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Discussion Starter #1
At 0515 on this Bank Holiday morning my alarm sounded the start of the day.

By 0600, we were loaded up and rolling Northwards, bound for an 0830 meet, on a Grouse moor in Co Durham.

As I was driving along, I reflected upon several recent threads in this section, particularly from those, who are possibly, wanting to test the water, and see what this "Khaki Malarky" is all about. Here we were heading for another day at the coalface.

The weather was not good day today, wind, rain and mist, but what the hell, where else would you rather be ?

To make a successful day on the Grouse, or on any other shoot for that matter, requires a good deal of careful year round planning, and countless hours of hard work, by numerous people.

Somewhere out there, a couple of miles away from where I was, there are a line of beaters, waiting to start the drive.



If they can all keep in contact with each other, then maybe in about 45 minutes, we may get the first birds over the guns, but in the meantime, you just have to sit and wait. In the wind, and the rain, and the mist.



The drive went well enough, but because of the conditions, it is virtually impossible to mark anything down, picking up, is basically a massive sweeping operation, which is hard work for the dogs, particularly as I was the only picker up today.





It further struck me during the course of the day, watching the dogs at work, that so many of the nuances, and finer points of training techniques, that we often discuss on here, are really not that important in the bigger scheme of things. Today we needed dogs with bags of drive, ability, determination, and stamina, to keep plugging away until the birds were in the bag. Often working under their own initiative away from the handler.

Which is slightly worrying when the Dangerous Brothers are two thirds of the team :wink: :wink: :wink:



But the DB's did their bit today :wink: :wink:

Missy was n't overly impressed with the conditions on the day.



And finally, the cloud did start to lift, but not for very long :? :? :? :?



At the end of it all, we came down with 67 brace, which, under the circumstances everyone was pleased with.

2000, arrived back at home, dogs fed, gave them an extra chicken carcass each tonight, they'd earned it. :wink: :wink:

Not an easy day by any means, but an enjoyable one, none the less.

Strictly hardcore :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

Andrew
 

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Dedication!!!
 

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loving the moody photos :D

looks like a foul but throughly enjoyable day :D
 

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Hardcore!!!!!

;)
 

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Blimey - that looks a bit bleak! 8O I bet there were cheers all round when the Burger-Van appeared! :wink:

Becs
 

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Seriously hardcore!

I must be nuts, but I think I'd actually quite enjoy freezing my ass off of a winter's day out on some moor somewhere..... it would all be worth it to see the dogs doing what they're bred to do.

Can I ask a wee question though? I keep hearing that the etiquette is to be invited on a shoot and do your turn of beating first for a season or two. Is that right? I went beating years ago, but I was only a child at the time and utterly clueless to what I was doing (I was with the gamekeepers daughter and just followed her, collected my tenner at the end of the day and skipped off home).

What if you've been training your dogs to retrieve though? Surely you couldn't take that same dog beating then? Or could you?
 

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Cor blimey it's grim oop north! 8O

Still, I would've been in my element :) You are so lucky!

Thanks for the report and photos, really enjoy such posts as these.
 

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Great write up Andrew, not too sure being out in that weather would be for me though :lol: , great pics even though the weather was grim, loving the one of the DB`s together and poor Missy looking rather bedraggled :D
 

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Looks like typical shooting weather to me! :wink:

Sounds like a great day out for you and the hounds. Great pics also.

John
 

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Andrew I love your stories and pictures, you always capture a day so well, I never think to take the camera out on days like that but your pictures really reflected on the mood of the day.

I'd say that bag was pretty respectable considering visibility. How did the dogs fair with all the waiting around? I had day like that last week and I had them all cuddled into me, what a softie, shouldn't they have been keeping me warm I asked myself! Unfortunately my lab has a very sleek single coat and lives in the house so she suffers when it's cold and wet and my young springer is in ultra fit skinny trialling mode without a scrap of fat on her so I didn't take her that day. Her mother is the hairiest springer out (on par with Nic's Finn) so she never gets cold, great for the snowy winters we have but not for the summers although I don't recall having one this year! I have coats for the pointers on such days....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Moj said:
Seriously hardcore!

I must be nuts, but I think I'd actually quite enjoy freezing my ass off of a winter's day out on some moor somewhere..... it would all be worth it to see the dogs doing what they're bred to do.

Can I ask a wee question though? I keep hearing that the etiquette is to be invited on a shoot and do your turn of beating first for a season or two. Is that right? I went beating years ago, but I was only a child at the time and utterly clueless to what I was doing (I was with the gamekeepers daughter and just followed her, collected my tenner at the end of the day and skipped off home).

What if you've been training your dogs to retrieve though? Surely you couldn't take that same dog beating then? Or could you?

I was very lucky when I started to get serious about working my dogs, in that because I've been shooting for some time, I had enough contacts, one way or another, to be able to get into picking up straightaway.

To be honest, if your dog is up to standard, and you put the leg work in to find a shoot that needed pickers up, I would imagine you could short circuit things a little.

As for using a Labrador to go beating, well a lot of people do, and then sweep up around the pegs, or butts, at the end of the drive. But they can't handle those dogs out onto long distance retrieves, which I guess is what you were meaning Moj? My own view is that is down to the training, or lack of it some cases.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Rothievale said:
Andrew I love your stories and pictures, you always capture a day so well, I never think to take the camera out on days like that but your pictures really reflected on the mood of the day.

I'd say that bag was pretty respectable considering visibility. How did the dogs fair with all the waiting around? I had day like that last week and I had them all cuddled into me, what a softie, shouldn't they have been keeping me warm I asked myself!

I have coats for the pointers on such days....
Helen, it's nice to know that people enjoy the threads, I usually just take lots of pictures, (although not yesterday as it was too wet, or I was too busy, as the lone picker up), and then try and put together a bit of a story so people can get a feel for the day.

I must agree with you, the bag was very good considering the conditions. The two guys that own the moor and their guests were happy, so that's all that matters really.

As for the dogs and all the waiting around, the one saving grace yesterday, was that it was n't cold. We got sheltered out of the wind, and I've got a big Army poncho, that also maked a useful groundsheet, so we all got settled on that.

On cold days, I'll use the Equafleece coats whilst we are sat about, I like to keep warm, why should n't the dogs?

Andrew
 

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Andrew,
You do have an amazing way not only with photography but the words to go with it,
reading it & thinking of how utterly bitter it was out their today made me shiver as if id been there with you guys myself,

I have to say though i think id have had an expressions some what like missys, with my tongue out :lol: :lol:
 
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