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Fieldsports Britain – Stalking stars Tom Wood, Ray Mears, John Wilson

Fieldsports Britain – Stalking stars Tom Wood, Ray Mears, John Wilson


[Music] Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up
stars of TV and Sport. We’re talking optics with survivalist Ray Mears. The greater the magnification, the greater
the understanding. I think that is almost a rule of nature. We’re talking rods and reels with angling
TV presenter John Wilson. Then we have the not so famous but just as important David
Taylor of the Countryside Alliance, talking and shooting fallow deer. This is free range deer and certainly not
horse. First – it’s a charity shoot in North Yorkshire
where England Rugby international rugby player Tom Wood is talking bows and his Northampton
saints colleague Scott Armstrong is talking stalking. This is one charity event where you have to
wonder what personal sacrifice has actually been made by the people who have come along
to support it. On this South Yorkshire moor, for the price of a charitable donation, you
can rattle your grey cells with a 50 cal – challenge your shooting skills by firing as many rounds
as you can at targets out to 800 yards, eat your fill of great food, and it’s all taking
place in a safe environment surrounded by experts and backstops. And if shooting bores
you, there’s even a chance to have a chat about the 6 nations with a couple of rugby
players – and we’re not talking local league players here. We’re talking boys at the top
of their game like England international Tom Wood. He’s found a quiet place to practise
shooting his bow, only to be interrupted by Sporting Shooter editor Dom Holtam, who is
at the other end of the athletic spectrum. And you started off with the rifle side of
things and that is how you got to know Chris. But you actually use the bow shooting as part
of your rehabilitation for injury. To kind of take you away from rugby and … Yes, that is basically how I justify it. Yes,
I am trying to convince them to get one in the physio room. I had shoulder trouble in
the past. I have actually found that shooting the bow over a period of time has helped set
my shoulder in a stronger position and develop the smaller muscles around the shoulder has
helped with rugby tackling and the bangs you take on a weekly basis. So I have benefitted
in that way. I had a long standing injury in my foot which was quite debilitating. I
couldn’t do all things I usually do running around playing rugby, surfing any of the activities
I liked to do. So I took up archery which is a bit more static and it just went from
there really. Do you find that you are keen on your country
sports, being out with the rifle and stuff? Do you find it is a nice escape from the pressures
of your professional sport, but also the attention of the media. Yes, exactly that. I am an outdoorsy person
anyway. I like being out and about doing the sort of field sports and country pursuits
and things, so I am really comfortable in that environment so yes it is a real break
from the pressures of professional rugby, the media and everything else. So apart from
today obviously. Well we always like to intrude where at all
possible. The day is organised by Chris Blackburn of
custom gunmaker UK Gunworks and his wife Pippa. Their son Jack fell ill and died in 2010 just
days before his first birthday. With the generosity and support of companies like Zeiss and Rivers
West donating raffle prizes, together with friends and family, they have created a shooting
event that celebrates Jack’s life and raises money for the hospital that tried to save
him. We are here primarily to raise money for the
Northampton General Hospital. That is where Jack was born and where we lost him. So all
the money that we raise goes there. Last year it went towards a heart machine for the children’s
ward which they have now been bought and is being used on the ward. This year I don’t
know what piece of equipment it will go towards, but it will be something on the children’s
ward. Being used by poorly children for years to
come. Exactly right, yes. And you obviously couldn’t do this event without
support from the industry and it has been very well supported this event hasn’t it. Absolutely it has been sponsored again by
Zeiss this year and again by lots of suppliers. We have got the raffle prizes. Again a really
good mix, rugby shirts, rugby balls, scopes, range finders … loads of things. So the guys have been banging away for about
an hour, if you will pardon my expression. You can see just over my shoulder here we
have got firing positions and they are shooting out to targets 600 to 700 yards away. We have
got another firing position just down here to my right. They have got some close range
targets which are suitable for the rim fires and they have got some longer range steel
gongs across the valley about 400 yards and then some other ones at about 600 to 700 yards.
Just over the cameraman’s shoulder we have England Rugby star Tom Wood playing with this
bow on the bow range. They have got targets out to about 80 yards there. But Chris Blackburn
who organised the day, a little bit earlier, before everyone got here was shooting out
to a mile with his stalking rifle. 1,790 yards most people will zero their rifle at 100 yards.
So everything then is being enhanced and highlighted whether it is the wind. How do you even get
your rifle scope to have enough elevation adjustment to be able to hit the target. How much drop are you talking
at 1,800 metres. At 1,794 we had on 76 and half MOA of elevation
and for the wind during the five shots that I fired were 13 and half minutes of wind on. 76 MOA of elevation? Yes. One minute of angle is an inch at a 100 metres,
is that right? So that is 76 inches high at 100 yards in order to hit the target. Yes, yes basically. The other thing that is
different to an ordinary stalking rifle is that we put a different mounting system on
it with … tactical with 30 MOA built into it so that we could get the bottom zero on
the night force which is a 22 mag which has got an internal adjustment of 100 MOA. So
basically I have started with a zero of a scope right at the bottom of its travel, with
that scope as it is set at the moment I can dial 98 minutes of elevation straight off
the turret. So I can go from 100 yards zero so I can shoot my deer from 200, 300 yards
and my vermin, at crows, foxes, pigeons and things at further distances and out to just
dialling 96 and half minutes on for the long shot. But it works. Most rifle shots don’t get the chance to test
their shooting ability or the limits of their rifle, scope and ammo – and with good reason
if you’re shooting live quarry, but it’s sensible to practise longer shots just in case you
need to call on that skill in the field. Northampton Saints rugby star Scott Armstrong is a keen
stalker. He’s enjoying the opportunity of building his confidence at long range. I like to go out as often as I can with Chris.
Just get into as many little deer stalking forays as we can and a bit of fishing as and
when. Yes Chris is getting me into the stalking and into the rifles and he is getting his
hands on my equipment and trying to accurate this, playing with this trigger and playing
with that trigger. Yes I am getting into it and it is just nice coming out for the day,
having a few shots at long range, get a few target shots. Something a little bit different
from the stalking. Like I said before three shots at 100 yards and off you go on your
little stalking foray. Seeing some of the guns on display today it is quite epic. You have managed obviously to resist Mr Blackburn’s
attentions because that to me still looks like a sporting rifle. Yes, it pretty much is straight out of the
box. Chris has done a good job on the trigger. Helped me with the ballistic stuff and got
me into reloading. It is paying dividends today. We played around with it yesterday
and got it all dialled in and managed to go out to 600, 700 yards today which was brilliant.
Something which I have obviously never done before with stalking. But it is just nice
to know that you can reach those distances with your gear, have a bit of faith in your
gear. Given the circumstances if you are stalking or where ever you may be or foxing you just
dial it in and away you go. It makes a change from say aiming at fresh air kind of thing.
It is nice to be able to dial and be accurate and you can get the job done. Dom’s also making those gongs bong at distance.
He has been featuring the development of his rifle in the mag as it’s pimped by Chris. With ammo spent and battery levels on the
iphones failing, it’s time for the raffle. Again this year there are some fantastic prizes
and plenty of them. Incredibly Dom wins a chance to re-live his salmon fishing exploits
on the Thurso. The top prize of the zeiss duralyt scope goes to John Maclean who was
chief goffer on the ferrari macnab film – it couldn’t have been won by a nicer guy. If
you are watching this on YouTube, click on the screen to watch that film. If you want to find out more about the charity
or to make a donation go to www.jackjeyesblackburn.co.uk. If you want to see Dom’s full interview with
Tom Wood talking Rugby, his injury and his recovery thanks to bow hunting click on this
screen up here. Plus if you want to see another Rugby legend out stalking red deer we have
got Keiron Cunnigham hit this button. Next it is David on the Fieldsports Channel
News Stump. [Music] This is Fieldsports Britain News. It’s IWA this weekend. And I hear you ask
what’s IWA? It’s the European version of the Shot Show, held in a big exhibition centre
in Nuremberg, where companies go to see, be seen and to launch new hunting and shooting
kit. This is what it looked like last year. We will be there this year. Look out for new
rifles and shotguns from the biggest brands in next week’s Fieldsports Britain. It’s also Crufts this weekend, at the NEC
in Birmingham. BASC will be running the working gundog classes and reports a big rise in entries.
Among new classes this year are Scruffts, the annual award for best mongrel, and a hero
dog award. This is Brin, a stray from Afghanistan. Adopted by the Coldstream Guards in 2010 and
trained to sniff out roadside bombs, he saved the lives of two soldiers. He now lives in
Hailsham, East Sussex. George Digweed continues his clayshooting
success in South Africa. Last week we reported how he won the Pan African FITASC Championship.
Now he has clinched the Pan African Compak Championship with a perfect score of 200 out
of 200 over two days. Here are more big name sportsmen who go hunting.
When not on the course, American professional golfer and star of the PGA circuit Brian Harman
enjoys his next favourite thing, duck hunting with his brother. The PGA has just released
this film about him. February sees the Kazakhstan golden eagle
hunting championships takes place. The US government-backed station for Russia and the
Middle East, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, has made a film about the 2013 event. Some
50 Kazakh falconers took part in the annual contest to prove their skill. The sport – in
which the eagles hunt rabbits and foxes on command – is a Kazakh tradition that goes
back centuries. And finally, when shooting in cold weather,
it takes a Russian to train his dog to carry out this vital retrieve. Or look at it the
other way round. Maybe Tsar the German shorthaired pointer has trained his owner to give him
biscuits in return for vodka. You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain
News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts. [Music] Thank you David. Now Zeiss make some of the
best optics in the world and one man who likes to have a pair of Zeiss bino’s around his
neck is Britain’s best known bush crafter Ray Mears. With one of the best universities in the world,
Cambridge is home to a few scientists. Now they have a few more. Zeiss’s new centre is
not only home to the people responsible for the UK side of their sports optics, such as
our rifle scopes and binos, but those involved in things like hi tech microscopy -providing
kit for the next winner of a Nobel Peace prize for medicine – or lithography optics for those
clever chaps who make microchips. One special guest invited to celebrate the
opening of this building is Ray Mears. He’s been lighting fires, carving canoes and building
shelters across the world for British TV pleasure for years. He says his life and that of others
is enriched by good optics. You have to say the two greatest inventions
have been the microscope and the binocular. I mean they are astonishing what they enable
us to see and understand and I think that is the key. The greater the magnification
the greater the understanding. I think that is almost a rule of nature. It should be one
of Newtons laws really and I think you can see that very clearly when you use a binocular.
A binocular enables you to locate things, to identify things, but it can sometimes be
difficult to see what is really going on, but if you then put up a field scope, a spotting
scope and you then, having located the thing then look in more detail, now you see what
is going on. You see the nuance the emotion on the face of the creature you are watching.
You see more clearly what is happening. So your perception of nature improves with improved
optical performance. For hunters of course who are having to make life or death decisions
which have a bearing on the population dynamics on an animal they might be managing, having good optics that work in low light
is very important to make the right decision, because that can be very difficult. So is there any one wildlife moment which
stands out for him that would otherwise have gone unseen if it weren’t for his ever present
binoculars? On a daily basis you see more detail, but
I think one of the most fascinating things that I was able to see was, we were filming
the nest of a goshawk and the goshawk was away from the nest and a bluetit was coming
up and pinching little bits of down for its own nest and it was taking quite a risk. And
it is those sorts of details that otherwise you wouldn’t see. So you know you have to
take the time to use the optic I think that is the other thing, plonk your back against
a tree and breath in the environment. The more you see the more you are tying those
pictures that your optic nerve is recording to the sounds that your ears recording. So
your perception of what is going on through your auditory system is also improving because
in the forest where things are camouflaged with the experience recorded in the brain
you see with your ears and hear with your eyes. Even though Ray Mears likes his Zeiss binos
– and probably gets a free pair – that’s not how these relationships work. Zeiss also wants
feedback from their experts in the field. They are professionals and they won’t use
anything that they don’t believe in. It is part of their professional working life. So
having people like Ray has really added benefit to ourselves and we also get feed back from
these people. They are using it as a tool and if there is something that needs to improve
we can talk to them and we put our ideas forward to Germany. So people like Ray Mears and other
opinion leaders their views are certainly important to us. The new Zeiss centre should mean even better
customer service. If you want help with Zeiss products or you fancy buying a very expensive
microscope to go with your bunsen burner, or maybe even a planetarium, this is where
to come. But this evening isn’t all about lab coats. There are a few of the UK’s great
unwashed sporting journos too, who are told to behave themselves – and definitely no touching! Later in the programme, we will be using optics
for real, when we go out stalking fallow does. Now, from one centre of excellence to another
we are at the Glasgow Angling Centre which has assembled stars from the world of fishing
for its traditional gamefishing season opener. Glasgow Angling Centre has made its open weekend
one of the highlights of the angling year. It attracts literally thousands of keen fishers
to this part of Glasgow – and not just Weegies (that’s Glaswegian for Glaswegians). So forget the grand old rivers, the grand
old men pouring whisky into the grand old rivers for the official start of the game
fishing season in Scotland. It actually takes place here in central Glasgow at the Glasgow
Angling Centre. John Wilson has been the angler’s angling
presenter of choice on British TV screens for more than 30 years. He retired last year,
so why is he here? I have been making TV programmes for the last
25 years and it is nice to see all the people they come and they reminisce about which programme
they liked or which one they didn’t like and it is nice. It is a constant nice thing to
hear really from people. What have you got coming up. I haven’t. I have actually given it all up
now. Like I said I have done 25 years of appearing before the camera and the pressure of it because
what people don’t realise is that when they see a series that they are watching this year.
I filmed it last year and while filming I had to research what I would be filming the
following year so I have actually being doing twice that amount of work for all those years
and I am 70 this year. It is nice to step down and let somebody else take it up. So let’s go inside. And what a place it is. I have come nearly 150 miles today to come
up to this stall. We have come every year since this event started and it is a super
place to come. Really like it. From sharks to wiggly shrimps, there is something
for everyone. It’s more like a game fair than a shop. Scott Mackenzie is a former spey casting champion
and record holder. Today he designs rods for a living, and shows them off at fishing events
and game fairs up and down the country. This is now the biggest fishing tackle show
in Europe and it is a one stop shop for absolutely everything, it really is. But it is a shop in Glasgow, how can it be
the biggest tackle … It is amazing it really is. You name it they
have got it here, they really have. They have got all the top brands from right around the
world and the good thing about today is because you have representatives from all the different
tackle brands you can actually try out all the products and stuff like that. So rather
than just going to a shop and having the sales assistant say to you well sir go for this
one. Today they have the chance to see myself and other people who are associated with the
brand who know in depth things about each individual product. Another expert is Davie McPhail, whose fly-tying
and dressing YouTube channel gets millions of views a month from keen fly tyers the world
over. All these people watch Youtube for some reason.
Why am I here? Simply because I enjoy tying flies. Try to pass that on. At one time I
used to work in the Glasgow Angling Centre so I got to know a lot of people over the
years. Fly tying in my view is a great mix, if you can tie flies and fly fish you will
always enjoy the sport much more. He is dressing a streamer fly on a double
hook for us. And watch those nimble fingers go.There – the perfect salmon fly, says Davie.
If you are interested in dressing a fly like this, click on the link on the screen to watch
it slowed down and with Davie’s expert commentary. Everyone you stop will tell you stories about
fish they caught and fish that got away, and some know about almost every fish caught in
the country, like the representative from FishPal Customers can come and buy fish aids, they
can check their availability, they can check water levels, how many fish have been caught
and then when they have actually made a booking they can either make a booking on line or
they can actually go and contact the owner and then what they can do is make a donation
to the river trust at the end. So we are helping to raise money to the different river trusts
as well. The tackle trade are here in force to enjoy
the surely historic occurrence of Scotsmen and women willingly spending money, even on
a sport they love. One of the things I really enjoy about working
with the Glasgow PL Sports is the staff that they have got here. The guys couldn’t do more
for you and anything you need if you ask them they are willing to help and I think that
reflects through to the customers and as you can see it is unique premises in the UK and
it has got the capacity to be able to do something like this. Paul Devlin started what is now the Glasgow
Angling Centre on a wheelbarrow in a Glasgow market. It’s a business success story that
now employs ninety people – and it is born from a passion for the sport. It is an open weekend, spring open weekend.
It celebrates the start of the fishing season and it is good to get all anglers and all
the personalities together at the one time. We are in the centre of Glasgow here. Is this
the Glaswegian equivalent of pouring a bottle of malt into the river Tay? Yes, from a retailer’s point of view yes. To have a look around the shop from the comfort
of your own home, go to FishingMegastore.com And I walked away from that with this rather
lovely fly from David McPhail. I’m looking forward to getting that wet. We really are
on a bit of a tour of the country this week and from Glasgow we’re back down south to
David Taylors stalking ground near the M11 – where he is out after fallow doe as part
of his cull. This week on Taylor’s Travels I am stalking. I have been stalking this ground for three
years. I am lucky in having a healthy population of fallow, muntjac and a few roe that I am
keeping safe. There are basically two woods here, one on
this side to the middle of the clearing and generally what happens is that the deer will
cross from one to the other. So we will go up on this side and set up a high seat and
wait for them to cross. So we shall walk our way down there now very quietly. We eventually reach the high seat and it is
not long before I am down. I have spotted a fallow deer in the flood plain behind us. You can just see the fallow which has gone
across there and that is the edge of the permission so that is the next landowner through there.
So we will just walk up there and see if we can see where they have gone and see if there
are any more coming this way. The white doe makes life a lot easier in spotting
the herd. Well the deer that are just on the other side
of the boundary have just started to bed down now so obviously are not moving anywhere for
now. So what we will do is go back up into the high seat and see what we can see. There
might be some muntjac or other deer around. And with a bit of luck they will start to
come back this way and we will catch up with them later. Another couple of visits up the high seat
and the fallow move off and so do we. The wood often offers up a muntjac or two and
I have recently installed a trail camera which has captured a few on the move. I am hoping
to bump into the original group of fallow, but instead we come across another larger
herd which we later discover has been spooked by some ploughing. I am also pleased to see
my roe about which are in their usual spot although I am a bit worried I am missing a
doe. As the morning marches on it would seem that all we have done is spot the deer and
not shoot them. But then our perseverance pays off and we find the herd with a buck.
They know something is up which is why we are taking it slowly. I get myself up as high
as I can on the sticks and wait for an opportunity. I want an animal on its own, away from the
rest of the herd. We had the herd there. There were lots of
them they were all grouped together. It is very hard to try and pick one out because
they are all standing so close together. We have also got so many eyes watching us so
it is very difficult to see. To try and get up and get into a position you can shoot safely,
but also at the same time shoot one and shoot the right one and shoot it cleanly. So we
have got one down. The rest of the herd has gone. We have reloaded. It has gone down over
there. We should go and follow up on that now. The shot is good. The .308 has done its job. Definitely dead, shot in the shoulder. Came
out a little bit far back there. See it went in just there. Drag it to the edge of the
field and get some work done. This is a youngish one. She is in good condition. It was a good
one to take. There is obviously plenty of them there. So the whole point of being here
and managing these deer is to keep their number down, or numbers down. As you can see we are
surrounded by farmland and too many of them can cause lots of issues for the farmer. They
can eat the crops. Then they are actually lying in the crops. They lie down in them
and wreck them and this has not been a very good year for farming because of the weather.
So it is all more important to keep these deer numbers down as much as possible. Obviously
you have to be control them and make sure the herds are properly managed to make sure
there is a good population of both males and females in there. So today a good day to take
a doe. And you can see that everything is looking very healthy. The liver just there.
B it of a fleck on there, but nothing that looks
too serious at all. A very healthy animal, a very good one to take and that will actually
go to the game dealer and can go into the food chain and people can enjoy the venison
that comes from this so we are serving two purposes really. We are looking after the
deer herd and we are looking after the farmer as well but we are also putting food into
the food chain. This is a free range deer and certainly not horse. Of course I am using lead ammunition which
is becoming a more pressing issue especially in Europe with a big push towards alternatives.
Although there is some evidence from Europe and from America about lead getting into the
food chain and actually causing concern for both human health and for wildlife health.
It is very important to put things into perspective. The Countryside Alliance along with FACE are
monitoring the situation both in the UK and in Europe to ensure that there isn’t an overall
lead ban and to make sure that any evidence that is submitted is thoroughly scrutinised.
It might have taken a good few hours and miles, but I am really pleased we saw so many deer.
Altogether it has been a very enjoyable morning. From a doe cull in the south of England to
the world of hunting, shooting and fishing. It is Hunting YouTube This is Hunting YouTube, which aims to show
the best hunting, shooting and fishing videos that YouTube has to offer. For some long-form entertainment that would
be much, much better if only you speak Turkish – and perhaps you do – watch this group of
shooters drive through Thrace to Romania for the goose shooting. Soundtrack is Chris Rea’s
Road to Hell and, it’s true, there is a lot of driving in this 25-minute film, but there
is a lot of shooting too. Staying in the former Eastern Bloc, Wild boar
challenge – Croatia by British-based hunting agent Tomo Svetic of Artemis Hunting shows
a hunt for a trophy wild boar in the Balkans with an American client. If you think hunting
dangerous game in Africa is exciting, this film captures the thrills and spills of the
European equivalent, with the added benefit of hound work. Lidmedia contacts me from Norway to say how
much he likes Fieldsports Britain, especially Roy Lupton’s tips on fox shooting. Beverjakt
2011 is a film he made about beaver hunting – and I like that. It’s wet work with shotguns
and rifles. Our cameraman Nicky Brown has a new fishing
film out. It’s a review of the Manningford Trout Fishery, outside the village of Pewsey
in Wiltshire. He is fly fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout, blue trout and grayling
on lakes and the lovely River Avon. And now the fishing film that may change your
life – or at least it may change your dab fishing technique. Fishing for flatfish (GOPRO
underwater footage) shows ReekingHaddocks – great channel name – fishing for dabs in
Shetland, including underwater footage using a home-made mount attached to the GoPro HD2
camera which shows exactly how dabs take bait. The Gamekeeper – Student Documentary – is
a film from 2011 showing a day in the life of Scottish gamekeeper Tam Cullen. It is an
amateur PR film for gamekeeping but shows lots of keepering technique and its heart
is firmly in the right place. Now to Canada. As this film rolls, you see
a herd of caribou bulls coming this shooter’s way. He does not waste the opportunity and
takes three of them. You are with him all the way. Finally, I am warming to Tex Grebner. He likes
double rifles when most other hunters don’t, and here he is displaying his muscles on a
100lb recurve bow from White Wolf Archery when many would choose a compound bow and
some clearly prefer an assault rifle. He writes “Well, Charlie, don’t be offended but the
yew war bow was the mass produced AK47 of the day.” You can click on any of these films to watch
them. If you have a YouTube film you would like us to pop in to the weekly top eight,
send it in via YouTube, or email me the link [email protected] We are back next week, when I will be looking
at the latest gun show kit on the market at Nuremberg’s greatest gun show and I will be
learning how to use this, my old cattie with YouTube’s top slingshot artist, Joerg Sprave.
That’s him in the screen up there firing something ridiculous. You can click through to his films
from there. You can click to subscribe to us below that. You can click to go through
to our website below that. Where you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or best
of all scroll down to the bottom, pop your email address into our constant contact box
and we will be in touch with you every week about our programme which is out 7pm Wednesdays.
This has been Fieldsports Britain.

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