As the British game bird shooting season starts its slide towards another sad ending on 1 February (grouse on 10 Dec – where did those 4 months go??) I paused yesterday to think about what has been the most special days this season and why. And in doing so, I expanded my pontification to include our stalking and fishing days.
I quickly realised that it was rarely the quantity of game harvested or fish caught on a particular day that brought a smile to the faces of our clients, family, friends and colleagues. It was the fulfilment of their expectation of a great day in the field and the quality of the birds, animal and fish and the effort it took to overcome a challenging quarry that usually did it. That and enjoying the moment with family, good friends and respected sporting peers.
Seeing the smile on your shooting instructors face when you bring down your first left and right or very high bird or the knowing look you get from your fly fishing instructor as you land the fly on the nose of a monster fish you have been stalking stealthily, wait-deep in a chilly English stream. Those are the types of precious moments that we all seek and then cherish.
And of course, mobile phone cameras are so helpful in capturing these moments and then beaming them around the world in nanoseconds so we can share them with our personal, FB, Instagram and Snapchat friends almost instantaneously.
Ah well, with another visitor group in for more game bird shooting later this week, I wonder if my deliberations will hold true. I am pretty sure they will.