Fieldsports February/March 2018
Issue 1801

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Those who go in search of bird, fish and beast with gun, rod and rifle, develop a special affinity with the creatures they hunt.

It’s a fascination, a curiosity, an urge to learn more, a deep-seated respect. We yearn to be able to think like our quarry and understand its quirks and habits. We become absorbed, and as a result we invest far more time studying these species than we ever do looking at them through a rifle scope or down the top rib of a shotgun.

There are numerous examples of people, past and present, in the fieldsports sphere who have become great authorities on particular quarry species – the late wildfowl expert Sir Peter Scott, woodcock guru Owen Williams and sea trout specialist Steffan Jones are prime examples. Across the world, we have such people who dedicate their lives to learning more about those species which give us ‘the thrill’. And this knowledge forms the story that builds to that crescendo of unalloyed joy. Without it, ‘hunting’, in the broadest sense of the word, would be but a chapter that meant nothing.

And so is the theme which threads its way through this issue of Fieldsports. From bracken patches in Northumberland to the rainforest of Brazil, and Scotland’s West Coast to the mighty Himalayas, each author’s connection with the quarry they pursue is palpable. I hope you enjoy it...