Among the admirers of hunting tourism, perhaps, there is no lover of hunting writers who wanted to visit the driven hunt in the UK.
And who, in preparation for the hunt for the nearest body of water, did not draw to itself the delightful paintings of hunting: a light mist, you’re wearing a hunting jacket, color cap, which bore Sherlock Holmes, you have an elegant movement you put in the shoulder butt gorizontalki high parsing click on descent, heard two shots, and a pair of pheasants falls at your feet … Alas, the hard reality chases away the dream, as the wind disperses the fog wife separates from the priest — equipment cartridges — and once again strongly reiterates the need to replace the bulb.
For Americans, a trip to a hunting in Europe is associated with two problems — extremely high cost and red tape. We were interested in hunting, which would not let the world with an outstretched hand. Since the second problem — the bureaucratic red tape that inevitably accompanies a trip abroad and associated with the need to obtain permits for the export and import of arms licenses, insurances, we managed to cope very simple: the owner of the land where the hunt had promised to provide the necessary weapons.
Owner Stuart Jarvis land deserves special mention. He was the chief forester in favor of the Prince of Wales, she taught weapons handling Princes William and Harry. Six years ago, he decided to go into business and chose, of course, what he knew thoroughly, — organization driven hunt. But it decided to make them as accessible as possible for hunters who do not have windfall.
I will not bore you with the story of a transatlantic flight, and immediately transferred to the small village of Wales Krikhouvell, located 240 kilometers west of London, where for the next week was to become a central point on the map of our hunting adventures. We lived in the hotel «Dragon», built in the middle of XVII century. The narrow corridors, steep stairs — everything except the equipment rooms, equipped with the latest technology and plumbing, breathing the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
After we dressed in hunting clothes (still in the process of preparation has been brought to us the wish of the organizer: clothes should be comfortable and, for God’s sake, do not need orange vest) with the wishes of our gracious hosts and went down, we were surprised. Stewart kept his promise. In the hall of our group of eight hunters waited fifteen guns. And no guns! Just the opportunity to hold a gun in the hands of such famous gunsmiths, Charles Hellis, Bounhill, Griner, Westley Richards, Horsley, Boswell, any weapons experts and connoisseurs can head to go around, and here great guns were given to us to choose from. Frankly speaking, the selection process was not easy, because the wise and experience over the years hunters and weapons experts to behave exactly like the children, picking up that one gun, then another, throwing and aiming. Finally, «played enough» and selecting a gun like, each of us took a bag of ammunition, and we went to the first hunt ducks.
Classical hunting ducks on flights carried out in the morning or evening when the birds fly to places dnevki or feeding sites. Driven hunting nothing to do with the classic duck hunting on flights, except, perhaps, the object of hunting, has not. Beaters from the local community under the guidance of the huntsman raised duck crepe and catching it on the hunters. (By the way, in England gun hunter called the word gun, hunters and the word refers exclusively to the guys in red jackets, enthusiastically jumping for a pack of hounds on horseback chasing a fox.)
Surprisingly, but the fact remains that raised beaters duck flying over the arrows stubbornly returned to the pond, where it just raised, it rises again, it flew over the line of shooters and are back to their pond. It is through this cycling ducks in nature arrow had an excellent opportunity to unburden himself. (In Britain, unlike the United States, despite the fact that the duck is a migratory bird owners can arrange hunting grounds in reservoirs forage area to attract ducks.)
After the first corral our group relocated to another pond. A group of local residents, especially hired to serve hunters, began to collect our trophies. Looking helped them labradors and spaniels different breeds. I noticed that the British, unlike the Americans, working with dogs do not use electronic collars. During the shooting of our assistants placed behind the line of shooters.
It should tell how the placement of the shooters on the numbers before the pen. Each drawing lots, which determines the number of its small space during the first pen and moving during subsequent pens. Rifle hunters on line located at a distance of 35-40 meters from each other.
The owner of land where we could visit, specializes in driving hunt duck and pheasant, during which a shot flies a small number of partridges. He told us that the income from the hunting, allows him to somehow make ends meet: real estate tax in the United Kingdom other than not be called draconian. By the way, there are few public lands, so rifle hunting is possible only in private lands. And another difference from the United States: in the UK poultry obtained by the hunter, can be sold in restaurants and shops.
Some of our group have had experience driving hunt, others only learned the wisdom of all this. And, of course, they were interested in a lot of questions, such as why no British guns antabok? Or why the British have guns ejectors? Or why hunter second gun? Gradually the newcomers themselves to find answers to their questions. Yes, indeed, there is no British guns antabok, but cases in which the carrying arms have a belt.
With regard to the second gun, then the answer comes immediately, as soon as the hunter is on the shooting line. Birds fly so much that is not fit to use a shotgun and semi-automatic and even a shop increased capacity, but the classical and semi-automatic driving hunt in the UK as incompatible as genius and villainy. A well and camouflage clothing. You just do not understand, if you show up for the hunt in camouflage clothing. It is not the war were gathered together.
If someone believes that shooting on the driven hunt a simple affair, he is deeply mistaken. The bird flies fast, always have to shoot over the head of of high-altitude targets. Shoot the birds at a distance of less than 30 meters — a bad taste, you just do not understand. It is not at myasozagotovki arrived. Prized not only trophies, but also a beautiful shot. Experienced hunters prefer to have a more severe choke in the right barrel, but, despite the fact that most of our guns had chokes cylinder choke and a quarter, of high-altitude shots of birds have been very effective.
Relief Wales differs pronounced hilly. And because this is one of the safety rules on hunting was: to shoot at the goal can only be the case if the line between it and the trees have clearance.
This restriction is necessary to protect the beaters. And so basically I had to shoot over your head. Nastegannye poultry or poultry with a high level of intelligence (and perhaps human one of the characters of the popular Russian film about hunters, said, «To live like, yet so raskoryachishsya!») Reconnaissance aircraft flying low to the ground, might find themselves in absolute safety.
In different countries, different rules driven hunt. For example, when they write that the hunter can get 100 birds a day, this means that the beaters have to raise 100 birds, and in other lands is the same condition means that the hunter can shoot for a hundred birds. In this case, one hundred birds per day produced meant hundred birds. And get the bird, as I mentioned above, was the work is not easy, if only because before each hunt we were instructed that effective shot, made of a bird at close range, or «too simple and easy» shot are considered unsportsmanlike. In order to make the hunt more «sport» in many private lands limit the amount of ammunition issued to a group of hunters in the day. Typically, the cartridges are given a ratio of one to four. This means that if you intend to rise a hundred birds, hunters get 400 rounds. Such a restriction is certainly disciplined hunters, resulting in a decrease in the number of wounded game. In addition, the spirit of competition and, therefore, a sports driven hunt is enhanced by daily count each hunter shooting performance. At the end of the day the manager of hunting sums up how many trophies every hunter and got a number of rounds at the same time spent. And in each category is declared a winner, well, finished last after the results have no choice but to put everything in a mug of beer.
But back to the very first hunt. Filled with great expectations and a desire to show the highest class of fire, we take a seat on the shooting line in full compliance with the instructions of the manager of hunting and draw lots.
The result of the first pen was such a shame to say that. No, no claims to the beaters were not, and the bird flew, and we are constantly shot, but it desperately smeared on the most reliable targets. In general, the cannonade was such that it was possible to think that we are transported back in time in the past and found themselves in the midst of one of the largest battles of the Second World War. But, despite the noise, after the first pen lay at the feet of the shooters only eight ducks. When finished the third, the last of today, the paddock, it was found that a total of 75 ducks we produced, and it somehow exonerated us in our own eyes.
Not in any way trying to justify himself, saying that for many years the firing of the rifle played with the author of this bad joke. I smeared so desperately that Stewart Jarvis even had to intervene. Stewart saw the cause of the slip is to try to deliver fire. He came to me and said, «Do not think about anything, just toss the gun on my team!»
And then there was this: a pheasant flew to the edge of the trees and flew straight at me. Stewart says, «Wait! Wait! «The bird was already almost over me, I have flown through, and suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, there was a team,» Shoot! «Shot — pheasant and falls to the ground. This result was so unexpected for me, I involuntarily turned to Stuart to hear words of praise, or at least approval. Stewart, calmly smoking a pipe, said that the pen is not over yet. And then working out a shot of a bird flown continued.
When the «lesson» finally ended, Stewart said that shooting at driven hunt requires sverhmasterstva and even princes have mastered the technique of shooting.
The second day of the hunt was even more crowded with interesting events, than the first. Our kind hosts chosen as the site of hunting grounds, located just a twenty minute drive from the hotel. As a means of delivery from the hotel to the hunting and crossings between the pens used wagon hitched to a tractor, which more comfortably on bales of hay hunters traveled through the narrow and curvy roads of Wales, some of which were built during the reign of the Romans. And I, frankly, did not dare to go alone on these roads in the dark, and given that it was getting dark early (we were in Wales in November), the night of hunting in this case and could not be.
In the morning, there have been four paddocks. Under shots hunters driven mainly pheasant and partridge. Basically — because, in addition to the birds, we were promised more and woodcock. At this time, Woodcock returned to winter in Wales, and sometimes becomes successful trophy hunters. «Sometimes» and «lucky» — because you are standing and waiting for departure on your pheasant or partridge, and instead flies at supersonic speed woodcock that large American subspecies twice, but that it does not become easy prey. The adrenaline rush of the meeting with SO woodcock guaranteed only trouble is that the adrenaline is not always the best assistant on such hunts. Yet the two hunters in our group was lucky. And the old Welsh tradition of face Hunter, who obtained the first woodcock, decorated with bird blood extracted and inserted into the ribbon hat feather tail.
The next day in the morning for us again were organized four driven hunt, which we produced over fifty pheasants, and in the afternoon we only hunted woodcock. Organization of the hunt was quite simple: the arrows are placed on predetermined locations, and when beaters raised woodcock, they shall inform the shooters. Then the hunters before facing ears, fully addressed in sight, trying to make out the brown bullet lightning rushing through the dense thickets.
Then Stewart Jarvis held a master class for woodcock shooting. He fired a «Horsley» 12-caliber barrel insert with 20-caliber. As soon as he took his place at the shooting line, there was a cry beater «Woodcock!» Two woodcock emerged from the bush and, like missiles, began to climb rapidly. Two shots, and two birds fell to the ground. It took a few minutes, a new upsurge of woodcock. Another shot, and another trophy. And just a few minutes before our eyes we were extracted six woodcocks. How many woodcocks were mined in this hunt? Let’s just say a lot.
The next day we went to the land, which, according to the owner, there were about six thousand pheasants.
Four pen morning and two in the afternoon brought us a total of over 120 birds. This day, in addition to excellent hunting, remembered us by the fact that at the invitation of the host joined us one of the most respected and influential experts on the collection of English shotguns David Baker. He brought with him an arsenal of guns, including the most attention attracted breech-loading shotgun 16 caliber under pinfire cartridge 1861, from which he first shot got pheasant, and then began shooting bullets filled with black powder, from other, equally unique guns.
The week flew by like a flash. Perhaps creating an amazing atmosphere of the hunting fraternity promoted by several factors. First, careful planning and excellent organization of the hunt. In a purely male company keen hunters and topics of conversation were appropriate — weapons, ammunition independent outfit again weapons, wine, cigars, dog, arms and back, of course, single malt whiskey. Organizers thought out and «cultural program» We visited several weapons companies, shops of leading British companies specializing in the sale of weapons and hunting products. But mostly, I think, was the fact that we have discovered a hitherto unknown side of hunting, which, as many of us think they know everything or almost everything.
During the five days of hunting, we shot almost two thousand rounds of ammunition and 370 produced birds. Of course, these figures pale in comparison with the amount of spent bullets while hunting in Peru in South America, but still impressive. And not just us.
By the way, Stewart also interested in fly fishing. But that’s another story.
Especially for the magazine «Hunting and Fishing XXI Century»
Steve Helsi17 December 2007 at 15:20