These are the best fan letters we received in last month’s Airgun Shooter Magazine!
And don’t forget – the best letter wins a pair of Sportsmatch mounts!
Letter of the month
CAMO FOR THE FIELD, NOT THE ROAD
As we all know at this time of year, the daylight hours are a somewhat precious resource and I personally find myself in the unfortunate situation whereupon I leave work before the sun rises in a morning and come home after it has set, only really getting to see daylight on my weekends off.
I recall an incident when I was driving home along some very dark Fen district roads. It was approximately 6.45pm and although I was in what most would call the middle of nowhere (myself included) there was a steady stream of traffic in the opposite direction as the evening rush hour was coming to a close. As such I was using my dipped beam headlights for the majority of my commute home.
How this relates to shooter safety is what happened when I was approximately 20 minutes from home on a reasonably straight piece of road. Approaching a village I had what I refer to as a ‘brown trouser moment’ when out of the darkness there suddenly appeared a cyclist at the edge of my headlight beam.
He was dressed only in dark green and camouflage clothing, his jacket was covering his rear light which was poor at best (clearly in need of replacement batteries) and he had a gun bag across his back. The angle of the bag across his back meant that a good portion of the sling was hanging out into the path of passing traffic.
To say it was a near miss would be an understatement and I’m sure it would not have been his first that evening. Clearly the man was either returning from or on his way to one of his permissions on some of the vast farmland we have in the Fens.
Whilst I would congratulate the man on his dedication to his sport as it was a bitterly cold night, and honestly you would not catch me outside on such a night, I was concerned for the man’s safety whilst travelling.
I would therefore like to take the opportunity to ask that whilst I appreciate the necessity to use dark colours and camouflage clothing while shooting, when on the roads such clothing is ill advised and inappropriate.
I understand of course that it is not practical to change clothing while in the field (especially on a winter’s night) however a high visibility vest worn over the gentleman’s clothing on the road and packed into a bag or pocket in the field combined with properly visible lights on his bicycle would have been enough to ensure his safety that night.
It would have been a terrible tragedy for the gentleman, his family, friends and for our sport if something had happened to him on the road that evening. I sincerely hope this close encounter has helped him see the error of his ways and I wish him many days of happy shooting ahead of him.
Stuart Bannon, Ely
I’m so pleased nobody was hurt. I also hope we can all learn from this and ensure we don’t contribute to an accident when travelling to or from a permission either by bicycle or motorbike.
I wanted to take time out to express my thanks for the shooting calendar and tips DVD received free with recent issues. Growing up in the 80s most magazines had something or other attached to the front cover, often of limited value, yet these have obviously been well thought through.
I expect others will appreciate the added value to a very good publication. I look forward to seeing any future incentives that you offer to subscribers!
We’re pleased you liked the calendar and DVD! We try to think of what we would like to receive ourselves if we were readers or subscribers (after all, we’re airgun shooters too!), but do let us know what types of items you’d be interested in receiving in the future.
At times when out air rifle hunting, the rabbits are a bit thin on the ground in numbers and scoping will not be picking many out to home in on, so I have used the assistance of one or two ferrets to bolt the rabbits from the warren straight into the awaiting purse-nets catching them on exiting the burrow, so I was guaranteed a number of rabbits for the waiting pot at home, some for friends and a tasty protein meal for the hardy ferrets.
One day we netted 26 rabbits over a 3 1/2 hour period. I gave the farmer two rabbits before we left for home. Returning the next morning we noticed the rabbit numbers had improved over the field.
I managed to bag 11 rabbits and Brian bagged 10 rabbits off the adjoining field. It seemed the rabbits had decided to escape the depths of the warren for the fresh air and open space of the green rich fields again, just in case they came face-to-face with one of the working ferrets in the burrow tub.
They must have felt safer out on open land as just the scent of a ferret being picked up by the rabbits’ sensitive noses will cause them to bolt out.
Neil Edwards, Wrexham
It’s good to see traditional country ways like ferreting being used in harmony with air rifle hunting, with both methods helping to keep rabbit numbers firmly in check.
Send your letters to: Airgun Shooter, Future Publishing Ltd, Units 1 & 2, Sugarbrook Court, Aston Road, Bromsgrove B60 3EX or email firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name and address