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The Hunters Chronicles -Thursday 8th November 2012

My ventures of late have been... How shall we say?

Unproductive.

As a result, I have been left with the odd photograph, but not much to report.

Well, today I felt the lack of trophies and any incident of note, was in and of itself, worthy of note. Not once have I despaired in spite of the mild disappointment that can potentially arise within. I also feel that it is of value to report the misses as well as the hits, both on a shot to shot basis as well as an overall outing one.

So far my dry run stands at three excursions. I have not necessarily gone without meat however, as two pheasants in that time were caught and shot after wandering into my dormant veg patch.

I suppose my ability to accept coming home empty handed is rooted in my expectations and motivation. When I set out, I have only the rough idea of what quarry it is I seek, and thus hope to find. I do not go out shooting, I do not go out hunting.
I go for a wander in the countryside with the air rifle.
In that respect, I have never failed, not once. I have always successfully achieved what I set out to do! The resultant outcomes, kills, whatever they maybe, are invariably a bonus.

On this occasion, as I 'wandered' down to my permission, I gazed at an empty, barren expanse of land that only weeks ago had been teaming with air rifle quarry.
This, I pondered, realising that identifying your preys food source and adjusting to their habits is one key to hunting success. The greater truth of course, is change is inevitable and it is how we go about adapting, and how quickly we do it, that sets us apart.


Evidently, I am a tad slow!
 The trees, not the fields, seem to be where the action is found now. The leaves have fallen, exposing the perches that so recently beckoned with promises of concealment and security.  Conversely cover is becoming harder to find, but nonetheless we are entering my favoured time of year for hunting. The cold allows for my field jacket with many very useful pockets to be worn, (its essentially my 'Hunters Handbag') the heat of spring/summer usually curtails movement for fear of salty rivers gushing from the orifices!

After a brief chat to the landowner, I followed up her 'hot tip' on where the magpies appear to congregate and meandered down to where I believe she described.


 Sure enough, flashes of white on black shoulders of departing birds as they evacuated told me the match box shakers were here abouts.


Finding somewhere dry and comfortable as well as suitably concealed proved difficult.
After an hour I returned to my favoured strip of trees at a known stop over. I had just got settled in when my phone rang. My friend and former employer needed a 'five minute' job doing.
Four hours later I returned to catch the crows as the light drew in.
The sitty tree I chose, though looked the ticket, was an unknown and evidently not a sitty tree after all. I did see two lesser spotted woodpeckers which was a pleasure. Their sideways shuffle and curious calls were fascinating and delightful.

My time was up. The sun was now below the horizon and my legs told me that home should be my next port of call. Though hope remained with the fading light, it was pointless to argue.

Still. I had begun the day wondering how I should fill it. I filled it. And I did so in a manner that pleased me, no time was wasted, just spent doing what I enjoy. It may not have gone as expected, but it has gone regardless.
Besides, though it may never come, there is always the promise of tomorrow.

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