Brookquarry Gundogs: First Day Jitters

Brookquarry Gundogs are one of four recent recipients of Vitalin sponsorships. Here, we follow Martyn and Laura on their first back, doing what they love to do…..

After months of preparation, hours spent caring for poults, preparing Game Covers and constantly filling feeders our first day was looming. With the added complications of Covid-19, there was a certain amount of trepidation in the week leading up to our first shoot. After implementing the BASC guidelines to cover all our guns, beaters and pickers up, we were about ready for the day. The drives were pegged out and the order of drives for the day selected.

The nerves on the eve of the shoot made sleep rather difficult but we both awoke excited for what the day was going to bring. As all our guests and shoot “staff” arrived, everyone was briefed on what this “new” normal shoot day was going to look like. With everyone briefed, we hastily took off to our first drive, a favourite of Laura’s, the ducks.  With much less rain about this year, our wild stock of ducks was looking really healthy and so it proved a fantastic show of ducks. The guns tested everyone’s mettle and knocked off quite a bit of early season shooting rust. The dogs worked fantastically well after the drive, picking birds from the dense cover surrounding the drive and also off the water.

A couple of small drives followed as we geared up for our biggest drive of the day. Blanking a lot of the surrounding fields into our main cover crop took a lot of precision from the team of beaters and we were hopeful of a good show, which it proved to be. Covey after Covey of partridge streamed out of the end of the cover putting on a great drive for the guns.

A further couple of drives concluded an extremely successful first day on the shoot. Our bag of 78 for a good number of shots proved a great start to our season, leaving all of the main drives untouched and plenty of birds for the remaining days.

The dogs worked extremely well all day, the days spent in the summer, sharpening stop whistles, improving steadiness and working on handling exercises certainly paid off. Kyah, our eldest lab once again proved her worth, picking a long-range running partridge across a ditch and into an adjacent field. This is where the hours of training really pay off, retrieving wounded game efficiently back to hand, ensuring they are accounted for at the end of the day. Remi worked her socks off, especially on the ducks (she has a real nose for them!) and Ace was gradually introduced to the shooting field, sitting steady with the pack for a few drives, a great way to introduce a young dog to the “real” thing.

We can’t wait for our next day!

To keep up with Brookquarry Gundog’s shoots, follow them on their Instagram Page.