beautiful so whether or not the game bag is full, I always enjoy myself.
It's a bit like having a dog in that respect. An excuse to wander about aimlessly.

My 'Hunters Map'.
M Jones

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