Short days, cold Gun barrells and numb fingers…….Shooting season is here…..


It happens sometime in August. You go out one morning and the steady beat of Summer has given way to the restlessness of Autumn. It is an almost imperceptible change. Those of us that have lived and grown up in the countryside feel it. We can almost taste it. Suddenly we are sent tumbling back to childhood , where happy afternoons were spent roaming the hedges for blackberries and picking apples from the orchard in Brickfield. In recent years, however, this change marks the approach of something different for me and my dogs…..


Time is approaching. The giddy excitement of looking forward to darker evenings and shorter days. Standing on the lakeshore or walking a riverbank as the first fingers of sunlight reach across the sky in midwinter. Sitting in a boat as an angry northeast wind pounds your back with sleet and hail or  standing in woodland, alone, with only your faithful dog for company shivering as much in anticipation as from the cold while you both wait for the sound of a hunting horn and the pheasant drive to start. Walking through miles and miles of heavy plough, fingers numb on the barrel of the gun, breath hanging in the air as you pull tired heavy legs from the thick brown clay. All the time just waiting, watching and listening…Time slows down. There is nothing else to think about. It’s just you, your dog and nature.


Then it happens. Just a flutter of wings in undergrowth, the call of a drake as he rises from the rushes or the simple change in the body language of your dog. All tiny clues but because you have learned to watch and wait and be patient, you and your dog have become good at this game….and sometimes, maybe just maybe you’ll get lucky.


Happy hunting everyone!

5 thoughts on “Short days, cold Gun barrells and numb fingers…….Shooting season is here…..

  1. you have a wonderful way with words Mary, I know the feeling so well but could never express them so elequently. I was with you all the way.

  2. Nice Mary ,the dew lasts that bit longer , the sun is getting lazy up later now a days , the latch on the kennel door has that faint touch of coldness ,oh and that excitement in the dogs leaves a cloud ,nay, mist were there breath was as they move on , August is slipping imperceptibly away and September beckons ,the guns away for its check up ,the poults are growing ,young ducks on dawn patrol ,No Beaver they are not yours till October !!! , the setting sun has now waned and changed , the dying light to the west now has that autumnal glow…

    And I along with you Mary I think back on seasons gone and lean awhile on gate just looking in the mind and hoping that this will be a good season ,why, maybe better than last ,and then the dogs nose me brings me out of my thoughts and back to practicality ,they want their food ,and as I turn for home I note a few old fallen branches reminding me to get the saw out ,stock up ,it could be a harsh one !! and as I round the gate the slows are plump and nearly ready, And all three are eating their evening meal my mind wonders if Beaver will be as good, will learn her trade just as Ripple did, and Isla now taking over, Yes she will, she’s a chip of the old block, I’ve just got to steer her right and give her reign!! She will be with me and Ripple will be her Mentor ,,As I close their kennel gates that dam mobile goes “””Were are you Dad get that tractor and trailer down the field I want to get this straw loaded tonight ,don’t you know that Winters coming “””””

  3. Pingback: August Autumn… | riverrunchesapeakes

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