Nine attendees, including one lass, were greeted by Hugo Straker at Garvald Grange in East Lothian on the morning of 4 August.
Glorious sunshine but a tricky breeze made for challenging clay shooting. Stuart Elworthy, of the renowned Mavis Hall Shooting School, gave expert tuition on three stands – settling crow, driven pheasant and flushing woodcock. Best score of 18/30 was achieved by Ross Murray, aged 13, who travelled down with his parents from Huntly in Aberdeenshire. He was awarded a framed print from the GWCT Scottish Game Fair. Between the stands, Hugo gave advice on shotgun and shooting safety and how to clean a gun after a day’s sport.
After clay shooting, Hugo showed the youngsters a pheasant release pen and newly arrived poults on his local shoot and explained their management.
A picnic lunch was provided by Hugo’s wife Caroline, after which Hugo gave an outside talk on predator control and demonstrated the operation of a number of legal traps. Everyone handled a Fenn Mk1V tunnel trap before being tasked with making their own tunnels in a wood and setting a trap within. All fingers survived the challenge!
The day concluded with a session on preparing game for the table. Our thanks to Matthew Walgate of the GWCT’s SE Scotland Committee, who kindly provided fresh shot rabbits, and to Johnny Rutherford of Burnside Farm Foods, who kindly supplied pigeon in feather. Each youngster was given a pigeon and a rabbit and followed Hugo’s demonstration on how to pluck, skin, gut and joint game for the table. Unquestionably the least squeamish was Kate Walker, who showed off her neat skills to the young bucks around her! Being a warm, sunny day the flies joined in on the fun! Once again, human joints remained intact! (Our thanks to the Norman Clark Foundation who helped make this happy holiday experience so possible.)
Same time, same place in 2016. Book early to avoid disappointment! Tel: 01738 551511 or E: email@example.com.