Manual Nights With An Old Gunner (History Of Wildfowling Series)

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It was like the quest for my first salmon. I went to the gamedealer in Skeg to gawp enviously at rows of geese hanging on hooks, hearkened to more successful fowlers, re-read the books and immersed myself in the subject. How I wanted to shoot one of those hounds of heaven and to possess what had been for so long unattainable. Though you catch the drifting clamour, Through the sleet squall? Patrick Chalmers knew what he was talking about when he wrote those lines.

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It was a dour day? Staring through this porthole into heaven the man heard a distant, wild cry,?


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He shaded his eyes and a thousand feet up was a speck, spiralling down through the hole towards the water; behind it another, and another, then a dozen, a score, a hundred, a thousand. The sky was full of pinkfoot geese, like a swarm of bees, shouting with joy at journey? The man raised his ragged cap to salute the navigators of the Viking whale roads that had once more flown south from Icelandic breeding grounds for the winter. Some admiral of the skein had led them, having made the journey a score of times, and in his train flew families with goslings that had never seen a human being.

The man had waved them off in April, wished them Godspeed, and now they were back. The writer? Great writing, poetry, paintings and photographs almost, but never quite, capture the essence of their allure.

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They carry with them the aspirations of the human spirit, visiting places beyond our ken? They brave fox, eagle, lurking gunner, gale and blizzard, shouting paeans to the cold moons of our winter as, navigating by starlight, they fly out to who-knows-what distant stubble to feed. The migratory pinkfooted and greylag geese are aristocrats.

Wildfowlers creating habitat: Start the digger. (1 of 3)

Below stairs, mooching about on the slob and eating seaweed, are the protected barnacles and brent from Russia, quarry of the old Essex punt-gunners. Feral Canada geese are descended from a few introduced as ornaments with the usual regrets attendant upon such experiments. They look well enough cackling over autumn stubble and make a fair mark for a gunner, but the damage they cause and exploding numbers make them unloved, though a young Canada is the best goose to eat.

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We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. They brave fox, eagle, lurking gunner, gale and blizzard, shouting paeans to the cold moons of our winter as, navigating by starlight, they fly out to who-knows-what distant stubble to feed.

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The migratory pinkfooted and greylag geese are aristocrats. Below stairs, mooching about on the slob and eating seaweed, are the protected barnacles and brent from Russia, quarry of the old Essex punt-gunners. Feral Canada geese are descended from a few introduced as ornaments with the usual regrets attendant upon such experiments. They look well enough cackling over autumn stubble and make a fair mark for a gunner, but the damage they cause and exploding numbers make them unloved, though a young Canada is the best goose to eat.

Pinks are the wildfowler? Bag one in flight and, for a moment, you have captured a piece of goose magic but, like a rainbow, you can never possess it. Partial to sugar beet tops, their numbers wax; they hurry down to Norfolk to gobble them up, but sugar beet-growing is threatened by a cut in subsidy, making it a less certain food source.

Enlightened landowners protect them on feeding grounds and wildfowling clubs on the roost where, if the birds have security, they will stay. A century ago they deserted ancestral grounds in Norfolk as they were given no peace. There are self-styled? Proper goose shooting means dawn and dusk or under a moon, when they sail across the saltings to and from distant feeding grounds.

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Etched across a flaming dawn they sing a wild song as they beat inland to a chosen field while earthbound mortals stare up bewitched, wistful, neck hairs prickling. A winter dawn? When crouching low behind the grey sea wall, I waited for the geese, and heard their call. M Dobie. A nobler quarry On a morning when it takes a hefty clout to break the ice in the bullocks? A creek selected, he and his dog ease into it, peering east where the sky is kissed with apple green and pink.

Far out on the muds the geese are talking, stranded by a receding tide. Like the whoosh of the Flying Scotsman exiting a tunnel, a flailed scarf of a quarter of a million knots whirls along the tideline, as one they bank and flash their snowy tummies, turning brown again as they swing back to settle.