Now that signs of spring are starting to show I think we can safely say winter is behind us, just. Although it would appear the weather has something different to say. Lambs are officially here so I’m sticking with that!
Taking a moment to look back, it was another difficult shooting season. Bird flu and all the associated issues had a massive impact on shoots and the shooting community. I was lucky enough to still be a part of a few shoots going ahead but, many others simply didn’t go ahead with their season or worse yet, packed it all in. I think a massive show of appreciation to all the Gamekeepers, Underkeepers, Shoot Captains, Beaters, Pickers Up, Caterers, local pubs, restaurants and everyone else involved within the shooting community no matter how small, they all deserve a massive thank you for trying to provide a sport and countryside tradition we all love. The price of birds has gone up higher again this year, feed and grain have gone up too plus sourcing everything has become harder however, we will still make the most of what we can. All for the love of the countryside and field sports.
So the question is what will next season look like?
All throughout the year we have been managing the deer population providing locally sourced free range venison in to the food chain. It’s simply delightful to be able to give someone who has never tried venison before some very tasty venison burgers or an assortment of flavoured venison sausages and to see the look of delight on their face once they have tasted them. Better still being able to explain how they are all locally produced from field to fork. Since the shooting season finish it has freed up a bit more time to finalise and complete the deer management plans and targets. I have been very busy keeping on top of the deer population and have been trying out the NewForest Performance range on most of my outings, field testing the kit and making sure it’s fit for purpose.
Read on below to see my honest review on the gear.
As I mentioned above I do like to put my gear through its paces and make sure it really is appropriate for the job. Believe me the NewForest clothing range has been well used and tested. First impressions are great, the fit, the feel and the quality are superb. The Performance field trousers are great feel and quality, have multiple pockets, including zip and button pockets, plus a knife pouch. All perfect for loading up with gear you don’t want to be carrying. The zip bottoms are a god send when getting heavy duty lace up boots on and off regularly! But best of all as the description says they’re waterproof.
Moving onto the Performance field coat, in my opinion it really is multipurpose. Pockets at the front able to flip up with hold up tabs for easy access with cartridges. Zip pockets chest height for keeping hands warm and also a rear pocket for storing stuff in, ideal for rough shooting and popping a pheasant or two in the back allowing to keep your hands free. It has a zip on and off hood which is perfect and very versatile depending on the weather. It is warm, very warm, perfect for the cold winter snaps but something to consider as it gets a little milder.
All in all, brilliant quality and fit for purpose. Did I also mention it is actually waterproof...
The rest of my spring and summer will now be occupied with deer management, preparing the shoot for the next season, ongoing pest control and enjoying the longer days and sunshine with a BBQ or two.
Hopefully everyone is seeing the sun a little more and looking forward to an enjoyable warm summer. Keep safe and enjoy getting out in the field.
Until my next update,
You can follow what Adam gets up to on Instagram: @hampshirecountryman and on YouTube: Hampshire countryman