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General > Wildfowling - "Stotty" takes the Lady out...
Wildfowling - "Stotty" takes the Lady out for the evening.
by Stotty, Direct Shooting Supplies Pro-Staff

A nice evening to take the ‘Lady’ out


Friday 11th September:  The first week of the new season had seen heavy rain and strong winds but now the weather had now completely changed for the worse! Damn clear blue skies, sunshine and not a breath of wind! “Not exactly wildfowling weather”, I thought, as I arrived at 7pm on the marsh with the sun just starting to make its slow descent down the Western horizon. Already Mother Nature was splashing her vivid pink and orange brush strokes across the skyline; it was going to be one of those fantastic early Autumn sunsets.


Settling down with the spaniel at the edge of the saltings I realised that I had an instant problem…I couldn’t load any cartridges into the autos magazine chamber! It must have been the constant soaking it received last week that was causing it to stick. Here’s a good wildfowling tip for all you auto users: always check it before the going out! An urgent field dismantle was rapidly needed and thankfully a forceful ‘tap’ in the right place with my car key released the magazine tube to slide freely. Now, as ‘Sods law’ happens so frequently on the marshes, during the time that the gun was lying in bits on the marsh grass, five mallard had already buzzed me at 30 yards. All I could do is watch them disappear over the mudflats and glide down into the river channel up near the railway bridge. It was with great relief that I could finally load up and wait for the evenings events.


The Lady and the Mallard!
The results on an evening flight wildfowling, a brace of Mallard
At 7.30pm two hundred or so greylags that had been feeding inland noisily dropped much further down the estuary onto the roost. What a spectacle that was against the setting sun. Its these sights and sounds that make wildfowling so special to me. After fifteen minutes or so their incessant bickering finally died down leaving me gazing at a pair of oystercatchers manically probing the mudflats about twenty yards away from where I was crouching. Like all shore waders, these are fascinating birds to watch at close quarters. Mallard ‘flight chatter’ abruptly snapped me out of my thoughts. There they were above the seawall, a pair silhouetted black against the pink back drop and closing in on me fast. It was far too quiet a night to call them, even though I’d put the Big River Series Banded Lady on my lanyard to field test. They were coming my way in any case. Tip number two: Don’t call if you don’t need to. They were about 25 yards to my left side when I judged the moment to be right. The first shot folded the drake neatly; the second crumpled the hen at 30 yards as she sharply banked away and upwards. A lovely executed right and left to the 36g Steel load of No 3’s. On retrieving the hen I was surprised to see she wore a red leg tag that had been put on some of our clubs released ducks on a Tarn over 12 miles away at the NE end of the estuary. It just goes to show how far ducks will travel, even on a local scale.


Time to head for home with the anticipation mounting for tomorrows morning flight at those geese!       

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