Throughout Roxtons’ 43 year history, never has there been a season remotely like the last one! Five and a half months of stop-start activity made it very difficult to manage at times. It often feels as if we have let each day 5 times over. But, we have emerged largely unscathed and look forward to brighter times ahead. Mother Nature, largely oblivious of the raging pandemic, has soldiered on, and in some cases, benefitted hugely. Good runs of salmon were reported on many rivers and wild birds seem to have enjoyed less disturbance from man’s reduced presence in the countryside.
Firstly, huge thanks must go out to several sectors of the shooting fraternity :- The Game Farmers who had to make massive guesses relating to supply and demand (the same is still true this year and the decision relating to how many hens to over-winter is, we often forget, made before Christmas), The Estates for their adaptability and commitment to providing sport at all levels, in different Tiers and at varying times of lockdown, which varied from nation to nation. To the beaters and pickers-up, game-cart folk, cooks and chefs, who complied with Covid protocols and turned up for work and bowed to the rules. Hoteliers for using the space at their disposal to accommodate over-night teams whilst being compliant and, finally, the many guns for supporting the shooting world and even now, helping to ensure that the year-round practise of making the sport we know and love, is there for another season.
Ironically, it was largely a terrific season, with little fog, few East winds and the rain largely confined to the Lockdown of January. We certainly saw some brilliant days up and down the country. Arden continues to produce stunning pheasants in beautiful surroundings and with the newly refurbished pub in the village now open, it is a superb all-round place to shoot . Most of the West Country shoots operated a slightly reduced programme of dates and really delivered and we look forward to mutual support going onwards. We had a few notable new shoots that despite the challenges, produced memorable days and we look forward to bolstering their programmes in 2021/22. Should you fancy a move, off the beaten path of shoots you know, do give one of us a call and we will more than happily chat you through ideas. We are making a conscious move to support BGA registered and inspected shoots over the next two year and would ask everyone to look behind the scenes as to how their sport is orchestrated as this is vital to all of us as we go forward.
Having spent much of January confined to our offices, we have all had more time than usual to speak to estates and clients and we are certainly ahead of where we would normally be at this time of year. We all need things to looks forward to during these dark days and with the UK leading the way with the vaccine roll-out, we are hugely confident that next season will be much closer to the ‘norm’. We look forward to seeing you all.