With the shooting season entering the second part of the year, now is a great time to take a look back on how successful things have been in the first half. Because December marks the half way point in the pheasant shooting season, we thought we would take a look at what sort of season it has been so far and what most shoots can look forward to in the second half of the season and there is only one subject to start with, the weather.
The exceptionally mild weather up and down the country has made it a challenging season, especially for the poor Game Keepers trying to keep the birds in the cover.
The mild weather combined with a bumper crop of wild berries means pheasants haven’t needed to stay in the cover close to the feeders, and have been wandering further than they normally would, and so aren’t where the Keeper would expect ready to be driven over the guns. Another tricky factor for the Guns has been the foliage staying on the trees late, making for some very restricted vision, however this has now finally rectified itself.
All this has led to smaller than average bags at many shoots, however if you believe every cloud has a silver lining then the silver lining is certainly that the birds are still wandering around out there quite happily, which should make for a bumper second half of the season.
This time last year a poor rearing season followed by some very harsh weather left many shoots short of birds in the second half of the season, this year we can hopefully all look for the opposite. A bit of colder weather now to bring the birds back in to the feeders, and there should be some really good shooting ahead of us.
The final factor with the weather has been that it just doesn’t feel right to be out shooting in short sleeves. As a Shooting Clothing retailer I look forward to testing the latest piece of kit each season, many of which haven’t been needed up until now, but that has now changed too.
I had my new Musto Macnab jacket on yesterday, and whilst it didn’t rain, it was warm and comfortable all day, and if we get a cold day next week I’m going to try out a piece of Barbour’s new Cashmere Lambswool Knitwear which looks rather cosy. The one thing I have tested and they really do work is my new Musto Wellies, it felt a bit of a punt changing brands after many years, but I’ve been really pleased with them.
So all in all it may not have been a record season to date, but there’s a lot to look forward to in the rest of the season, especially with the long range weather forecast suggesting some colder snaps ahead. We have certainly had a great start to the season, so like many people that enjoy shooting, we hope that the final part of the chapter will be as good, if not better.