Today was my last day at work in the UK. I was invited by one of the doctors to come for a drink after work, to which I said yes. During the chat my colleague mentioned that I am a shooter, whereupon the head consultant starts asking me all sorts of questions about the sort of shooting I do. It readily becomes apparent that he enjoys the odd bit of stalking (deer hunting for any US readers), so we have a good chat about deer, calibres, and experiences, and I get to thinking about how I have worked with this guy for six years but never had the subject of stalking or shooting come up in conversation. I know I am always cautious about mentioning hunting among new company in the UK for fear of a negative response, and it never came up from his end.
I think of the missed opportunities for a casual chat about the pleasures of venison, and I think that perhaps shooters in the UK need a secret signal that alerts other shooters/hunters to their involvement in the sport. As I said in the last post, to move forward in this sport it requires support from a community of shooters to enable us to develop and advance, but if we don’t know who is in that community we miss out on the chance.
In reaction to the failure to connect with another shooter because of my reticence in talking about my sport, I insert a photo from my last outing in the UK. This picture was taken around christmas and shows the first two deer I shot on an outing just after christmas. My rifle is shown for scale.
They are a Roe and a Muntjack. The Roe ended up in our freezer and the last of it is thawing now and will be eaten tomorrow. These two were shot from a high seat (tree stand for any US readers) on the Stonor estate in Oxfordshire. Shortly after this I shot two Fallow Does off the bonnet of the estate stalkers pickup truck. That is a day I will remember for a long time, and I will talk about in more detail in a later post.