Fieldsports Britain - Geese, muntjac and white rhino

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 15.11.2011

[music] Welcome to Fieldsports Britain and this week
we've got people with problems. Top stalker Oliver Power has a problem finding
game in undergrowth. Luckily he has the right scope to do it
And if he has any problems in the field he's also allowing us a sneak peak in his stalking
backpack. I have a nice seat to keep my bottom from
the wet and the mud and the "oomps". People all over the world have a problem with
shooting rhinos. But is it OK if it's done in a sustainable way? We ask a Danish big
game hunter. First, Andy Crow has a problem of agricultural
proportions with geese Farmer Andy Crow has to defend his crops from
ground and air attack - rabbits and deer are the main offenders advancing over his fields,
with the FAF - the Feral Air Force - showing no mercy from the skies. But at this time
of year it isn't just the fighter pigeons wreaking havoc on the winter wheat. Bomber
Command is also peckish - geese. There's a muddy puddle on the farm which is
seeing a lot of air traffic. Some days Andy is counting up to sixty geese, so he has arranged
for a friendly ack-ack battery to try and shoot down a few this morning..
Sporting Shooter magazine editor Dom Holtam is here sporting a very handsome moustache
- known as a "trucker". Practically a "Freddie" It's for charity.
What? You not heard of Movember?
It's for people with testicular cancer. It's to raise aware ness and money for charity.
I mean, not an issue for you - you haven't got any.
Then there's Mr Crow himself doing his bit for charity.
Poppy Appeal. Help for Heroes. So what's the plan?
Well, we all got here early this morning. We've got about sixty or seventy Canada geese
coming in to a pond which we've got on the farm here. Been a bit of a problem at the
moment. Got a bit of winter wheat on the edge of the pond and they seem to be grazing it
off. So this morning we're just going to try and thin them out a bit. They do come in in
two lots. As you can hear, one lot's just coming in now, so better get on and get out
there and get ready for them coming in. Andy and his cousin Gary take cover in the
reeds. Dom and Justin have the hide under the oak. Thankfully for the camera the geese
are late and there is some light when we hear the first, distant honks.
If you have never experienced it, please make the effort to have a go. It really does get
the blood pumping. [gun shots]
Everyone has a shot, a few hit the deck and Amber is off after them. After another 10
minutes we start seeing geese arrive in smaller numbers, making them easier to single out.
[gun shots] In all we have ten birds on the ground.
Crowman talks us through the technique and the shells used today as he can't use lead
on English wildfowl. Plan was today for the lads to take the first
shots as they are coming in. Me and Gary shoot as they go out.
As for cartridges, well, we're using Eley VIP Steel and the bismuth - a combination
of either of the two. Eley have given us some to try out. They work well. We've shot a few
geese. Even shooting over ponds you still have to use the steel and the bismuth and
they seem to perform well. What about technique?
Technique? They miss them and me and Gary shoot them. That's the technique. Dom's over
there. He's worked really well as a bird scarer. I will say that Dom did shoot a couple. That's
the technique. Dom scares them. We shoot them. And you can see we've got a nice bag full.
What about lead and things like that? Lead? Forget the body. It takes a lot of pressure
to get the shot through the down and the feathers. Just ignore the body. Come from behind. It's
the head you want to be hitting. You want to get right up the front end. You want to
shoot it as if it's a small bird. They're travelling fast as well, so you have really
got to get through them, but it's the front end you want to be hitting.
As we line out the birds, Crowman can't help noticing the number of pigeons moving over
head. One flock comes low and there are so many birds you can hear them.
[bird wings] It's all part of the seasonal migration.
A lot of people don't agree when I say they migrate. Anyone that is into pigeon shooting
and knows their pigeons, they do know they do migrate. They migrate in their thousands.
Like, Monday, coming through here, strange really, there were going from south to north
and usually this time of year they are going from north to south. But they were coming
through. There must have been in excess of 20,000 pigeons coming through on Monday, just
hedge-hopping and just moving through. A pack of pigeons going over the top now.
They are just coming through all the time. Here is the damage that has been done by the
geese. A good acre has been munched over the last few weeks.
This week, I have put a bit of corn on the pond just to keep them off of this because
they were going through it like a flock of sheep. At the moment, it's so mild the corn
is still growing, so it getting away with it. It will come back. But if they just stayed
there all winter they would just strip this field. Then once they have finished this field
they would just go and do the next field. I'm quite lucky. I can keep them off. But
a lot of the farmers down on the marsh and that, they get hundreds of geese on their
fields and just graze them off. Good for Christmas?
Yeah good for Christmas. I read it in one of the shooting magazinnes - I think it must
have been the Sporting Shooter - some chap reckoned you put a brick in the oven and a
Canada goose, and chuck the goose away and eat the brick. I've eaten a hell of a lot
of geese and I haven't found one that tastes like a brick yet.
Dom has shot his first ever goose today - so has he enjoyed this type of shooting?
I do enjoy it. It's quite exciting. Becaus they are so big and make so much noise when
they come in, it's quite exciting really. I can see the appeal of people going out on
to the foreshore and shooting out on the marsh. It must be really haunting hearing them coming
in, in a lonely landscape, but easier to carry them back to the farm.
Christmas has come early - only this time these geese are getting fat thanks to Crowman's
wheat. And the guns are going to put on a few extra pounds with a proper farmhouse breakfast.
What a way to start the day. Geese there - a 'fly in the ointment' for
any farmer. And Andy Crow, more than a 'thorn in the side' of the geese. Now, let's go to
a 'tin tack in the toe' of the antis. It's David on the Fieldspoorts Channel new stump.
[music] This is Fieldsports Britain News.
Just 35 per cent of local councils know where the food they serve schoolchildren comes from.
The Countryside Alliance Foundation wants the Government to bring in a minimum British
food-buying standards policy for schools, similar to that it began for the civil service
earlier this year. This, while British game meat is becoming
ever more popular. A chip shop in Norfolk has found a new dish
to attract diners. French's chippie in Wells-Next-The-Sea now serves deep-fried pheasant.
A Chinese petrochemicals billionaire has become the first person in China to own his own island
- and he has just opened it up as a put-and-take hunting reserve.
He has released wild boar, pheasants, and barking deer on the 200-acre island in the
East China Sea. He charges £12 to enter, £10 to rent a rifle and £1 per bullet.
Is it a crocodile? Is it a huge snapping turtle? Is it a publicity stunt? The River Lea Monster
is back. A houseboat resident on the river which passes
through London's Olympic Park witnessed an attack.
To our amazement, one of the geese just went vertically down into the water.
Mike Wells says it is more likely to be a turtle than a crocodile
It was big, whatever the hell it was because there was so little hesitation.
But Mr Wells has another axe to grind. He campaigns against the Olympic Park development.
Fish kills that they have already had are due to the fact they have impounded the waterways
in the Olympic Park. You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain
News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts. Thank you David, who is of course available
for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. Now, some of you are going to like this, not
all of you are going to like it, but would you defend this fellow's right to do it? We're
taking a look at rhino shooting We were up at 4 o'clock in the morning the
day the rhino hunt... Torben Espensen is a successful Danish businessman,
a hunter and a gun collector. Along with Sir Jackie Stewart and Wilbur Smith, he is an
ambassador for the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities.
We meet him in Sweden where he tells us about his passion for trophies and justifies how
he travels the world in pursuit of some of the planet's most endangered animals - in
particular the rhino. You specialise in endangered animals. That's
not very nice. Well, it depends what type of glasses you
have on. Asking me a question like that, the first thing I would accuse you is having blinkers
on. Because you actually don't know what's going on.
Well, tell me. What's going on? Today, most of the hunting around the world
is very regulated, controlled, at least in most of the countries. And what the anti-hunting
people do not understand is that if it were not for licensed hunting we wouldn't have
any game left. Torben has given us permission to use footage
from his white rhino hunt in South Africa in 1998.
After four hours of tracking two bull rhino he has the opportunity to shoot.
After it was all over, he said to me, "Thank you Mr Espensen."
And I was looking with a big question mark and I said: "For what?"
"For the act you just done. You shot a rhino." I said: "Yes."
"Are you aware that without people like you we would not be able to maintain the stock
of rhinos we have? Because about eighty per cent of the trophy fee you are paying is going
back to maintain the wildlife." And this is one of the things that the anti
hunting people do not under stand. If he doesn't have that money to go back to the trade, and
to maintain the wildlife, we wouldn't have anything left. Because then everything will
be open for poaching. By the end of the day, we will just look at an empty world with no
game. Is that what they want? There is an expression that the Americans
say: "If it pays it stays." I guess you paid a great deal of money. Can
you say how much? Half a farm.
Half a farm? Yes.
For a single animal? Yes.
Why? When I was 14, I had my confirmation and an
uncle gave me a book. It was a travel description from an English lord and her ladyship back
in the middle 1800s going to Kenya on safari. But in that book there was this scene of a
rhino hunt. I mean, I am 14 years old, and I was sitting
in my tiny little room, and I wasn't reading the book actually. I was eating it. But I
swore, at 14 years old, I am going to have that experience some day in my life. It took
me more than half a lifetime to get there. When I celebrated fity years, I made up my
mind. I'm going to fulfil the dream I had when I was 14. So I said to friends and family:
"I don't want any gifts. I want cash or cheques. I'm going to save for a rhino."
Then in 1998 I fulfilled my dream. And, actually, to say it plain and open, I was crying. I
lifted my head and looked up and said, "Thank you". Emotion took over. It was a fantastic
day for me. OK - bongo, Nubian ibex, southern white rhino,
crocodile. You are not a bad person? No. I benefit to the preservation of them.
Tanzania is in full speed to - they have more or less copied the situation in South Africa.
A lot of the money we pay in trophy fees is going back to the trade, to maintain gamekeepers
and anti-poaching groups and stuff like that. Because if we don't do that, the animal is
going to disappear. What about all the animal watchers - the tourists
who go and look at animals instead of shooting them.
That's an income for the trade in the countires as well, but the problem here is these animals
are not really wild any more. To me it doesn't mean anything any more. I can see a cheetah
or a lion lying four metres from a car. They are so used to it some of the wild has been
taken out. Most of my animals have been taken in real wilderness. That's where I see the
challenge. And to me, to be a hunter, the way I see it, I think it's a privilege. I'm
very grateful that the good Lord has let me do that.
For more about the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, visit
Now, packing for your stalking outing can be a bit tricky. It needs to be light, quiet
and cover everything from water to waterproofs. Well, top stalker Oliver Power from the English
Safari Company has honed his kit over the years. What secrets lie within?
I'm quite an apathetic stalker and try to refine what I put in my kitbag. When I take
clients out or I'm on my own, I want something lightweight, durable - because I do thrash
my kit around - so this is the stuff in here I've sort of compiled over the last few years.
These particular gloves are air pilot gloves. The reason why I have these is because they
are very thin leather and you can really feel the trigger when you need to shoot, basically.
I have a nice seat to keep my bottom from the wet and the mud and the "oomps". It just
folds out like that. It's a very good piece of kit, especially when you are stuck up in
a high seat, and it's just hard wood against your arse.
Bit of tissue - wipe off the blood off your knife or some clients like to go and behave
like bears in the wood. One thing we can't do without but I am usually
wearing these all the time - these wonderful Zeiss binos. Don't go stalking if you leave
these at home. Bottle of water, in case I'm thirsty. Also
it's got a bit of a jet bit, get a bit of force to wash blood off the knife with.
First aid kit. Indispensible. Leading on to safety aspects, mobile phone
- indispensible. If somebody decides to go and shoot themselves, you can call for an
ambulance straight away. Also just letting landowners know that we are here. Some like
twenty-four hours notice - or just like being in contact with you.
Rangefinder. I consider this a bit of an optional item. It depends where I am stalking and how
far I allow clients to shoot, and just judging certain distances.
Another essential piece of kit is this wonderful system with a hook on it and a saw that I
can get through, and it has a long strap on it for dragging, and also it's very good if
you want to do a gralloch out in the field and suspend the deer up. Long hook like that.
Dragging under the chin. This is the knife I use the majority of the
time, which is a standard blade in here. And then it has a locking device I can swing out.
I have a belly hook. I have a Surefire torch. I think they are
the best torches on the market. Buttolo call. I carry this six months of the
year, for the roe rut and also for calling muntjac as well.
Harris bipod - absolutely indispensible. Usually on my rifle.
I also have a steel for my knife. And a fistful of rubber gloves. Always need
them to keep the blood away - mess away and everything - absolutely essential to keep
a fistful of rubber gloves. Lighter - always useful for wind direction
if there are eddies in the woodland and stuff. Just predicting gthe wind. Always an essential
piece of kit. This is my waterproof poncho. Some clients
don't come out in the most waterproof - and if I am feeling very generous I will lend
it to them and I will stand looking wet and soaked like an old dog.
And your own jacket? Yes. This Swazi jacket is bombproof. Really
is. Totally water resistant, wind resistant, very durable, minimum noise. One of the best
stalking jackets you can buy on the market. Now we know what to take with us, it's time
to put some of the kit to the test. One new item Oliver now carries with him is
this Aimpoint sight. He's hoping it may come into its own today as we are after muntjac.
This interesting little deer is at home in the undergrowth and, unless you get a clear
shot of him down a ride you have to react quickly. A telescopic sight may not be the
best thing to use. The Aimpoint could solve a lot of problems.
I've changed over scopes now because we are going in a partiuclar thick pieve of woodland
where we are shooting between five and fifteen metres. And I really think the Aimpont sight
helps me far better than a standard scope. I can pick up the rifle, the red dot can be
placed on the animal, and I can knock it down straight away. The muntjac are very nervous
in this particular woodland and I need to cull them out. And it gives me an instant
picture when I want to shoot them, instead of the scope which takes a little bit of timing
to get the crosshairs. Once I get the red dot on the muntjac, I can fire and make a
knock-down. Unfortunately we don't see or hear any muntjac
in this part of the wood - so we head off - leaving the sticks behind.
This Elmer-Fudd-style of stalking is not something we see a lot of over here but on the Continent
the Aimpoint is often used for driven and walked-up game.
As a shooting aid, I feel more confident shooting with this Aimpoint sight than I do with normal
iron sights. I practise with this on the range, on running
target and static. You have to shoot with both eyes open, so when you raise it up and
see the game running you can just get on it straight away.
You would imagine the one disadvantage of the sight is range - long distance shots being
out of the question. However when we spoke to Aimpoint president Lennart Ljungfelt, he
said "Not a chance," and sent through this latest trophy shot from Alaska. This moose
was 200 metres away and was shot with an Aimpoint H34S. The S stands for short.
From mighty moose to the midget muntjac, we are back at base getting ready and waiting
for dusk. Oliver likes his home comforts and sets up his new Bog-Pod Tipi which hangs off
his sticks - it gives us cover and a bit of shelter if needed. Getting in the mood he
even sends up a few smoke signals. We talk about the why the muntjac is such
an exciting animal to stalk yet often gets a bad press.
I mean I would like to see muntjac not as highly ranked as roe - I don't think you could
ever knock roe off the top post - but I think it's a very important species that we now
have in our countryside. I think it's wonderful sport. The thing never
stays still. It's a real competitive edge. It's always bobbing and weaving, never really
standing still, especially in this kind of dense woodland. It's just gives another element
of skill towards stalking in a way. Whereas roe will come along and stand and stare at
you, you rarely get that opportunity with muntjac.
With nothing happening we're off on the hunt again - free style. Losing the telescopic
sight does make it a far more fluid, flexible, protean experience. This time we do spot something.
It's "Charlie" - and Oliver is on to him straight away. And thank goodness - he is a mangy old
thing. Sometimes it's a necessity when you're a deerstalker
when landowners ask you during the pheasant shooting season to sort out the foxes. And
we have come across one very manky, manged-up old Charlie, who we despatched with a a 6.5x55
156-grain Oryx round and, as you can see, it dropped it straight on sight.
If you want to find out more about the Aimpoint range go to
If you like the look of the Bog-Pod shooting sticks with or without the Tipi or you would
like Oliver to take you stalking, email him on
Well, we're back next week but, before we go, Christmas is coming and isn't this the
perfect thing to pull out of your stocking? Yes, it's one of our DVDs and you could get
this one and more like it at special Christmas prices from the DVD
shop. So, what DVDs are we trying to flog you? Well,
we have "A Year of Deer", that's 12 months, six species, a complete guide to how to stalk
our entire cast-list of British deer. We have "Foxing" with James Marchington and
the god of foxshooting, Robert Bucknell. And we have "Pigeons- The Experts' Way" with
James Marchington and Andy Pye. All of them packed with a lifetime of experience.
Each of them is ninety minutes long and each of them is a super twelve pounds ninety-nine
pence. Now, if you are watching this on YouTube,
don't forget to subscribe - somewhere round the screen there - or go to our website where
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This has been Fieldsports Britain. [music]