23 Feb Woodcock shooting is second to none at The Gearach
I stood outside a large fir wood, the fierce north westerly wind whipped across the moor behind me. The trees strained at their roots to remain upright as I watched intently for the first sign of any small, dark shapes flitting between the swaying tree tops. The light was fading fast and at any time now the first woodcock would come out of the trees, flighting to feed on the cattle pastures bordering the plantation.
At exactly four thirty in the afternoon, with the sky going pink, the first shot rang out to my right, it was from one of the guns stationed in the valley on the lower side of the wood. This was my wake up call, I now strained to see as far into the trees as possible so as to pick out any approaching birds early. Within moments I saw a woodcock coming through the gap in the trees. It fell out in front to one shot through my true cylinder choked right hand barrel. As I was reloading another came to my left and swinging onto it I downed it with two shots. A few minutes later a pair came through the same gap, one slightly behind and below the other. They fell within a few yards of each other and I blessed the choice of light chokes.
More shots were ringing out from the other guns and I saw woodcock silhouetted against the sky flying just over the tree tops heading for the valley. A couple of minutes later another pair came out and I performed another right and left, one in front and the second across to my right. Things were happening so fast. The wind was ferocious, as it had been all day, but it didn’t put the woodcock off, they poured out of the forest. I let go two that rocketed past me, one either side, because they were gone before I could react. I saw another singleton early, it came through that same gap and I dropped it out in front a bit to my left.
At this juncture I put my gun away and just stood there marking the fall of my birds and savoring the delight of the situation unfolding around me. I had SEVEN woodcock down including TWO RIGHT & LEFTS and the flight was still in full swing, but I had shot enough. I saw at least another half-a-dozen woodcock come past me. The other guns placed elsewhere were getting plenty of shooting in the failing light. This was the last flight of our stay and what a climax to three, excellent days!
This is an extract of an article written by Simon Everett. He visited us in 2005. If you would like to experience an evening just like this then email Mark to reserve your dates!
Our Red Stag stalking for October 2021 – the stag rut is nearly fully booked – please contact us for the dates that we do have available.
The Woodcock Sporting Breaks 2021 – 2022 – this is booking very quickly – please contact us for the remaining dates available.
Our Roe Deer stalking 2021 – we have dates available.