A Manic Month
A Manic Month
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
A Manic Month
Well I really don't know where to start with this article, I am so busy I have met myself coming back twice this month already, as usual its a busy time for a game keeper, one season finishes, most think this is the quiet time, but no this is a busy time planning and getting ready for the next season, for those of us who rear our own birds this is the start of many months hard work on our rearing fields etc, I wont go in to deep detail here but will save it for another article I am writing called The Game Keepers Year.
Well for me the first show of the season kicked off in February at The British Shooting Show 2023 up at the NEC Birmingham, WOW what a show, the show buzz this year was awesome and I will say this was one of the best BSS I had been to for a long time, I was representing several of the international brands I wear whilst at the show on The Night Pearl Stand, Eley, Decibullz, Helios, Really Wild Adventures but to name a few, The Ole Hedge Creeper was a busy bunny indeed all weekend, Friday I was Suited and booted in my finest blue tweeds as I had lots of business meetings with meet and greets, Saturday and Sunday I was back in my comfy jeans, safari shirt and Eley Cap, as always I made time for a sea of fans who came to say hello, sign autographs, have photos taken, so many old friends came to say hello and a sea of new friends I made too, I was blessed that so many of my Young Sports Ambassadors came to say hello. Dom and Theo both sporting hats the same as me, Eley and Night Pearl whilst playing with all the kit on the stand, I booked signed all weekend and totally sold out of every Book I had with me, I also filmed with several field sports TV channels from all over the world and I lost count of how many interviews I did with the international sporting press, that was an awesome weekend I telle, next stop The Stalking Show in April, this is a fantastic show to go too, see you all there.
No rest for the wicked I was only back one day and I was booked to be at a prestigious catering college, demonstrating game preparation from fur and feather to game cookery to a sea of young inspirational chefs, this is always a highlight of mine to be a guest lecturer at the colleges, I supplied the fresh shot game, the pigeons were one thing but the grey squirrels this took these young chefs by surprise, actually 3 of the young chefs I had taught before, so they were right in there, can I have these Boss I have a Jamaican recipe I want to make, then they were off skinning, gutting, plucking etc the way I had showed them, the others were a little timid as always, but after some coaching from me they all got stuck in and came up with some amazing game recipes from around the world, one Young Hungarian chef skinned the entire squirrel tale and all, this looked a bit like a skinned rat, she said that is how we do it from where I am from, so she cooked it tail and all, I must admit her little pieletts were wonderful and I asked her for the recipe, the day was finished off with everyone tasting everyone's creations, I will say the plates and bowls were left empty, so my job was done here, I had inspired another generation of game chefs with a passion for ethically sourced wild game.
I have really turned my attention to the grey squirrels now, their activity in my woods etc has really stepped up a pace, the young squirrels will be flying the dreys shortly, so a new influx of egg thieving, song bird killing, forest destroyers will be descending upon me very shortly, this one on the feeder I had to repair as the blighters ate it, was one of the biggest snarl tooted tree rats I had ever shot or trapped, it was a big boy indeed, it had the biggest pair of John Dobbler’s I had ever seen on a squirrel, he must of carried them around in a wheel barrow or something, all I will say he did not argue with a shot from the ole 20 bore, it bowled him over clean at 25 yards centre spread, I do love that calibre the ole 20 bore, I will be running a series of pest control training courses coming up all about squirrel control, trapping, shooting, conservation and the law, keep your eyes peeled on my social media's, as you can imagine places are limited to train with The Ole Hedge Creeper.
The usual TV work and Radio work has been quite busy too, as well as all the articles etc I have been busy with both on this shore and foreign shores, I must admit, I really enjoy the weekly slot on Radio Bath, A Taste Of The Country its called between 2pm and 4pm, that's a fun show with my ole mucker Paul Mallon.
My Game Calling, Field Craft and Tracking lessons have been flying with so many booking for both here in the UK and on Foreign Shores, I am not sure how I am going to fit it all in, but as always I will find a way.
I have been helping train a lot of friends oh and their dogs, as I always say training the dog is easy, it training the owners that's the hard part, like my ole Dad for instance, I trained his springer spaniel Tess, she turned out brilliantly, Dad not so much, sorry Pops I had to put that bit in, as you say you cant teach an old dog new tricks.
I have been very busy in my freemasonry too and out most evenings in the various orders I am in, I cannot urge all men or indeed women highly enough about the wonderful world of freemasonry, if your near Somerset and would like to know more about joining then click on the Somerset Website link www.somersetfreemasons.org or if you are farther afield then go over to www.ugle.org.uk where you will find all the information and more.
I will finish off this little article with a couple of photos, they are of my Dad, Myself and My Uncle David my Dads Brother, we are actually more like three brothers as I have never really felt like a son and nephew, I often refer to us and our adventures as The Three Amigos, what is actually nostalgic about the two photos, that they are actually 26 years to the day apart, the old one is ferreting for the railways, the latter taken on a rough shoot on my estate where I have been keepering from around the date of the first photo, so for me putting on a day for these Ole Snake Eyed Redknecks rough ole country boys really means a lot to me, I simply wanted to mark the occasion in the Collins family History as we sat there in my woods telling stories of old, actually a new memory was made just after the latest pic, Dad helped with some tree felling and spread out yet again all over my woodland, its a personal joke and story between us Collins Boys, but I am sure if you put a pint in our fists at a bar or at a Country Show this story and more will come out to hysterical laughter.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my humble scribbles as much as I have remembering and writing them, until next time stay safe and well one and all, don't forget to come and see me at The Stalking Show 2023.
A Manic Month
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
To my Haters & Stalkers, I am a Lion not a Sheeple, my advice is to not poke the Sleeping Lion, for if you awake me from my slumber you will hear me ROAR, then you will find yourself staying at Her Majesty's pleasure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
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