Saturday, 5 March 2011

A proper day in the woods

I've just made the most of the rare opportunity to spend a full day in the woods.
Instead of the usual hurried couple of hours at a promising roost, I actually had time to really soak up the atmosphere, and to have a really good look around some of the parts of the woods that I don't usually visit. It is amazing what a difference it makes to the overall experience when you have plenty of time to take it all in.

The session started with a chance encounter with the keeper, who pointed me in the direction of one or two spots where the squirrels are causing real problems.
Later on, as I was wandering through the woods - following the course of a river that sweeps through the woodland - I spotted several squirrel's dreys, which will get some closer attention at a later date. You can see one of them below (it's the brown leafy bundle in the centre of the pic...)

As this session was a less hurried affair than usual, I took a proper packed lunch with me. While I was sat down tucking into my sandwiches, I was fortunate enough to see four roe deer walk past, no more than 20 metres from where I was sitting. Although the deer seemed to be aware that there was something out of the ordinary present, they didn't scent me and didn't bolt away. I even managed to grab my camera in time for a hasty snap as the last one passed by. Not the greatest wildlife shot you'll ever see...

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable session, and I even managed to bag a crow and a woodpigeon before it got dark. In terms of the ratio of hours to quarry, it wasn't the most productive day's shooting I've ever had but it was one of the most satisfying that I've had in a long time - and I managed to find several promising spots to try in the future. I'll write up a more comprehensive account for a future edition of Airgun Shooter.


  1. Hi woodsdweller.
    Obviously crows are shot for vermin control and not for the pot, so I don't eat them. In this instance, the vermin control was to reduce the impact they have on surrounding crops, grain put out for pheasants and, most importantly, to reduce predation on eggs and young of songbirds and game birds.
    However, I'm reluctant to waste anything so I sell crows' wings either to fly-fishermen or fur and feather merchants who sell them on as tying materials for trout hooks. Each pair of wings is only worth pennies but it helps to pay for ammo.