I had my doubts and reservations, but decided to give it a try to support friends and family that had organised the event. While I admire the ethical position of vegetarianism I continue to eat meat, an act which inevitably involves the death of animals. So would it be inconsistent not to be prepared to do the key task myself?
In the end my aim was so poor that I have no pheasant's life on my conscience.
It was interesting to see who else was there and why. The main group were locals taking the opportunity of this, the last weekend of the shooting season, to enjoy a traditional countryside activity as a community event. They typically wore checked shirts and ties and were all ages down to boys the height of their guns but already dead-shots and quietly polite.
Then there were the experts who choose this activity, those who'd go off to Africa to hunt large animals, who had the gear and practice to know what to do, who'd ended the day with a decent tally.
There was much advice from both groups as to how to improve, such as to spend time clay pigeon shooting, for like all skill based occupations the way to improve is practice, practice, practice.
But I don't want to get any better: it is not a skill I want.
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