The shooting season 2014-15
By Dan Reynolds
I am a believer that a warm dry summer has an enormous influence on the outcome of the autumn and winter shooting season...
2014 was a classic example of this and once spring had come and gone the warm, dry weather enabled keepers to get on and complete their many tasks and to establish bountiful game crops which are an ever increasing key to producing a steady flow of birds over the guns once the season starts. The good summer continued fairly unchecked and this made life relatively easy once birds went to wood and they developed with very few problems with disease. Grouse were particularly bountiful and reports of several record days started to reach our Hungerford offices by the end of August. Shirt sleeve partridge shooting prevailed through September and even into October when we started to button up our coats a bit more in readiness for the pheasants.
One of the most noticeable factors from my point of view was that (and I know I am blowing our trumpet here!) our back up team in Hungerford were absolutely exceptional in their diligence and professionalism and despite some fairly demanding requests, often at the last minute, by and large everyone and everything seemed to end up in the right place at the right time.
There were some notable additions and improvements to our wide ranging portfolio - Mulgrave Castle being a huge hit with many of our clients who had not shot there before, the coastal partridge drives and Footman's Leap providing exceptional sport. Drumlanrig in the Border country continued to leave many of our guns humbled and humiliated with very testing pheasants and partridges and the continued extensive development work at Wellshead is quickly pushing this little gem of a shoot further up the West Country rankings. A wonderful little family shoot, Rushall, situated near Upavon in Wiltshire really impressed some of our teams willing to try something new and we look forward to working with the family again next season.
2014-15 was without doubt a vintage year and I only hope that we can declare several more vintages this current decade.