Cold Comfort

December 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm

My plan this week was to bother the jack pike, that had given me grief on a coarse fishing match the previous weekend, where several roach were snatched before they reached the net.  I went out on a bright morning, armed with my favourite plug, only to be disappointed. The canal was frozen over!

I returned home, as my wife was planning a shopping trip to our old local town and decided to cadge a lift to a small landlocked horse field, where I have permission to shoot, but rarely visit due to the lack of parking. It is flanked by the car park of a large central hospital, which is always full and by large houses backing onto the fields with no parking at all. Access is down a private lane, leading to a footpath, then into the field. The lease holder has car access to the field, I have to walk from wherever I can park.

Dropped off at the bottom of the lane, we decided on a time for my pick up, based on the two hours free parking in town. Twenty minutes later I’d reached my stake out point with a view along a blackthorn covered warren.

With the HMR set on it’s tri-pod, I scanned through the scope, an area in the lea of the now cold north wind and spotted a couple of sun bathing rabbits. I took the first shot at 60 yards and swung round to pick off the second at around 120. Job done. I waited another twenty minutes, but no more shows, so went over and picked up the two bucks. With the website in mind,  I’d taken my camera and posed the two rabbits alongside my rifle, the low sun giving a good contrast. Click. Beep. The battery was dead. Very annoying, as I’d taken an extra picture of the warren before this. With the carcasses skinned and cleaned and nothing coming out to play, another warren further along looked promising, but the sun was sinking below the trees and the wind getting stronger, not ideal for bunnies, despite their fur coats.

Time to go. The temperature was dropping like a stone, reminding me it was early December, as I made my way back to the footpath. A dozen pigeons were grazing, passing within 30 yards, before they clattered up and away. A shot would have been easy, but the HMR would have just left a pile of feathers. Further on a muntjac deer picked it’s way through the undergrowth, stopping to look at the strange camo clad figure trudging towards it, then making off with a flash of white tail. Ten minutes early for my pick up, which was a first, a stile provided a welcome seat, while I waited … and waited. Now my wife was twenty minutes late and the chill was creeping in. Another five minutes and I rang her. She was still shopping. The car parking had been extended to three hours, maybe she should have rung? Hrumf. Good job it wasn’t all day parking!