Fieldsports Britain - Trout fishing and the first roebuck of the season

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 04.04.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain.
Coming up:
Reservoirs like this one, Bewl Water in Kent, are open for business up and down the country.
I am finding out what they have to offer.
We're out rabbiting with rifles, that's fairly deadly, but we've got Andy Crow.
Talking of crows, stone the crows, well you don't need to if you've got a Winchester SX3.
We're on corvid control in Cumbria.
But first, 1 April is the opening of the roebuck season in the UK and we are out with Roy Lupton
after a gold medal buck and he is no April Fool.
It's amazing what you can get for quality sperm these days. In this case Roy has a gold
medal buck with his name on it. Fear not, it's all thanks to his golden eagle Cappy
delivering the goods at this hormone fuelled time of year.
It's a promising if not successful first two minutes on this ground in Hampshire. On approaching
a wood we spot movement - in all five deer take off - two straight across the field.
Those first ones were a bit jumpy. They were literally just starting to go into the wood
along the footpath and five broke and came running back and two have gone across the
field and I don't know if the other three have gone across the field. They might still
be tucked in there though. There are quite a few deer on the ground so we should be all
right. It's a shame as there was a perfect candidate, there was a young buck, a young
mother going across there so, it would have been just right opening the account this year
on the roe. We'll go back up to the top and see if we can find a few more.
As we're early Roy's not worried we might have our chance and fancies a squeak for a
muntjac. During the pheasant shooting season the shoot spotted quite a number moving about.
All I want to do is see if there are any young buck muntjacs about. We'll do a bit of squeak
with the buttolo. It's really because we have arrived quite early for stalking this evening.
It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. See if we can get a muntjac before we
go for the roe. We'll give them a few squeaks through the wood and see if we can get one
coming in.
They squeak them here they squeak them there, without any show. We double back and the last
three of the five roe have heard or spotted us...
The two does going bolting out passed us and went round and the young buck we were after
has gone hare-arsing down the field and into the next wood, so it's a shame. What I wanted
to try and do was try and get into position on this corner, because it's where the deer
normally fill out from, and wait for them to come across, but we are just a little bit
late. There again, even if we were 5 or 10 minutes later it would have been better because
they would have been out feeding and then we could have stalked in on them, just a case
of bad timing.
Roy decides to sit on the corner of this wood for 10 minutes to see if anything else decides
to show. We're covered by land and air.
Nope - let's move on.
We move to the other side of the estate - where hopefully the deer are less jumpy. We spot
two does way down in the field below us - a little closer is this hare. With the wind
in our faces he makes his way towards us. Within just a few feet he notices a couple
of large lumps in the hedgerow and trots off.
The sun is dropping in the sky and the pressure is starting to build.
We've got a doe, hang on another deer there, there's a doe and a kid, or a doe and a fallow
out down there, no bucks out at the moment. All the bucks are lying low at the moment.
There's been no whiff of a decent buck and we're not getting anywhere near a suitable
cull animal, which is going to be our plan B.
We stumble across a group and there are a couple of young bucks having a bit of a tussle.
Engrossed, we think we can move the vehicle back and work out how to get into a safe shooting
position - but when we return on foot they've broken off. One buck is still in sight, but
on the edge of the woodland across open ground.
What I'm hoping is that it might decide to come back out across, in which case we could
give it a shot. Can you see him just going along there? Just browse along the edge of
the wood there. I'll just try and get over and see if we can get any closer.
So we've got a buck just standing there, but unfortunately it is one of those situations
where we can't do anything with him, because the wind is coming from my back towards us
and it's only an open stalk across open ground to get to him this way. The only other way
to do it would be to come across and behind him, but our wind would be completely wrong.
I think we are better off going and seeing if we can find something else, unfortunately
we are not going to be able to get on to this one.
The sun shines on the righteous and in this case Roy - as we walk back he spots another
group of deer on the field below us.
Who is perfect when we've got three, three other deer just a little bit further back,
so there's a doe with two of last year's kids and then that young buck further up.
We crawl under the trees to get a clearer shot and look at the buck - as we settle he
makes a timely exit.
Oh, you...
There's a theme developing here.
Roy has a proper look at the group that the buck has just left. There is another possible
cull animal in the middle with his backside towards us. At this distance Roy wants to
wait for a broadside shot.
He ambles forward a few paces - clear of the doe, but then plays the joker - (he sits down)
It's like he's couched down. This is just what you want, we've got fading light, perfect
opportunity of a young roebuck, and he couches up, arse end on to us at too much of a range
for me to be happy for a decent shot at the neck. OK. Be bold. We're just going to have
to change plan now or we're going to lose the light. We could be waiting another 10
to 15 minutes for him to stand up.
Surely the Lupton Luck and good fortune hasn't started to fade. Time for plan C.
As we leave our nettle-infested position we discover the two bucks who were fighting 15
minutes ago are back.
We now have a second chance at these.
It's typical isn't it, for the first couple of hours we didn't see a roebuck, and now
we are just pinned down by bucks, but none of them are in suitable positions, so we dare
not move. At the moment I am just hoping they'll wander down and come into a position where
we can shoot.
They're not going to move so we have to go to them.
We make our way back to the top of this field and work down towards them - the wind is in
our favour - they're pretty settled and it all going very well - but then you think you
account for everything.
That's typical we've put a hare up. The hare ran along straight into the deer and lifted
them. Now we really have got to rush as we're losing light. It's one of them days.
Right. Back to the couched up deer on the other field to see if he's moved.
Thankfully all three are on their feet in a line along the field's edge. The bucks in
OK I just need him to take a couple more steps, he's walking away which isn't great, hopefully
he'll stop again. OK, talk about the 11th hour. Gee whizz. Couldn't have left it any
later, the light literally just going on us there and I thought I was going to blank with
all these deer around me on 1 April, but we've just got a perfect management or cull buck
down there, so yes, finally success for the evening. We'll trundle over there. That was
just manic wasn't it? Absolutely superb. We had bucks coming out of the woods all over
the place, phenomenal when it works like that isn't it?
Roy has made a fantastic 300-yard shot on this animal. Practice and good kit means we
have an ideal cull animal at last light.
It just stopped perfectly slightly quartering away and we took the shot, that's the exit
wound just there, good girl. It's a young buck from last year, obviously it's first
set of antlers coming through, obviously still in velvet, so he wouldn't have cleared for
a little while yet. There was him, his mum and his sister having a wander up and as I
said a perfect little cull animal for the start of the season.
It has been an exceptional evening's stalk. The sheer variety of animals, shooting conditions,
limitations and spanners in the works means that Roy doesn't have his gold, but he's worked
hard enough to deserve it on his next trip out.
Roy always on the look out for points on his antlers there and now it's over to a master
of the pointless, David on the Fieldsports Channel news stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain news.
Now do you know which area of England and Wales has the most guns? The Guardian newspaper
has produced a map of legal gun-ownership, presumably to frighten its readers. As gun
ownership hits a record high, the winners are mid Wales and East Anglia. Dyfed-Powys
boasts 56,618 legally held guns in 2010-11, 11 guns for every 100 people, more than three
times the national average. Norfolk is in second place with 8 guns per 100 people. Interesting
that the Guardian's map of gun crime is almost the exact opposite of its legally-held gun
Prime minister David Cameron has written in the Countryside Alliance magazine about his
love of rural Britain. He also reaffirms his commitment to repeal the hunting ban. He says:
"I marched for the countryside, opposed the hunting ban and the Government I lead has
promised a free vote among all MPs on repeal in this parliament."
New deershooting rules have come into force in Scotland. They give all the power to Scottish
Natural Heritage, which now issues licenses for out-of-season culling and has the authority
to allow night-shooting.
And finally a feather in the cap for this programme. Fieldsports Britain has been selected
by YouTube as a 'YouTube Show', which means we are listed alongside the BBC's Top Gear
and Channel 5's Fifth Gear in the listings on YouTube. You can visit
even subscribe to the programme there. Oh go on.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain news. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts.
Thank you David. Now, reservoir fishing has opened all over the country and I've come
to Bewl Water in Kent to find out more about it.
We're heading out to the fish cages on the south side of Bewl Water. H2O from here quenches
the thirsts of thousands of homeowners, but no longer their gardens, in the South East.
Well - sorry to all you gardeners but thank goodness for that. This is the perfect habitat
for trout, lots of trout, and this morning we are going to be adding some more.
It's triple stock. We add about 1,000 fish a week into the lake, which maintains a good
level of fish-ability if you like, not too easy, not too hard. Robin and Mark are just
getting the boat ready. We have a tank on the boat, we fill the tank up with water and
then we transfer the fish into the tank and distribute them all round the lake.
The anglers close to the nets aren't daft. They know there are a few decent whoppers
who stay close to home, mopping up the scraps dropping through the water column.
There are fish that are resident here and it does attract quite a few fisherman to this
area because there is a good chance of catching a bigger fish around here, because they are
still getting the high protein feed and if they live under here for a few years they
can attain double figure weights, 10lb plus. So it's a good place to try and catch one
of the bigger fish in Bewl.
A few 8-10 pounders show their colours as James throws some food out of bounds.
Not all fish are quite big enough for the big wide world. The sub two-pounders are thrown
back for another day.
Two varieties of trout are available to fishermen here - blue trout and rainbow - so what's
the difference?
Their muscle density is apparently more compact and it does make them a stronger fighting
fish and they are a good looking fish as well. They both are, yes, certainly the fishermen
like them they fight very well, um it's a stockier fish, you can tell, you can see,
broad across the back, slightly more so than the rainbow, but just nice to have the variety
of the two fish really, plus brown trout as well. I think they have been out of the water
long enough so I'll put them back.
Time to start putting some of these fish in open water - but you don't just plonk them
Big waters like this will buy the fish in and they'll be delivered by lorry and have
one or two access points and they will dump 2,000 fish in one particular spot and yes,
you do get a feeding frenzy, because the fishermen will know these hot spots and they will see
the fish being delivered. Quite often they will stay in that environment till they have
got used to their surroundings so they will be easy pickings for a while, but the benefit
of doing it this way is, you give everyone an equal opportunity, you spread the fish
around. Where they go after that is anyone's guess, but by doing it like this gives the
lake good even stocking.
With 1,000 fish being added today - and with this sort of inside information I should be
on to a winner as I head off with my rod and my little box of dreams.
Reservoir fishing, not a very precise science, according to most anglers and here they are
recommending something black with a bit of green in it, so here we are a variety of black
and green flies and I am going to start with a thing that looks a bit like an acid house
The water and the weather is warm but the fish are not coming to the boat. The best
local anglers are going to the fish.
I have to stay, I'm taking this personally, the bulge in his throat. I hope you choke.
Invented just a few decades ago, modern reservoir fishing is at the height of its popularity.
And it is easy to see why. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy the price the accessibility
and the sport that's on offer.
Bewl Water had its 34th season last year and it was a record, they caught more trout last
year than ever before.
Certainly last year we had a very good season with the variety of fish, I think the word
spread and people came back regularly.
When the reservoirs were first conceived it was all about providing water for the cities:
Walthamstow for London, Chew Valley for Bristol, the leisure side of it came later, the duck
shooting the dinghies, the fly fishing. Many people said the fly fishing wouldn't work,
why would you want to leave the chalk streams they argued. Well the chalk streams affectively
priced themselves out of this market, but the great thing was that the water boards,
the lakes trusts, all adopted fly fishing and made it fabulous. What's not to like about
this place, it's perfect leisure, right side of the brain activity. God does not count
against you time spent fishing.
Well, Crow Man had a lot of success here last week. He got five fish, when we haven't got
quite so many. This week he is concentrating on rabbits.
Andy Crow is a very busy man. This evening he's only got an hour to go rabbiting - so
he needs to make it count. The father and son dream team is in place. So is his Anschuetz
rifle and .17 Hornady rounds.
I've had the Anschuetz now, uh had it about four seasons, yeah this makes it four seasons.
It's a good rifle, it's wiped the rabbits out here. Me and Andy and the boy we usually
go out, usually shooting twice a week, usually shoot between 60 and 80. Both times we went
out no trouble at all, but now we haven't been out since the beginning of February.
You won't see much difference in rabbits there's not many about the place, me and the boy did
hammer them a bit and I'd say it's all down to the .17. With a .22 you're limited with
range, but with this the range is a lot further and providing the bullet hits them, they're
not going anywhere anyway. It's a lovely round. I love it. Tonight there is no wind at all
which is ideal for this thing, because it only needs a little bit of wind and it blows
it off, but it's been mild and we've had a bit of a day on the old pigeons today, so
see if we can shoot a few rabbits to finish the day off.
The crops are making excellent progress in the unseasonably warm weather, so spotting
rabbits might be tricky - but where they've been active - they've left themselves out
in the open.
The .17 makes a cracking noise and this fast flat round really knocks these bunnies flying.
We hurl around the crops and then on to the pasture. The animals are easily spooked tonight
and Crow Man thinks it could be because it is such a bright night.
Nevertheless he's picking them off at a decent rate. Some of the bunnies in the back look
pretty young.
Bit late out tonight, it's surprising, you don't usually get many youngsters, but what
have we got here, we've got one, two, three, four, five, six old ones in there and the
same with youngsters. The first ones we shot were the youngsters, they were a bit jumpy
tonight considering they hadn't been shot at, there's been a bit of moon out which doesn't
help the job, but we're getting a few, not as many as I expected to see, I expected to
see a few more. Like I said they were a bit jumpy tonight.
It's a good thing if you don't see too many.
Yes, it is for me, but it doesn't pay for cartridges.
Most fields deliver a few chances and Crow rarely needs a second bite of the cherry.
At the end of the hour we have 29 rabbits - one every two minutes - Considering the
place is not overrun with rabbits, that's efficient shooting in anyone's book.
Well, spring is definitely here and in the north of England lambing is getting under
way. Well that means corvids are on farmer's minds. Here's one man who spends his winters
keeping them under control.
Going back to when it was cold, it is this man from Kendal in Cumbria's job to keep down
the local corvid population. Crows are blamed for eating the eyes out of baby lambs as they
are being born, rooks damage crops and jackdaws steal nestlings and eggs. It is often said
by the wise that the trickier the quarry, the earlier you have to wake up and the more
and better kit you need. This crow controller is no slouch on kit.
There's probably a lofting bird up there. There's an old dead tree just in the woods
there that the sentinel birds tend to sit in, right at the very top and if we can stop
them sitting up there by putting one up here, then hopefully they will be a little less
wary and come into the pattern a bit better.
The birds are within sight but not within shot. Despite feeding them in and, passing
them feeding there daily as nonchalantly as he can, they are showing no interest in the
food today. Corvids are better at counter-intelligence than the KGB.
They just come in and eat all the cattle feed, going in and out of the barns and taking the
feed, farmers are having to pay for feeding the crows, so they've asked us to come and
get rid of them.
It's a free service you provide?
Yes, it's all funded by myself. I don't anything for doing it other than the joy of going out
and shooting the crows.
After dawn does her stuff and floods the Lakeland fells with sunlight, even this weak wintery
sort, we must be highly visible so it is time to move. The new farm we go to has more natural
cover. It is on top of a small hill and birds can appear suddenly from any angle. Again,
the decoy pattern goes out - but this is more of an ambush.
At last: the only bird to come close enough for a shot.
So what kind of gun is best for this work?
I've got the SX3, that's the 5 shot so it's on my fire arms certificate. I've also got
the Winchester Select over and under which we use on shoot days, proper shoot days, for
crows and pigeons and things it's the SX3 all the way.
Why do you like it?
Very reliable, I have no problems with it, very rarely jams up and if it does it's because
I've not cleaned it properly and it cycles what ever you put through it, no problems,
it shoots well.
It's not been a very big day today, you have had big days up on these farms.
Yup, typically you'd shoot anywhere between 20 and 50 birds here, I've had 100-bird days,
some cracking shooting, when it's good it's on a par with a good pheasant day, it's a
good sport.
Well creeping up on crows with a shot gun has its own problems. One way to really surprise
a crow is by using a long distance rifle and that's what Ian Harford is doing this week
on Team Wild TV. If you click on the angry buck you can watch it now.
Well, we are back next week. If you have been watching this on YouTube please don't hesitate
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Wednesdays 7pm. This has been Fieldsports Britain. Fishless, but happy.