Training the Working Labrador by Jeremy Hunt

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Training the Working Labrador looks at all aspects of the care, management and training of the modern working Labrador.

It discusses many of the issues affecting today’s dog owners in a society which may not always seem to be providing enough time to own and train your own working gundog.

The book provides advice and guidance on a host of practical feeding, management and training matters based on the author’s lifelong experience and chapters are included on nutrition and care especially for those who may be away from home for part of the day.

The very latest Labrador health tests are covered in detail and their relevance to their owners.

Essential reading for the first time owner/trainer of a Labrador but equally an important update on Labrador issues for the experienced owner.

Author Jeremy Hunt has been breeding Labradors for over 25 years. His famous Fenway Labrador Kennels are based in Lancashire, England. He is a panel writer for the Gundog section of the UK monthly publication Shooting Gazette.

Back To Fly Tying – Courtesy of Neil Keep

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It’s finally happened……I’ve gone back to the tying vice properly after many years of just dabbling with it.

I tied my first fly some forty years ago when fishing trips were hard to come by for one reason or another and fly tying was the next best thing. At that time I remember being in love with deer hair and spent many hours trying to perfect muddlers, I found the material fascinating and spent many an hour trying to hone the technique.

My father, who taught me to fly fish, passed away a few years ago and recently I came across an old tin fly box full of flies which I had tied for him many years ago as a birthday present, I now realise how much I had struggled to perfect the aforementioned muddler, even though at that time I thought they looked awesome!

The other eye opener these days is the array of materials on offer…..synthetic quills would have been only a luxury material I could have dreamt about back then. I used to be amazed by the fluorescent colour of the chenille as a youngster as I tied yet another gaudy Wimbleball Wonder.

Now that I’m working alongside Partridge Hooks it seemed inevitable that I went back to tying. With their impressive range of hooks at my disposal coupled with my fly orders that I farm out for the guiding side of the business not always being quite right and how I would like them. Time restraints had always stopped me tying the quantities of flies needed for a season and I’m still not sure I will be able to find enough of this precious commodity but I’m determined to give it a go this winter……time will tell.

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A few things have come to light during my first hours back at the vice, mainly that the standard of fly tying out there is generally very high now and I’ve discovered that my patterns at present are a bit “crude and scruffy” in comparison. My other finding is that my eyes aren’t what they used to be and don’t work quite as well as they did some forty years ago but the most important of all is that I’m really enjoying going back to the tying vice and knocking up some different patterns of an evening and want to get back on it at every available opportunity.

Neil Keep has 40 years fly fishing experience on a variety of waters across the south west of England, including spate rivers, chalk streams, small lakes and large reservoirs. Contact Neil on 01761 472656 or 07821647055 for fly fishing tuition or guiding services.

BASC Data on Deer Management and Stalking in the UK

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The British Association for Shooting & Conservation have released the following data on deer species, management and conservation in the UK:

  • There are up to 2 million wild deer in the UK – the highest number in 1,000 years
  • This number is made up of 6 species; Red, Sika, Fallow, Roe, Chinese Water and Muntjac
  • UK deer management provides 2,500 jobs in Scotland alone
  • The annual deer cull of 350,000 head reduces the impact that deer have on natural flora and fauna
  • Venison (the meat derived from deer) is worth GBP170 million to the UK economy each year
  • Venison is healthy for you – a 100g/3oz serving of roast venison contains 140 calories and 1 gramme of fat
  • Each year deer management helps to reduce the estimated 74,000 deer-motor vehicle collisions
  • Over 100,000 people do deer stalking in the UK each year – that has a significant knock-on effect for various forms of retail

Yattendon Estate, Berkshire – Shooting, Fishing and Stalking

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Shooting

Yattendon offers some of Berkshire’s finest driven partridge and pheasant shooting – all within one hour’s drive of London.

The rolling downland offers exciting high partridge and the wooded valleys show more traditional high pheasant.

Shooting parties can stay locally at The Royal Oak in Yattendon and also experience different styles of shoot day hospitality ranging from traditional shoot lunches in our lodge, The Royal Oak or even ITV 1’s Countrywise Chef Mike Robinson at his cookery school based on the Estate.

All game shot on the estate is used either by Vicars Game  butchery and farmshop, Harwood Game online game business or David and Oliver Fine Foods . These businesses are all based on the Estate ensuring our “food miles” are kept to an absolute minimum.

Fishing on The River Naver

In 1988 the Estate purchased a half share in the Syre Estate by Strathnaver, Sutherland. This sporting estate owns two beats out of the six on the River Naver and the whole of Loch Naver.

To this a half share in the adjoining North Loch Naver Estate was added in 1992 and a further beat on the River Naver.

The Naver is recognised as one of Scotland’s finest salmon rivers and the Estate offers fishing to let together with two well-equipped lodges.

Stalking

Yattendon’s mixture of woodland and farmland offer some of the best stalking opportunities in the South of England.We have a large herd of deer including Roe, Fallow and Muntjac.

Deer stalking is let to experienced local stalkers who control the deer numbers in accordance with a detailed management plan agreed with The Forestry Commission as part of the Estate’s Woodland Management Plan.

All venison is butchered and sold through Vicars Game based on the Estate at Ashampstead ensuring that “our food miles” are kept to an absolute minimum. If you wish to sample local venison cooked to the highest standards then we would recommend a visit to The Pot Kiln in Frilsham or even try your hand at preparing and cooking your own at Mike Robinson’s Cookery School based on the Estate.

Fresh venison can be purchased from Vicars Game or through Harwood Game which are both based on The Estate.