Shooting, Beating, Barking

18th September 2014
Its hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly but Autumn is well and truly here.
Living in Norfolk there is no escaping from the need for balance between wildlife and land management.

So wanting to understand country ways a little better and have a more rounded perspective what goes on in the woods and fields, I readily took up a generous invitation to join a local farm shoot last year.

In truth I thought I would only go the once but all the boys and girls, on two legs or four were so friendly and welcoming, I ended up going for the rest of the season.

On each shoot I learnt something new, how to select a blackthorn branch for eventual shaping into a sturdy and reliable beater's stick, how the downy feathers from a game bird are used to create the most beautiful fishing flies and how many ways there are to smoke a fish! Not forgetting my first ever taste of Jagermeister!

With all sincerity it was a real honour to photograph the emotional bond and complete trust between dog and handler. Among the most compelling shots I tried to capture were the immediate response to the silent command, the occasional caress of a silken spaniels ear, the reaction to a roaring call for complete obedience, the dog's unbridled joy of romping through the muddy fields, running through the swampy riverbeds and or restlessly sitting in a sugar beet field, just a few of those kodak moments that probably look better in my head than in my efforts to photographically record.

I have put up a small portfolio from last year in the gallery that I will hope to update as we get into the Shooting, Beating, Barking 2014 season.

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