Fieldsports Britain - The Ferrari Macnab

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 07.11.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up on this week's show, one challenge, at two
ends of the country, 3 species and a 4 wheel drive Ferrari.
Let's start with the challenge. The Mcnab for the modern Fieldsports enthusiast the
Mcnab has evolved into the most challenging sporting quest in the world. To catch a salmon,
to shoot a grouse and to stalk a stag. From the wilds of Cornwall to the far north of
Scotland. The UK offers fantastic sport from tip to toe. So why limit Mcnab to a single
estate and a single day when you can have it all. 3 species the red stag, red grouse
and atlantic salmon are the ultimate in sporting quarry. So we are heading as far south as
possible to bag our stag, up to the Yorkshire moors for our red grouse and then on up to
the river Thurso, just a few miles from John O' Groats to try and hook our salmon and to
make things even more difficult, I have never shot grouse and I have never used a salmon
rod before in my life. Finally 4, the Ferrari 4. The FF this piece of automotive exotica
has a 6.3 litre V12 engine, produces 650 horse power. It can do 0 - 60 in 3.5 seconds and
has a top speed of 208 miles an hour. It is a 4
seater, it's 4 wheel drive and best of all it has plenty of room in the back for your
guns and gear. The price of perfection on the other hand £272,000.
We've got three days and 1500 miles to cover to complete the Ferrari Macnab. So as much
fun as it has been, we must leave the sand, sea and a seasonal tourist fest in Padstow
and get some rest, because tomorrow morning the clock starts ticking and we have an early
start ahead of us to give us the best chance of a Cornish stag.
After a sleepless night we swap the Ferrari for a 4x4 with ground clearnace and head off
with professional stalker Scott Milne - In the vehicle I put my request in..
A pricket would be perfect. A little cull animal....would be absolutely ideal.
But that never seems to happen does it?
Great, oh well let's hope the gods are with us because blanking here will really ruin
my day.
With the full moon lending a helping hand Scott spots some reds deep in the valley - He
takes us through fields and sets me up in a high seat with a block of woods to my left
- what he's hoping is the animals will pass below us as they return from feeding. However,
as the lights get switched on we see thick fog has settled all through the valley.
No joy this morning. There is quite a bit of fog in the bottom valley and Scott thinks
that the animals have probably moved back from the open fields where we first spotted
them this morning into the cover of the woods without us being able to see them through
the fog. But we saw a couple of animals out on the far hill. We have heard a couple of
stags roaring in the woods. So what we are going to do is drop the rifle back to the
truck and we are going to go and have a sneak through the woods and see if we can come across
a few deer. See them in action. We are not allowed to shoot in that particular block
of wood. So we thought we would have a sneak and see if we can find a stag or two.
I'm keen to learn more about the red deer, I've only ever stalked hinds in Cumbria, I've
never experienced the rut with it's sights, sounds and smell.
We can smell a stag which has just walked by. Really strong musky smell.
It is almost like.. you can be like a German Pointer, you can be walking through the woods
and then......your mark like.
We can't see the stag but you can see the damage he's doing all around us and we can't
blame this inquisitive roe deer for it... it's all reds.
There is a lot of light coming in as you can see there is just nothing that hasn't been
eaten by the deer. There is a real heavy population of red deer in here. The holly bushes are
moulded like somebody comes in and prunes them by night.
We have got some over here that are just a few inches high
Every time any young shoots grow they nibble them off and the browse line you can tell
it is red deer in here.
You can see how high the line is through the trees.
The ivy everything is all head height. We can physically look through the trees. If
you had to get down onto your knees to look you know you have roe deer or fallow deer.
But when you can physically look stood up you know it has to be a deer 4 foot to the
As we get to the bottom of the valley we here another roar - and like sailors being drawn
to the Siren's call we head in his direction - Scott takes us through this lot and I try
not to think about the Ferrari's pristine leather interior.!
Rising up the other side we know we're getting closer. If my heart was pounding already thanks
to Scotts swamp tour it certainly is now.
We continue to walk through the wood - there's a glimpse of some hinds but that's all -
We head back and consider our options - My fantasy scenario was that I'd be on the road
heading to Yorkshire by lunchtime but that isn't going to happen and an evening stalk
would really muck up our plans..or at least any chance of getting our heads down tonight.
As well as embracing the finest sport Britain has to offer on our coast to coast tour it'll
will also allow us to sample some of the local delicacies -
Just sampling the millionaire lifestyle, the glamour of the job, sitting in a Tesco's car
park here, Eating a warm Cornish pasty. Rock and roll.
After seeking some advice from apollo the German pointer we hit on a compromise - It's
still early, about 2, but Scott controls deer on a plantation near a stately home and he
reckons our best bet is to head over there.
It's very different terrain from this morning - not that I' complaining, and within ten
minutes a older red calf is browsing on the ride infront of us. He hasn't clocked us and
it is a good job because at this angle neither Scott or I can make out if he's male or female.
Not at the moment. It is about 96 metres.
I keep my Blaser R8 rifle and Zeiss Duralyt scope combo trained on it.
Definitely got a black belly and yes there is a pizzle. In your own time, whenever you
are happy. It is a safe shot.
Scott eventually gives me the nod - he's sure it's a stag calf and so am I. I just need
to let him get into a safe shooting position.
He's hit and jumps into the cover...thankfully it doesn't take long for apollo to find the
young stag...
It is not quite the roaring beast we were pursuing earlier. To be honest with time pressure
we are on when Scott said he had spotted a stag calf, it didn't take very long to make
an executive decision that it might be a suitable choice today. Especially in this area, Scott
was explaining the deer do a lot of damage to a nearby stately home garden and they have
quite a strong cull policy. Yes quite pleased.
Quite pleased ...with a hint of relief mixed in there too - Scott asks if we want to take
some venison with us?'s tempting, but we're a bit short of space..which is one of
the reasons I asked if Open Season could lend me a Blaser rifle which breaks down neatly
to a ferrari friendly size. The saddle mounts for the Zeiss scope allowed us to zero the
rifle at home, break it down and then rebuild it for our two outings - it's quite a feat
of engineering especially as it did the job.
Before we leave I ask Scott about some of the big old boys he gets down here.
Let's lift this up and have a look at it.
This is one of my little ones I knocked over. The only reason I shot it. It had a real bad
broken leg after the rut. In the rut they rut so hard. They push hinds and with the
stone walls we have got and the big rocks they just put their body on the line and this
poor guy smashed his front leg really badly. He was never going to recover from it so I
let him pass his genes on and knocked him over at the end of the rut. Done him a favour
really. But he was still coming up about a 9 year old stag. He is 19 points. That is
the sort of calibre we get and may be that one we heard roaring this morning was of this
sort of stature.
I am kind of pleased in a way. We have mission accomplished today and for me this is something
to come back for another day. Something to aspire to in the future. So thanks so much
for your hard work Scott.
No worries.
Job jobbed. We are going to hit the road.
Yes good.
Thanks mate.
On leaving Cornwall we're still on course for the Ferrari Macnab and hopefully a decent
nights sleep.
Day one drawing to a close and stag, after a fashion, in the bag. I have to say I am
really relieved that we managed to get something today. There was quite a lot riding on the
first day if we had failed today it throws the whole story into turmoil trying to sort
out plan B and everything and I didn't sleep much last night. I think I got about an hours
kip, I was just worried about how it was going to go. Scott was absolutely brilliant, a pleasure
to talk to. So knowledgeable about his deer. So passionate about his stalking. A real education
just to walk in the woods with him. I am pleased for him as well as for us because he tried
so hard to make sure he got us our deer. And to get one on the deck I think both he and
I would have liked a slightly larger one, but I am no trophy hunter and we have helped
him with his cull plan. Management is the big thing for Scott so really, really pleased
with that. We have got a couple hundred miles to go now until our stop over for the night.
Normally that would be a bit
of a chore, but in this thing I think it is going to be a bit of a pleasure.
Our resting place is a hotel just outide Birmingham - We need to be at the grouse moor for about
0730 so it's another early start ahead.
Morning, day 2, about 4.30am in a car park near Birmingham, having just managed to wrestle
contact lenses into eyes drier than the Sahara. We have got about another 100 miles to do
this morning. So we had best crack on, but as you can see I have got my shooting best
on today. I would normally reserve a tie for court appearances and job interviews. Hopefully
neither of those will result from this trip.
Even if the guests at the hotel didn't request a wake-up call they certainly get one.
We start making our way north - eventually the traffic evaporates and we have our first
chance to burn some fossil fuel. Then the rainbow appears and it's on with the brakes
for a photo opportunity in this stunning part of the country..
Back to the job in hand and we need a grouse..I've never shot one so I'm going to need some help
from an expert.
Got a good morning, but it is breezy.
It is, it is wild.
What is the plan you have got for us today.
Well this morning we are just going to take a walk through here, through these hillocks.
It is quite a good bit of ground for walking up grouse. Plenty of blinds, plenty of skyline.
A good opportunity to come over a ridge and drop on them.
Sneak up on a few.
So if it is open moor that is not so good for walking up.
No it is not especially at this time of year. We are into October now. We have already had
5 driven days on the moor. So it is a case of we need to get into these outside edges
now. If we were to go into the middle of the moor where we have been driving grouse, we
wouldn't stand a chance.
And we are going to be shooting over your dog today.
I have got one spaniel with me, but these grouse in here, just form in a tight line,
walking through nice and steady, they should hopefully get up in front of us and I have
got my spaniel there to do any retrieving.
Great stuff.
If we get one.
If we get one.
Fingers crossed. Let's go and have a go.
The weather, temperature and terrain are in complete contrast to our stalking which was
only 24 hours ago. It's hard going and unfortunately the birds are lifting well before we're in
range. Then I get my chance - and the birds continue on their flight path. It's a big
blow - I just sense the opportunities are going to be few and far between and I need
to put all my hours watching Andy Crow into practice.
The grouse are really flighty. We have had one opportunity which I have fluffed. Any
advice on shot placement and what I should be looking at. Or just get onto them as quick
as possible.
As quick as you can. Ready at all times. Any time the grouse can get up and you need to
be on to them. As you saw really fast wing beat. They are out of range in no time. Get
straight onto them swing through, best of luck.
Thanks Jim.
We pack up and head across to another part of the moor - the weather is even worse over
here and I'm glad I forced those in contact lenses.This isn't the weather for glasses
or cameras..!!!
Then I get my second chance and we watch --- and we watch and we keep watching until ...
It's down. Is that your bit.
Yes we will keep that.
Right let's do a bit of a walk round here and come round into that and we can pick it
up on the way back.
Yeah? It is down though.
It's down.
Bloody hell.
Well done.
Let's go home.
We work our way around and back but there isn't a second chance. All I really want to
do is find that bird.
The wind is unbelievable as you can see. Raining side ways. I don't know who was more surprised
me or the grouse or Jim that the bird was hit. And everybody the bird, the dog, me and
mostly Jim, were praying that he picks it up and accomplished part 2.#
After 10 nail bitting minutes we have a grouse and even though some purits might say I need
a brace - I don't care - I never specified bags just species and this one counts - alot.
There you go Dom.
I was getting a bit worried. I am going to give your dog a kiss in a minute. I love that
As I said before this road trip can present opportunities to tantilise taste buds and
just like the ferrari I need some high octane fuel to keep me firing on all cylinders. And
in this part of the world I know just the place - and it looks like they're expecting
So yesterday I attempted some regional cuisine and it went pretty badly with our luke warm
cheese pasty. We are not going to make the same mistake twice. So we have come to this
fantastic butchers which is in ......just up the road from the grouse moor and this
is basically Holtam heaven.
At this phase of our Ferrari Macnab we've been joined by Chris Blackburn of UK Gunworks
and his friend John Maclean - They're not just here for the pies although I wouldn't
blame them. They've helped arrange grouse shooting and salmon fishing for the challenge
and most importantly Chris is going to teach me how to cast.
Refuelled and relishing the fact that we've bagged our second species it's back at Jims
to take in some breathtaking views and talk moors.
You were telling us that since you have been here the last few years you have turned around
the grouse numbers here. How have you done that and what are the knock on effects of
that kind of conservation work.
Yes, the grouse numbers have increased nicely on this moor. And it is just down to the main
principles of grouse moor management which are predator control. Foxes, crows, stoats
and weasels throughout the year, but concentrating more at spring time, the most crucial time
of the year. Habitat management. We have reduced the grazing on the moor, we have improved
the heather burning and the habitat as you could see this morning, it is looking good
at the moment. It is. Application of medicated grit as well that has helped a lot as well.
It allows you to carry a stock of grouse and you are not building up strongylosis.
Well I have taken one of the moor for you today. It was pretty tricky conditions. I
imagine that a lot of guns find it pretty contrasting to your average pheasant shoot
if you are not prepared for it.
Well we do get people come who have never shot grouse before. They might have shot a
lot of pheasants or lot of partridges, but this is just a whole different kettle of fish
When they get this wind up their tails they just go don't they?
Rather do. They are like rockets.
Well talking about wind getting up their tail I think we are going to have to do that. So
thanks for your time Jim. We will see you again.
No problem. Thank you.
What a morning, what a great guy and what an experience. I'm never going to forget my
first grouse...we wend our way though this beautiful part of the country back to civilisation
- stopping for some super unleaded - suddenly I feel a little over dressed and I'm in need
of a costume change for the next leg of the ferrari macnab
So we are heading up from the grouse moor in Yorkshire towards Scotland. But we have
got a problem, I haven't got any fishing gear. Hopefully we are going to solve that by paying
a visit to the famous John Norris fishing super store here in Penrith. Let's go and
see a man about a rod.
It's really more than just a shop - and I am hoping that some fishing expertese/know
how /magic even luck might rub off on me - I'm no stranger to fishing but I'm really apprehensive
that I'm got make a real cock salmon of this last part of the challenge.
I have never been salmon fishing in my life and I need some help.
No problem at all - dead easy.
Talk me through the essentials, what do I need and how to use it.
First thing you need to know is where you are fishing.
Ok we are fishing up on the river Thurso.
So you are going to need a 15 foot salmon fly rod which is a ......rod. A reel to match
that, balance that up with a fly line, selection of flies, leading material. You will need
to get kitted out in the right gear, waders, wading boots, wading jacket, so you are covered
for the elements.
So it is not as simple as a tackle box and pair of wellies then?
No, no a bit more complicated, but I will make it as easy as I can for you.
Great stuff let's go and have a look.
No problem
First it's the rod
It does feel very light, but it looks, double handed is that going to be more complicated
for someone like me who has never done it.
No, double handed, it sounds complicated, but it's a lot easier than it sounds. Easier
to cast a double handed than it is a single.
Well, let's hope so.
Then the reel....
Blimey it looks like a winch. Incredibly light.
Light, big..... so you get a very fast rate of retrieve when you bring your line in.
Then the line and flies.
This line perfectly balances with that rod.
So if you get the wrong line your fancy rod won't work properly anyway.
No, everything has got to match, everything has got to be well balanced.
What on earth our salmon feeding on if they are going to take things like this.
They aren't in the river feeding.
So that is true salmon don't feed when they are in fresh water.
No they are not feeding in fresh water at all. You are just trying to trigger aggression.
My fabulous Mr men booties will have to go too if I'm going to stand firm on the rocks.
All this amazing help and advice is not helping the nerves, I always thought we might have
a chance of a deer and a grouse but the salmon... that's in a different league. And if you want
to know what this fish does to grown men just look at James' eyes when he answers my next
What is it with the salmon.
Salmon is probably the hardest catch, because they are not feeding in fresh water and they
are probably the hardest fighting fresh water fish you will find. Once you get that take
from the fish, you will know exactly what I mean. Your heart stops, the fish takes,
then the fight starts and it is absolutely phenomenal. The best feeling in the world.
But again they are the hardest fish to catch, because they are not feeding.
So it is all about the challenge. Not only is it an incredible fish to fight it is the
challenge actually catching it in the first place.
Because you can put a lot of hours in for salmon with not many good results, but when
you do get your results in and you put the hours in the results are fantastic.
Right - all the gear - and you guessed it no idea we leave penrith on the last leg of
our journey - and it's a long long the top of bonnie scotland...
A quick mileage update. We have still got another 350 miles to go and it is telling
us that it will take about 7.5 hours. Which means we will probably be rocking into our
accommodation tonight at about midnight. Which is a pretty long day. But the car so far has
been awesome. It is just eating the miles, really comfortable, cruises beautifully as
you would expect and there are worse places to spend 7.5 hours. David's car for starters.
Wednesday morning and the last day of the Ferrari Macnab - We're staying at the world
famous Ulbster Arms on the banks of The River Thurso - Before breakfast Chris takes me down
to the bridge for a bit of a pep talk and to enjoy the views of this famous stretch
of water so often enjoyed by Royalty -
And the line will come round onto the dangle and there is a back eddy where the line will
go slack and the line starts coming towards you naturally.
There's also some advice from Dougie reid who has been fishing this water for 40 years...I
then get a crash course in casting - and cue the Rocky-type monatge of me getting stronger
- casting longer may be not.. lets get on with it and head to our beat,,, lucky number
We are quite optimistic this morning. The weather is lovely the water is in great condition
and I think over 20 fish were banked yesterday. There is quite a lot of positivity. There
was somebody who was fishing this week who had never fished before and caught their first
salmon. So it can be done. Whether the gods are smiling on us today we will have to wait
and see, but we are going to give it a good go.
Although it looks cool we leave the ferrari plus rod on the bank near the hotel...I wonder
what would happen to it of we did 200mph with that strapped to the bonnet??!
Like a boxer about to enter the ring - my trainer and manager man handle me preparing
me for the first round. Tentativley I creep out into the river - fish are jumping all
around me and within 15 minutes I get a take - what a moment !! -
Wow........No!.........I just had a take......I could actually cry now. What if that is it.
What if that is the only fish that comes anywhere near all day. I am actually shaking.
Despite all the advice to wait when you get a take my years of trout fishing meant I snatched
at the rod - and my salmon has gone....
It is a long way to be here. But it all feels worth it now even without landing anything.
I think it is a pretty special place to end the film. I don't know why I am saying that.
It is 10 o'clock. Another 7 hours fishing.
Half and hour later Chris shouts to us that he's in - he thinks it's about 6lbs - what
a moment - it's so exciting - people try for years to catch salmon...Chris takes it in
his stride
Well done.
I want to weigh it. Cock fish. What did I say it was, a guess?
3 or 4 lbs.
Hook in the mouth. Hook's out.
4.5 - 5 .....4.5 not a bad guess was it?
Can I touch it before it goes back.
Notice the cape on its nose there. That is where it has been in the river long the cock
fish tend to get a cape, hook. It is bleeding a little bit, nothing bad. What I will do
is put it in the water. Working it backwards and forwards to get water through its gills.
And he will let you know when he is ready to go.
That is what I am doing now. A lot of people put them back having fought them for 15 to
20 minutes and recover it for 10 seconds and then let it go because their hands are cold
in the water or something silly. Fish welfare is the priority. He is ready to go. There
you are. He's swam away.
That was good.
Worth the journey for something like that then Chris.
Yes, all good. Just got to get you one now.
Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. We have seen a lot of fish moving up and you know both
flies are fishing over the top of fish and you are in with a chance and sure enough Chris
said he has missed one and then 3 casts later, 2 casts later bosh straight in. So fantastic.
First wild salmon I have seen banked. Just makes me hungry to get involved.
I too head back into the water and a change of fly - then incredibly - I'm in... This
time I make no mistake.
Coming up stream. My heart is about to come through the front of my chest here. Have you
noticed how the normal drivel that comes out of my mouth has stopped.
I'ver never been so focused in all my life. The guys on the bank want me to describe what's
happening but I just can't...
Ooh - feel the tail slap the line can't you?
After 10 minutes of terror Chris nets my fish, and what a fish ... and I've done it - 3 species
in 3 days, from one end of the country to the other... in a supercar.
I can't believe it. There we go just in the bottom of the mouth. Here it is. My first
ever salmon. Here on the river Thurso. Beat 4. The Ferrari Mcnab we have done it, I can't
believe it. 3 days ago didn't give us a hope. I'll keep hold of it for a while. I think
it will be quite tired.
We see the salmon safely back into the water - no trophy for me just the memory of a knee
tembling moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life...something I'll tell
my young son about when he's old enough to understand.
Relief and torrential rain pour down on me....I hooked a salmon and now salmon fishing has
hooked me - I'm straight back in the river.
For the next few hours Chris, John, David and I just grin at each other... then Chris
says he has a surprise for me - a chance to fish on the Thuro's private beat with Head
ghille Dougie Reid - What a privilege and what a place!
So what is a full spey cast then?
Well it's a double spey swing....swing and swing. But I am only half doing it. I am not
doing it the proper way. Spey fishing is merely done in the rivers, spey casting.
We are fishing quite a special beat on the river today.
You are, you are on the private beat. Which belongs to Lord Thurso. The Queen Mother used
to fish it when she was alive. She came up here every summer and stayed at Castle of
Mey and the Thurso was her little treat and she used to love fishing. And Prince Charles
still comes and fishes it.
It is a beautiful spot isn't it.
It is a lovely spot. The private beat is unique on the Thurso. The rest of the Thurso is quite
open and flat. This bit is lovely.
Dougie is another one who still gets the salmon shakes after all these years.
It just makes your knees tremble and I still get that feeling.
Even today after all those fish.
Even after all the fish I have caught. I don't know how many fish I have caught over the
years. I never kept count, but I enjoy it, I love it.
At the begining of the 20th century the river was damed which meant the water levels and
the fishing could be maintained for longer. It also meant there was a huge obstacle preventing
the salmon from reaching their spawning grounds, so a fish ladder was built at the same time.
So these amazing fish have already had to swim over 20 miles to get from the sea to
here. They get here. They have got the fish ladders built in here to protect them from
the flow of water and allow them to get up stream and into the loch. Their journey is
not done here they still have to go all the way up into the hills behind me to get to
their spawning ground. They are an amazing fish.
On the way back to beat 4 for a few final hours fishing we see a scottish red stag - our
cornish red was only 48 hours ago but we've crammed so much in it feels like a week.
We may have completed THE Ferrari Macnab challenge but there's somewhere we feel we need to be
in order to complete THE journey - John O'Groats half an hour north of here. Again there's
a fuel stop to keep the V12 singing along as we head for the UK's northern coastline.
The weather remains dry and bright, the Ferrari looks fab next to the famous sign post. I
feel exhausted but so chuffed. So many people have helped me with this mad event and I still
can't believe it has actually worked out.
So here we are John O'Groats, the end of the line for us after 3 amazing days. We have
done 1500 miles, we got our 3 species. We have done the Ferrari Mcnab and the best news
of all. I have just been told it is 755 miles to drive home and I can't wait.
This journey began as a celebration of British Fieldsports, but it has been so much more
than that. It has been an opportunity to meet some remarkable people. People that have dedicated
their lives to the preservation, improvement and management of our most fragile habitats,
from ancient woodland to heather moorland to the pristine rivers of Scotland. These
people, are the true guardians of our wild spaces. That they share their knowledge with
such enthusiasm is a gift to all of us. They deserve our respect, our admiration and our
support... if nothing else to offset the carbon footprint of this amazing machine.
To see Fieldsports Britain Extra with all the usual news and Hunting Youtube, click
the screen.