Fieldsports Britain - Shooting eggs, mink, rabbits and corvids

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 25.04.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain, coming to you this week from the Kelmarsh Game and Country
Fair in Northamptonshire.
Coming up:
American invaders. We are after naughty Mr Mink. Thinking about a puppy? We asked the
experts what to look for. Long distance shots, it is pest control, but we are asking what
is sporting.
Evening all. Teamwild is after rabbits when the police get involved.
First, the first in our new series, 'Splat of the week'. What does an air gun pellet
do to an egg?
We kick off with a humble chicken egg. The perfect package for the first test splat special.
For this trial run we are using an Air Arms S410 in .22. The camera picks up the flight
of the pellet and it is a fantastic result. To spice things up a bit we upgrade to a goose
egg and a .243 100-grain bullet at 100 metres. Just for fun how far do you think the egg
shell splat will travel from the point of entry. Will it be a) 7m 20cm, or b) 5m 40cm,
or c) 2m 30cm. Another successful splat. The tape measure confirms fragments of the goose
egg have been thrown 7m 20cm or nearly 24 feet. If you chose a) give yourself a prize.
Back to the air rifle and another goose egg. This time the large hard-shelled egg is split
rather than destroyed and it is a disappointing 42cm, that is about a cubit in old money.
That is quite enough of that. Nothing proved, nothing gained, but fun all the same. Next
week we shoot a joint of pork which has risen from the depths of the deep freeze. Look out
for ricochets. If you enjoyed that you might want to see other splats we have filmed.
Now it is April, the cruellest month. Easter bunnies and chicks are making a feast for
an American invader, the mink. Introduced to the UK from the USA in the late 1920s,
mink was primarily bred for its fur. However, a large number of these captive animals escaped
or were released by well meaning animal activists. It quickly reeked havoc across the country,
decimating British wildlife. Brilliant.
This successful predator kills all sorts of bird and animal species and can have a significant
financial impact on businesses like fish farms and fishing lakes. This morning we are up
before the crack of dawn to see if we can shoot one or two before the fishermen arrive.
It is quite exciting for me to come out and go for something I have never played with
before. We have trapped them before. But it is not something I have ever thought about
doing sitting out and waiting for them. So it will be quite interesting to see how we
do. As I say, the farmer here said the fishermen usually normally see them lurking about in
the first light. So he reckons that they arrive and start hunting within the first hour of
daylight. The moorhens are a good indicator of what is going on. With the arrival of the
mink the moorhen population just disappeared. It was almost over night. So I know here that
they really have been hammering the waterfowl. Also, they have got a lot of young fish stock
in here and they have also been doing the fresh water mussels as well. So they are finding
lots of piles of shells and stuff. Very interesting little animal to get on top of.
Roy has been told that they are often active during the first hour of day light. This morning
it seems everything else is up and at them apart from our mink. Plan B is to set a trap
and come back tomorrow. We get there before light and again there is no show. But there
is that Christmas morning feeling that the traps might have caught us a mink.
Last night I decided that was enough and we would set some traps, so we are just going
to check a couple of traps this morning that I set along the river, because I think what
the mink are doing, where there is so much food around along the river bank, there are
a lot of young rabbits, a lot of starters running around. I think what they are doing
is going through the earths catching a couple of rabbits and not bothering to come into
the main lakes. Unfortunately nothing in the traps, but we will leave the traps running
for the next few days and see what we get. Obviously when you have got traps out you
have to check them at least every 24 hours. So we shall be tootling down to see what is
in there, but I can guarantee that we will not be down for 4.30am again for a little
Oh well, when we do succeed and succeed we will, we will need something to deal with
it, so back to Kelmarsh for some shopping.
Right Tony, mink, what would you choose to shoot a mink?
We have two rifles really suitable. We have the Daystate Huntsman Classic here and the
Daystate Mark 4 here. The Classic is as its name implies, a Daystate rifle styled to look
like a conventional hunting rifle. Mechanical operation with a pre-charged cylinder. So
it is a high power air rifle. You can have it in 12 ft/lb or you can have it in FAC rated
up to 30 ft/lb.
You have to shoot them across rivers so you are up to 30 feet at a time.
No problem at all. Really in a .177 calibre, which would be my choice for mink, I would
say it would probably go up to 35 even 40 yards. That is well over the distance you
want. This is the Mark 4. This rifle is a little bit special. It has an electronic heart
in it. So it is electronically fired. You still operate the bolt in the normal way,
but there is no cocking it. There is no spring to cock it, all you are doing is re-cycling
the magazine. The magazine once it is empty, you just remove it, reload it and then put
it back in again. Electronic trigger for an electronic gun, so you get beautifully crisp
firing action and completely silent. They come with a shrouded barrel and you can also
fit another silencer. This rifle too will go up to 30 ft/lb in FAC if you have a licence
and 12 ft/lb if you do not.
Retail price?
Just under £1,000 for one of these and £739 for one of these. Plus a scope, it is about
£100 extra on top of that.
The great thing about air guns is that you can use them for 30-yard shots on mink or
simply to despatch the animal in a trap. This mink was caught by a wildfowling club which
is trying to conserve its wild birds. I went to the estuary of the river Exe to meet Patrick
Gubb of the Devon Wildfowling and Conservation Association.
We have an active conservation membership during the summer and the mink trapping is
an integral part of that.
Why have you sited it just here by a railway line on the end of a ditch?
It is a good place because there is a T-junction in the dyke and as mink are travelling through
the dykes, a T-junction is a place that they will investigate.
So they will stop here. What does a mink trap do? It does not actually catch mink does it?
No, at this stage it is in what is called monitoring mode. So there is a clay substrate
inside, which stays moist through water being dragged through an 'oasis' to keep the clay
moist. As the mink or anything goes across it, it records their footprints.
If you found footprints what would you do next?
If I found footprints I would put a live cage trap inside under the tunnel and within three
or four days if there has been a lot of evidence of traffic, you should catch the mink.
You can buy a mink raft, or you can make your own. Instructions are on the Game and Wildlife
Conservation Trust website For more about the work of the Devon Wildfowlers,
We are big on dealing with troublesome Americans. Click on the squirrel to see what we did to
Now it is David on the Fieldsports Channel News Stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain News.
First, we bring you foxes and Channel 4 will broadcast Foxes Live: Wild In The City this
coming Monday April 30th at 8pm. Do not expect it to be 100 percent positive about fox shooting,
but we have been working to educate Channel 4's production company. You will recognise
some of our own fox shooting footage, including big foxes and baby snatching ones too. The
follow-up programmes are on the 7th and 8th May again at 8pm.
King Juan Carlos of Spain has made a right royal apology after it was discovered that
he had been on an all-expenses-paid African safari to cull elephant. The Spanish monarch
was caught out after falling over while on the trip in Botswana. Most of the bad press
seems to have focused on the King having an expensive holiday and not the elephant hunting.
However, the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund are not very happy and they want their
honorary president to stand down.
The ISSF Shooting World Cup is on at the moment in London at the Olympic venue in Woolwich,
but why would you know that? The ISSF is not allowing us to film there nor is it allowing
the normal number of technicians on the site to mend broken down guns. We cannot show you
any footage, but Team GB Olympic medal hopeful, Peter Wilson, came 7th in the double trap.
Former Olympic gold medallist, Richard Faulds came 31st and Steven Walton 32nd. Women's
Olympic trap hopefuls, Abbey Burton and Charlotte Kerwood, will be competing later this week.
The 12-day event which includes rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines ends on the 29th April
The world's best free fly fishing show is back. Sportfish Reading is promising a weekend
of lake side fun and fishing at Haywards Farm on 12th and 13th May. Sportfish is offering
the biggest names in fishing including TV stars Matt Hayes and John Wilson together
with Simon Gawesworth, Andy Murray and all the big names in fishing tackle. Ian Gordon
will be on hand to talk you through the fantastic new technology in the new Hardy's Zenith Sintrix
range of double handed fly rods and you can see the Speywork rods featured in the new
film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Visit for more details.
Farmers are furious that badgers may get a reprieve. A judge has ruled against the British
government's badger cull, which means the matter goes to the high court. Badgers carry
bovine tuberculosis which has lead to the slaughter of tens of thousands of cattle,
but as yet no badgers. The government wants pilot culls of badgers to take place in the
And finally we have got a big rat. Viewer Davey Thomas shot this monster rat with his
Air Arms S410 K in .177 calibre. It measures 19 inches. Last year viewer, Mark Lowry of
Hartlepool, shot an 18-inch rat. A record beaten by Ryan Bleakley, with a 24 incher.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts.
Thank you David.
Next, puppies and how to choose them. We ask the experts.
Puppies, what a delight, but the hideous reality apart from the endless chewed shoes and doo-doos
is that once you have made up your mind about a new litter, you only get a few minutes to
choose the dog or bitch which will be your shooting companion for the next 10 years or
more. Gundog nut, Laura Bacon, has been organising the gun dog events for Countryman Fairs for
about that time.
What would I look for in a puppy? I would look for not necessarily the boldest puppy
in the pack. Maybe the one that wants to come to you, but maybe a little bit reserved, but
not too shy, kind eye.
What do you mean by kind eye?
I think if you are a dog person you can tell by looking into a dog's face. And I think
anybody who knows dogs will agree with me, I think you can tell by looking into the eye
what sort of temperament they are probably going to come out with. I would look at the
parent's breeding. I would want to see how the parents have competed, or generally what
would I be looking for in that dog, is it relevant in the parents. These days I would
be looking very, very closely at the health aspects. There are a lot of eye problems,
a lot of hip problems.
That is only in some breeds.
Yes, that is only in some breeds, particularly in my breeds which are labradors. I like the
odd spaniel, but not many they are too nutty.
Mike Cullum runs Stormrider Gun Dogs.
For me, when I go I really want to have a bold, forth going puppy. I do not just want
the one which looks up when there is a noise, I want the one which comes and investigates
when there is a noise. So I am one of these anal people who tap on the kennel door and
maybe take a rolled up sock with me. I do not necessarily want the dog to pick it up,
if the dog picks it up fantastic, but I want it to be interested. I want the puppies to
be healthy, look healthy. If I go and look at a spaniel and its tail is not wagging then
there is something wrong with it. And similarly with a retriever. If you are looking at any
dog it should be happy, it should be confident and it should show all the signs of good health.
As for which breed you choose, there can be no advice. It is a belief set. There are fundamentalist
spaniel owners like me and labrador militants like Phill Price of Airgun World magazine.
This is Harvey my seven-year-old dog and Georgie my two-year-old bitch.
Two years old? She is practically a puppy.
She is.
Why did you choose labradors?
Because they are very versatile. I take them out when I am shooting rabbits with the airgun.
We pick up all during winter on pheasant and duck and a bit of stalking. They are always
in the car if I need someone to help me out and follow a deer.
Now I am going to be rude. Are they not slightly unimaginative?
I also drive a Mondeo, does that answer your question?
Here is a couple after my own heart.
Matt shoots and I beat so we have got working gundogs.
So which one is the peg dog and which one is the beating dog?
Probably get them doing a bit of both.
They are both going to be good in different areas I think. I think that one will be better
as a peg dog and this one for beating possibly.
And why did you choose cockers and not boring old labradors?
We wanted smaller dogs for the house.
Spaniels are good loyal dogs. Labradors are as well, but there is a lot of love in spaniels
and they make good family pets as well.
Does he agree?
Of course he does.
My bitch had a litter last year. You can click here just to see what an anxious dad I was.
Now, how far can you shoot, or should we be asking how far should you shoot?
There are three rabbits down there in the nettles. The youngsters over on the left-hand
Roy Lupton is a good shot. Not a perfect shot, but a good shot. Much of that is simply down
to practice. Today he is putting that and a mis-spent youth to good use. He has already
made a good impression on the rabbits on this pasture land. But the farmer says he would
prefer it if there were even fewer. He would also like Roy to knock over a few corvids
if the opportunity arises. To assist some tasty morsels are put down to tempt these
shrewd birds into range.
So what we are doing today is we are going to be shooting some long-range rabbits. I
say long range, it is not particularly far. We are going to be shooting at about 300 yards
on the rabbits. Then on the other side we have got some bait set up, or a couple of
carcases out there and we hope the corvids are going to come in and feed on those. So
the reason we are doing this on this particular piece of ground today is we have been lamping
this ground quite hard and the rabbits are now quite lamp shy. So as soon as we get out
here they see the lamp flickering around they are running off and bolting down the earth.
So all we are going to do is try and clear up a few. We have got a very good vantage
point here and, as the rabbits come out and feed this morning, we are going to take a
few shots and clear a few up.
Compared to some shooting 300 yards is not a huge distance, but it is still a challenging
one and Roy will only shoot when he is confident of a result.
Now before we go any further we should mention we are employing some new technology this
week. It is a big lens with an incredibly fast camera. If you watch a lot of shooting
films on YouTube you may have seen similar footage of airgun shooting on the channel
Ted's Holdover. It brings you to within a few feet of the animal you are shooting.
This is the first time we have been able to capture such close-up images of the animal
in the close hairs and indeed for Roy it is a very new perspective. So what does he think?
I suppose the images can look a bit shocking when you are looking at them like this. But
on the flip side of it, it really does just goes to show that the rabbit knew nothing
about it whatsoever. It is just lights out, job done.
We also get a chance to get close to a few corvids.
We have a perfect example here of why we have to keep control of the corvid population.
So the magpie, the carrion crows really are devastating to all of the nesting birds. If
you have got a hedgerow the magpies will go through it and clear out most of the nests
of the song birds, the black birds, the sparrows, what have you. Whenever we do get the chance
to shoot them, then we will take it.
As Roy said at the start these rabbits are not going to waste and the ferrets have plenty
to be happy about.
You can see on the rabbit here that because we were employing neck and head shots there
is no damage whatsoever to the carcass. On all the rabbits we have got, you can see on
this one, neck shot another head shot on this one. Again carcase is perfectly intact, all
the meat is there, no damage whatsoever, so we can feed that straight to the animals.
A lot of people will think that using a .22-250 for rabbit shooting is probably over gunning
it somewhat. It probably is a lot of calibre for shooting rabbits with, but it is a clean
effective kill, it is humane and, if you are employing head shots with them, you are still
able to use the carcase at the end of the day. Can be a little bit expensive, but if
you have been employed to go in and do a pest control and remove the rabbits, I cannot see
any problem with it personally.
This film may provoke debate not because of Roy's shooting which is professional as usual.
What we are doing is taking the shooter away from behind the scope and placing him or her
just feet away from their quarry. It is proof if you need it that you have to be accurate.
Imagine what the footage would have been like if it had been injured, not killed.
Looking for top pest control entertainment? well Team Wild is out after rabbits and the
police get involved.
[Buck roars]
Click on the angry buck to find out more.
Team Wild is also busy launching a new shop this week. Here is Ian Harford.
Ian, well known for Team Wild, obviously. Now it is Team Wild Outfitters. What is that?
Well the Team Wild brand is proliferating across the globe, Charlie. What we do at Team
Wild, we do a lot of hunting, we use a lot of cool gear and some of our partners such
as Viking Arms, Zeiss, Daystate wanted an opportunity of taking advantage of some of
the publicity we have created. We have had a lot of feedback from people who watch the
channel saying how can I buy one of these or where can we get these from. So it just
seemed sensible to give them an online store where they can go in, have a look at our videos,
look at the products we use and go and buy them themselves. Quite simple really. Like
a one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to hunt with cool equipment.
Ian's shop has got enthusiastic support from Country Pursuits TV. Here is what Malcolm
Barnard has to say.
Well, I have had a look at the vehicles and they look fantastic and I have had a look
at the clothes as well. Realtree branded, the Realtree patterns are great. Everything
that Ian has been involved with has worked really well, so brilliant.
For Malcolm's take on the Kelmarsh Fair click here. There has been plenty of action amongst
other hunting, fishing, shooting channels on Youtube this week. Here is our round up.
Welcome to this week's YouTube Round-Up. The best of British and worldwide field sports
from across the YouTube community.
Roebuck taken with a .243 is Yorkshireroestalking's usual expo of deer stalking excellence. In
this film he has a client out after a roebuck which is completely unaware of what is going
on. That is the roebuck of course, not the client.
They have let loose Malcolm Barnard of Country Pursuits TV with a nite site. The new budget
night vision unit. He is using it to sort out local vermin. Fox lovers look away now.
Made by HuntersVermin for AirgunTV, David James gives his definitive view on how to
clean an airgun barrel. It is similar to paint drying, but of course deeply useful.
In the world of British fishing there is no slippery customer more colourful than a cuckoo
wrasse. DizzyFishUK has a go at them by kayak. It is acid house angling.
Meanwhile those boys from Denmark, KineticFishing, show they are catching 30kg cod on a special
lure. Filmed in March, the snow shows he is not in British waters.
'Pigeon Shooting on the Roost: Self Filming, It is not Easy', that is the title of this
film by Sercout. Self filming. Tell us about it.
JamesMarchington has a fox on his doorstep looking surprised. James specialises in catching
wildlife unawares. Snigger, snigger.
OldMansBallBag has some of the most incredible catapult or sling shot shooting you could
hope to see. This week he is proving that part of the secret is starting them young.
You can click on any of these films to watch them. Our YouTube Round-Up is from henceforth
a regular item. If you have a YouTube film you would like us to pop in to the weekly
top eight then send it in via YouTube or email me the link
Well we are back next week. We were also here this time last year when we were after roebuck.
If you want to see that show click on my hand. Our show is out every week. Indeed it is a
YouTube show. You can see it on or you can click to subscribe to all our output
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This has been Fieldsports Britain.