Fieldsports Britain - Shooting pigeons in the snow + deer with Wayne van Zwoll

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 14.02.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain.
Coming up:
Sporting Shooter Editor Dom Houlton is on crop protection duty with the 'Crow Man'.
Stalker Oliver Power has a big shot American hunter over here to find a muntjac, but all
he ends up doing is saving one.
First, we are after roe does with Team Wild tv.
[Roar of stag]
This week Team Wild has travelled north of the border to Scotland to help with the roe
doe cull. The deer are creating havoc on this particular farm which has planted acres of
willow for biofuel. Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been done to this plantation
and much of the crop is already a lost cause.
People are coming in and offering money to shoot and they want trophies hence some of
the problems that you will see on this plantation here, where the doe population has really
Our guide for this Scottish expedition is Andy Richardson, famous for his goose guiding
and delivering excellent sport in Fife and all across Scotland.
The damage to these trees even goes up as far as that height, we don't have red deer
here, this is roe.
So it's just growing through with this damage and it's kind of stunted the growth, you can
see the healthier trees and this is what's left, so what do they do, do they like bite
off the?
They bite of the branches.
And the shoots at the top.
Then they just eat the whole piece.
The ground is crisp under foot this morning, so much so we have a strong feeling we that
won't make a dent in that number quite yet.
So we have changed tactics slightly. It's very crisp in there and a very cold morning,
it sounds like you're walking on cornflakes. It's too noisy to walk in the willows now,
so we have come outside, just alongside the woodland margin here, on the outside of the
willows. We are going to wait here and see if any of the does come out. If not we will
go for breakfast and come back later on this after afternoon.
Unfortunately it's a no show, but there is still plenty of time and Andy reassures us
there are plenty of deer. They may be damaging the willow, but with such a high density of
young trees I'm a bit worried about the willow deflecting the path of my bullet.
So Andy I have bought a Rigar M77 and 243 for the doe cull, but you actually prefer
a slightly heavier calibrate in amongst these willows?
Yes, I would say a 30 calibre 308 or a 306 180 grain bullet, if it does hit a twig you
have a fair chance of it carrying on through to the beast
Whereas a lighter weight bullet may fragment.
You have a chance of deflection.
So always use enough gun.
So always use enough gun.
Later that afternoon we go to a neighbouring plantation to try our luck. We check every
aisle in turn in the hope of deer. Overhead the geese are on the move and so is the doe
Andy spotted. We try to anticipate the direction the deer is heading in and get ready for a
shot from the row we think she will eventually cross. My first attempt proves unsuccessful
as she bounds out of the way, plus I prefer a clearer shot. We then find our deer. She
drops on the spot.
So this is a beautiful young doe, this is exactly what we have been looking for. As
Andy said this morning, we want to be taking the young ones out and leaving the older does
in there. This is one of last year's doe so absolutely perfect for us; nice body weight,
pretty good condition, obviously feeding was very good. It was a pretty tricky stalk, Andy
spotted her pretty early on, just saw her backside disappearing from one row of willow
over to another row, we lost sight of her for a little while and then we caught up with
her. I tried to get into position, but made too much noise; that's what happens when you
are a big lad like myself! We managed to stalk her back in, but she didn't see us the first
time round, but she heard me, so she wasn't too spooked but she skipped off, she came
up probably about 3 or 4 rows up here, then she presented a shot, she only presented a
neck shot, I would have liked to have gone into the body, particularly seeing I was only
probably about 120 yards, so off the knee it was
a reasonably difficult shot, but here she is anyway, so very pleased, first one for
the larder. We are going to go off and see if we can get another one.
So Andy are you kind of happy how that stalk panned out.
I am delighted and now you can see how difficult it is in these willows, it's keeping track
of them going through, do you fall on fast and keep up with them in the rows or do you
keep your head and just think well it's going in that direction so we'll go slowly at the
same pace, keep going until we come across it again and again and again until the shot
comes on.
So it's lucky we took our time
Oh yes - in here if you are going a 100 yards in 15 minutes you are going too fast.
As we leave the farm, having successfully taken that last young doe there are animals
exactly where we hoped to find them earlier, we check the time and come back the following
day. To get the best possible view of the field with the willow behind it we keep low
and settle down below a hawthorn bush. It provides great cover and we are keen to make
a bigger impression on the does here.
So we saw our doe earlier on about 3.30 but she has skipped back over into the willow,
but we are pretty confident that she will come back. So fingers crossed our doe cull
will be 2 doe - huge numbers!!
Sometimes you just get that feeling in your water that they are not coming to you so you
have to do the chasing. I spot a doe at 120 yards inside the plantation. I have to keep
my movement to a minimum whilst chasing her from aisle to aisle. It's a real game of cat
and mouse. Eventually a shot presents itself, but there's a miss fire. I reload and this
time the 100 grain bullet does its job
She's hit and she's hit pretty hard in the chest. The first round I shot was actually
a miss fire on this cartridge, so she was with 3 other does, they all skipped through
into the bushes, there's one smaller buck he went a little while ago he walked on, so
we are just going to give her a few minutes to calm down then we're going to pick her
up. I heard it was a nice, good, clean contact in the chest area. Nice deep thud. So fingers
crossed she won't be too far.
I wait for a few minutes to see if there are any others still milling around. Then I spot
a younger deer clearly looking for the doe. Its follower has a pronounced limp and even
in the low light I am pretty confident it is a buck. He may be out of season but the
issue of animal welfare must play a role. Without sticks or a rest I need a stable shooting
position. Sitting is perfect for this and I successfully take him too.
OK - right, ok - perfect. Now this is obviously a young buck follower, I shot the older doe,
we are still looking for her at the moment and this follower came back to look for us.
Clearly one of her fawns. I noticed he was limping slightly on the back of this leg here,
open sore, open wound in his leg looked like it tried to leap over some barbed wire so
not only was he looking for his mother but also injured so I thought I would take him
out to be on the safe side no need for him to be in there with that condition anyway
here she is, here is our doe , now she is an older doe and obviously she had that young
buck follower with her but no, she is in great condition, good, healthy in the body, and
as we can see perfect heart shot. 243 is more than enough gun for roe deer provided you
have a clear shot to it. So yes very pleased very happy with the shot. So our roe cull
is back up to 2, plus a young wounded follower. So I think we have done a great service here
this evening. Let's go and have a pint.
It's been a real experience hunting in this dense cover and I will definitely be back
for more.
For more information on hunting with Andy Richardson
Team Wild will be back next Wednesday visit
[Roar of stag]
Thank you Team Wild TV. Now from roe deer to oh dear it's David on the Fieldsports Channel
News Stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain news.
With the end of the UK's coastal wild fouling season less than a week away the hard weather
last week caused some wild fouling clubs to introduce voluntary bans on shooting. Clubs
agreed to introduce voluntary restraint after 7 consecutive morning frosts.
The government's environmental audit committee has launched a new enquiry into wildlife crime.
It aims to follow up its report of 2004 which looked at crimes concerning badgers, birds
and even pond life. The committee however will not examine hunting with dogs. The consultation
closes on the 24th February. To make a submission visit
Some sad news. There are two deaths to report in the rural community. Shooting Times Country
gun John Humphrey died after a battle with cancer a life long country man and Countryside
Alliance member John was a staunch supporter of the Countryside Alliance's shooting campaign.
And legendary race horse trainer Josh Gifford has also died, another Alliance member and
crowned champion jockey 4 times. He'll be most remembered for Aldaniti's victory at
Ainstree 31 years ago after his jockey Bob Champion had recovered from cancer.
Now here is this week's big viral video on Youtube. This gentleman from the USA is mad
with his teenage daughter who has posted on Facebook how much she hates her parents. His
film has been viewed more than 20 million times in the last week and has earned 200,000
likes and 20,000 dislikes. And this is how he takes revenge on her laptop. Search Youtube
on 'Facebook Parenting: for the troubled teen'
And finally Fieldsports Channel broke the half million mark last month with 520,487
views and because we have 250,000 unique users our audience is 10 times the number of people
who buy Shooting Times magazine. Shooting Times?
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories fishing for facts.
Nice one David. Now some say after being raised by wolves he's spent 6 months as a pigeon
decoy. It's the Crow Man.
If Crow Man were a Spice Girl today he's Scary Crow, he's often Sporty Crow and his son is
Baby Crow, so it only leaves Posh and Ginger. We'll set those aside for this week as he
has his mind on keeping the pigeons off this young rape crop.
Justin who I shoot with quite a lot, he has asked me to come up here. We are here to kill
a few pigeons off his rape. As you can see by the fields it's not ideal conditions, they
don't decoy very well in snow. Snow is just starting to clear, it's a 100 acre field,
which is not a really good thing, but we've got a shore here that goes right the way along.
A load of ivy, pigeons like ivy. They tend to make for this corner quite a lot. What
we are going to do is have one hide on the corner here, one along about 50 metres that
way, so that we cover a bigger area and we are going to give it a go. Another problem
with today, bright sunshine, no wind and it's a long valley and when you have one shot it
just echoes right the way through. Might be just the case of one shot and they are up
and away. But they haven't been shot at yet, so hopefully there's a chance we might get
a few later on. We've given it a bit of time for the frost to come off, let them have a
bit of a feed; they know where they have got to c
come back to.
Andy is not a fair weather pigeon shooter. These birds need attention all year round
and this crop is particularly vulnerable at the moment.
From the middle of February onwards right the way through March into April the pigeons
want to be kept off the rape, through the winter months they they eat the big leaves
that's not the bit which produces the flowers it's the hearts as you can see here the pigeons
are just starting on the hearts, they are digging the hearts out the flowering heads
in there once they have taken that flowering head out. They take that flowering head out
it just cuts the yield, so now is the time from now on you have really have to hammer
these pigeons.
It's a very bright day and the snow means that Andy has to change his set up to meet
the conditions.
So you say you are using summer patterns for the hide Andy?
Seems a bit strange seeing it's snowing.
If I have just normal camouflage it is dark green Justin is using one along there but
he is right back in the hide, back in the hedge more, so his doesn't show up. I am out
in the snow, just breaks up the colour, not a black blob. That's the only problem with
the snow. Yeah, it's just to break it up, yeah that's the reason for doing it.
Not everything is lost in the snow. This fox is very clear then disappears when normal
service resumes. With everything set out we can retire to the hide and wait for the fun
to start. The response is good and the hide positioned in front of the ivy and next to
this rape is proving effective. For the first part of the morning Andy is replacing his
Beretta with a Remington which is straight out of the box.
So have you got a new gun today?
Yeah I have got a new Remington Verser Max, yeah um, trying it out. Feels nice, the adjustment
on it is brilliant, it has so much adjustment on it, I've adjusted it, but I haven't got
it quite right. Got a bit too much cast off on it.
So it's the first time you've tried it out in the field today?
Yeah I'll get the hang of it by the end of the day, I hope.
Once Andy is in the groove there is not much you can do to snap him out of it. Hypnotised
by pigeons it can take a few turns to get what you want from him.
The action seems to have slowed down a bit Andy?
Yeah, there is another rape field, we saw pigeons at the top of the ridge there earlier,
there's another rape field about mile and half long through the valley, doesn't belong
to Justin's boss, all we can think that's where they've gone about the same acreage
as this. 100 acre long but it's the same old story unless there is someone there that's
where they will go, that's when you want a few of you out. Justin doesn't know the chaps
that shoot it, so, um, just there we go.
So Justin doesn't know the people that shoot it.
Does Justin know the people that shoot it?
No, he doesn't.
He's only been out a couple of hours but his bag is pretty impressive.
We've had a couple of hours at it Andy, how do you think we've got on?
Yeah we've had a good day, 50 odd pigeons we've shot, done what we came here to do do
and that's to keep the pigeons off the rape, I think a good time has been had by all.
He may not be Ginger or Posh but Andy the Crow Man Crow definitely has pigeon power.
From pests back to deer. He has stalked bears, antelope and dangerous game all over the world
what American hunter Wayne Van Zwoll never had luck with yet is a muntjac.
Oliver Power of the English Safari Company has rather a special guest with a rather special
mission. Out stalking with him today on the border of Oxfordshore and Gloucestershire
is top American hunter writer Wayne Van Zwoll. Wayne has been most everywhere and stalked
and shot most everything, but he has never connected with a muntjac.
A hunter in the United States you might call a Yeeh Hah hunter writer or is that not you?
That is not me. I very much enjoy hunting, but I also enjoy wildlife and I did a PHD
in Wildlife Policy so it's not just a vocation for me, I like the outdoors, I like to be
out of doors and I like to share it with others that's why I write.
You have written a load of books tell me about those.
I have done 14 books, about 2,500 magazine articles over these many years. My books are
mainly about big game hunting, deer and elk hunting, ballistics and optics and technical
firearm topics, the history of firearms as well.
Have you come across any of these 3 species before, roe, fallow and muntjac?
Yes, I have seen fallow deer and shot fallow deer and roe deer as well, but I haven't shot
a muntjac and I have yet to see a muntjac here. I have been told they are here.
This is south of England stalking so Oliver says there is more to the morning than muntjac.
Oh we'll bump into roe and fallow and the usual mix of English wildlife which will be
a treat for Wayne to see.
What is it like having Wayne here? He's American, he comes from a different culture
but he is a very well known hunter, is the pressure on a bit?
Yes and no, but Wayne is a very delightful chap to have around and it's nice to swap
The deer have been feasting on the corn put out by the game keeper. Pheasant feeders are
a boon for any stalker, however pheasants bursting out of cover next to you are a bane.
We see tree damage and slots all the signs of deer you can hope for, but we see no deer,
perhaps the rest of the wildlife is a clue on this cold winter morning and despite the
noise of planes taking off from nearby RAF Fairford, nothing comes close unless you are
absolutely still. Oliver wants this stalk to be exciting so we are not freezing ourselves
to a high seat, but it could be we are making too much of a disturbance. It is not a successful
Snow is generally welcome by big game hunters because it causes ability to see tracks of
the animals, but snow can also have a depressing effect on animal movements. If animals sense
a storm coming in, typically there is what we call a feeding frenzy before the storm,
because animals know during a storm and possibly after a storm (of course they don't know how
much snow is going to drop) the feeding will be inhibited so they tend to tank up before
a storm hits and that may depress activity the morning after because they are already
In case we do come across a shootable beast Wayne has a prestalking checklist.
How do you choose ammunition for your deer species?
Our deer are quite a bit bigger than muntjac of course our whitetail deer and muledeer
are along the lines of fallow deer and elks are bigger of course. For whitetail deer and
muledeer I like a bullet that opens a little bit faster. I shouldn't say faster as all
bullets start opening on impact that's when the deceleration is greatest, but I will say
more violently so that we expend the energy quicker within the animal because they are
light framed animals and we get quicker kills with something like the ballistic tip for
example in deer. For elk we would use the Norma Horricks.
How do you set up your scope when you are just about to set out for a muntjac trip like
this for example?
Sure, well I usually prefer a scope of lower magnification than many hunters, it is an
aiming device, it is not a telescope for star gazing. We want something with a reasonably
broad field of view and one that you can hold steady off hand if you must shoot rough hand
which is the position of last resort as it is the least steady. I prefer scopes of 4
or 6 power fixed however, variables are very common nowadays when I am hunting with a variable
like this Zeiss this is a 2 and half to 10, I always keep it at 3 or 4 when I am walking
because when you are moving you are most apt to surprise something at close range and for
an urgent shot you always want a wide field view and 3 or 4 power should work fine. If
you must turn it up, if you really like to shoot at high magnification at distance you
typically have plenty of time to turn the scope up. You never have time to turn it down.
For the final tip and for reasons which will become clear we move to a local gun shop.
I thought a sling was just to keep your rifle on your shoulder till you are ready to shoot
unless you are in the army?
Well it's a good point and many slings are indeed carrying straps only and for that purpose
a sling and a carrying strap can be used the same way, but a proper sling like the Brownells
Latigo has a shooting loop that's adjustable independent of overall sling length and that's
very important without that its much less useful for steadying the rifle. I can demonstrate
Yes, show us how it works.
For convenience here in the shop I'll demonstrate it kneeling. I can use this as well in sitting
and prone. Any position in which your left elbow is locked and to use a Brownells Latigo
give it half a turn out and slip your arm through the adjustable shooting loop, run
the keeper down tight above your triceps put your hand over it like this and the half turn
out that I gave it at the start ensures that the sling will lie flat against the back of
my hand otherwise it will twist. In this case then the sling is adjusted properly this rifle
is a bit short for me, you can see the principle at work here, the sling is very tight from
the forward swivel to my upper arm what that does is transfers the rifle's weight from
my forearm to my shoulder muscles which are much bigger and more able to carry the rifle's
weight without strain. The sling also acts to pull the rifle into my shoulder, one thing
you will notice here because this is a shooting sling this part of the sling from the arm
to the butt stock is loose t his has to be the case if this were a single
strap it would be tight all the way around around my arm and to the butt stock and it
would tend to pull the butt stock away from my shoulder and twist it and that is not what
you want. So, with this shooting sling in place I can relax into the rifle and if I'm
not talking the rifle stays quite still even though I'm not even steadying it with this hand.
The other reason to visit the Cotswolds is because Oliver is sure that our problems of
finding muntjacs are due to lack of a good call. This part of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire
have plenty of gun shops, but Cotswold Shooting in Cirencester has no but a low calls and
neither does Adenbourne Fieldsports in Whitney. Oliver finds one in Francis Lovell in Whitney.
We stalk and we squeak, and we stalk and we squeak. We are rewarded with the occasional
flash of a departing muntjac but these normally busy little deer are not on the move. Then
Wayne and Oliver make a strange discovery. They find a muntjac shivering in a stream
it is clear a dog has driven the deer here. Oliver talks to the dog walker.
People don't understand the juxtaposition of hunters, they always ask don't you like
wildlife, why do you kill wildlife? We like to see it as much as the next person but it
is very upsetting when we see ill informed people letting off their dogs which aren't
trained to go in and just kill animals and we are always left to pick up the pieces.
I stayed with it for about an hour roughly, not close at hand I went back across the river
and just spied him to see how he was getting on, but after 35 minutes he started to move
a little bit and just ran off into the thicket.
Wayne has to go home empty handed, but that's one dog walker who may think again before
letting their pet run riot after deer.
Well we're back next week and if you are watching this on Youtube please don't hesitate to hit
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