Mere Brow Gundogs travelled to North Wales for a day of shooting over spaniels. This was in preparation for trialling and good practice for the dogs to teach them steadiness and getting them used to the real thing whilst still in a training environment.
I was invited by Graeme Lindon and David Holmes to join their party of English springer spaniels and working cocker spaniels to take photos of their day. It was a real pleasure for me to watch these spaniels working and doing the job they were bred for.
Meeting Graeme, David and the team of guns we ran through the format of the day whilst gulping down a cup of tea before driving to the meeting point. Following a briefing with the gamekeeper for guns and handlers, we were ready for the off. With the atmosphere and excitement of the dogs it feels like a real shoot day.
A misty start with the promise of a warm sunny day ahead. Partridge were our quarry for the day.
Birds were thin on the ground at first but there were some good cobwebs.
Odd folk appeared from out of the mist.
Paul and Wilson.
We headed up the hill, the cover was a bit sparse but the dogs were working well.
Graeme Lindon and his first dog.
The day was getting hotter and the birds more plentiful.
Angie and Liz bringing a bit of glamour to the day.
Anyone would think we'd walked up a mountain!
The cover was thick and the ground sloping meaning the visibility between the dog and handler was variable, testing the communication between them.
The dogs provided plenty of opportunities for the guns being very thorough in their hunting patterns and not missing game (which seemed to sit very tight).
Wilson spotted several partridges getting up whilst a dog was out on a retrieve, testing his steadiness.
Shoot it, quick! But Wilson remained steady as a rock.
Wilson gets his retrieve in the end.
After a short break for lunch we carried on in the fields where the terrain was easier underfoot and on the dogs.
Now this dog, Charlie, makes me smile!
Paul ran Charlie alongside Liz and her cocker, forgetting that she had attended his test training sessions. Liz used the tricks she'd learnt from Paul to great effect!
The phrase I heard most today from the guns - "It's definitely not a runner."
Another good retrieve.
Charlie's not quite got the hang of hunting yet, but it will come.
Charlie, you don't have to try very hard to be the most handsome chap in this pic!
It was a pleasure to watch Charlie as he thrashed through the turnips directed by Paul.
I had a great day. There was only the odd moment when it all became a bit too much for the odd dog when they decided that every bird was theirs and went charging round the field chasing everything! The dogs were mostly steady each having a couple of good retrieves.
Thank you Graeme and David for inviting me.
Mere Brow Gundogs
Posted on 19/09/2015
by Paul Johnson