Well the idea of a Daddy and Daughter day, came about on the Pass It On Young Sports Stand, at The British Shooting show 2014. The stand was heaving all weekend, with folks coming to see The Ole Hedge Creeper, Countryman’s Diary, CnG Marksmanship Academy as well as Rat Works who had the kalibrgun Cricket on show on the stand all weekend.
All the Pass It On Young Sport, regional advisers and volunteer’s that came to the stand realized one thing. We all pretty much had daughters as well as sons of course, but the daughters were the ones that stood out as we had more girls than boys. As most of the sons get to go out hunting with Dad, all the time we thought why not do, a dedicated Daddy Daughter Day. So the plan was hatched and over the next week or so we had arranged the day…
Alas on the date arranged, most of the Dads could not make it as they had other things on like fence building & kid’s rugby matches etc. But not one to be deterred The Ole Hedge Creeper and my daughter Emilie & Bruce ( pass it on regional adviser for the isle of white) and his Daughter Natasha were still up for it.
Bruce and Natasha, got to my place late on the Friday evening, and after cooking some cackle berry (eggs) sandwiches and a gallon of tea we headed to our beds, in anticipation for the next day’s Daddy/Daughters hunting day.
I will say the girls were up, bright and early, dragging their poor old Dad’s from their beds. I think their excitement was electrified, as you could cut the air along with all the giggle’s and well girlish fighting and banter. Blimey girls are hard work, sons are easy but as promised a trip to the local gun shop, for open wallet surgery of us poor Dad’s calmed them down. We needed some more ammo for the shot guns and pellets for the air rifles.
What a mistake taking girls to a gun shop, they were like kids in a candy shop as the words, “DAAAAAAAAD can I have echoed around the shop.” Bruce and I were lucky to get out alive; I tell you we almost had new shot guns and air rifles on the counter, and our wallets being well and truly emptied by these girls.
Hmmmmm, I don’t know what it is about daughters and when they flash those blue eyes, with a Daddy you know you love me, as you feel yourself get hypnotised. I have sworn never to take my daughter to a gun shop again, well at least not when I have my wallet with me that is.
Well we persuaded the girls, time was getting on and we were eating into hunting time, so that got them out of there pretty quick.
Pheeeeeeweee, that was a close one, as Bruce and I left the shop broken men carrying more than just ammo. I still can’t work out how NO; turned into yes of course you can have those shooting socks, with the spaniel on and me being £15 lighter and well poor Bruce, let’s hope his wife don’t find out about the new coat. I telle stick to sons they are less trouble of course, I don’t mean it, our girls are our shining stars.
We got to the woods and gave the girls first choice, did they want to hunt with the air rifles or the shot guns first? A resounding shotgun’s was announced from both girls. Emilie had her old faithful, little Jen, the 20 bore were as Natasha had her brand new, Hatsan 12 bore semi auto, in Mossy Oak pattern. This was her first chance at using the auto, and I think that’s another one Bruce was hypnotized into getting.
Well we talked through the normal safety briefing, and let Brook my daughter, Emilie’s black lab out of the truck. Emilie calls her “hell hound.” As she has a nose that can find anything, especially squirrels in these woods. The plan was to have a walk through my woods push out any vermin and bag any pigeons and corvids flying over, Also to blow out a few dreys as the number of squirrels were getting out of hand.
First shot came from Bruce, on a Bolting Bunny; alas he missed behind with a quick snap shot so we pressed on through the woods. We got to some thick brush and Brook was on point, so we got into position and I sent her on. She flushed a squirrel alas no shot as it made it into a hole, in the oak tree before we could get a bead on it.
As we stood there with Brook marking the tree, saying it’s in here Dad, a wood pigeon came right in over Emilie’s head and well she is not one to miss a shot like that, mounted swung and dusted it center pattern, as if fell down through the branches, Brook was already there waiting to catch it and retrieve it to her mistress, that she did in fine style, I think Emilie’s smile said it all as she said, “that one for the pot tonight Dad eh”.
I think my smile said it all too, as the rest of us said good shot Emilie. We pushed on across the wood as pigeons and corvids passed overhead, none presenting a good chance of a shot. Then Brook went onto point again marking a tree with a load of brush going up it. As I said this was the tree that Gyp, my Lakeland terrier marked last season and caught a squirrel in.
I look up and there deep in the crook of a branch of this Old Beech Tree, was the best squirrel drey I had seen in ages, and with the dog marking I knew ole Cecil the squirrel would be home. So Bruce got one side with Natasha I got the other with Emilie and when I gave the word Emilie would give it a barrel from the 20 bore.
Like clockwork Emilie fired, shaking the drey to its core as a big old sharp tooth bolted from it, but too late Natasha was already on him, and dropped him with a brilliant snap shot. “I think that I got him yes I got him.” And the call from Emilie,” well done Tash you whacked him a good one.” These girls were having the time of their lives. I don’t think us Dads could of been any prouder at that moment.
Well after a bit of a breather, it was time to climb up the hill for a coffee and cake break, back at the truck, of course we poked a few more dreys on the way but no one was home. Well I must say how I got talked into hot chocolate I will never know, but again the girls got their way. And the cake was awesome baked by Natasha, for this very shoot and by golly can those girls put cake away Bruce and I were aloud a slither of the crust of course.
Time for a bit of air rifle practice, before we go hunting with them, and well Emilie chose her Air Arms S200 and Natasha used The Daystate Regal Huntsman, Both guns were in .22 my preferred caliber for hunting with as Emilie used the MaX Box Door Pro to shoot from, there will be a video at the bottom of this article so you can see it.
Natasha shot from the Jack Pyke sand bags off of the boot of my truck the brilliant Jack Pyke Gear is available from www.jackpyke.co.uk and is all the hunting clothes both Emilie and I wear now.
So we put out some empty cans of coke out at different ranges and well what can I say the girls shot like professional snipers, and never dropped a shot. It turned into almost a fierce competition between the girls as they kept going and giving each other banter as they shot. All us poor Dads got to do were go re set targets and re load guns.
My Emilie came out with a good one instead of saying Cheers my Brother from another Mother she said cheers Mr from another Sister. We all fell about laughing that kid really is my life and soil and have such a wicked sense of humour she must get it from her Old Dad.
Well we headed back to the woods again, with shot guns as we had spent so long with the air rifles time was getting on and the pigeons were starting to come to roost, Emilie said in a strong willed voice “I am using my S200 (air rifle) as I want to bag some squirrels for tea.”
Bruce and Natasha took the bottom of the big wood, and Emilie and I took the top near the yew trees, as I knew that would be a good chance of a squirrel or 2 there, and on the flight line for the rooks and Jack daws. As we sat there I got a text from Bruce to say Natasha had some of my roe does feeding, not a few yards from her and that the pigeons were starting to come in.
The first shots I hear, Bruce bags the first pigeon of the roost shoot much to his daughter’s annoyance as she told him off for spooking the deer. She soon forgot about that as she started getting into the roosting pigeons with her semi auto, I could feel the cartridge bill going up from Bruce’s wallet from the top of the wood were Emilie and I were.
Now it was Emilie’s turn I had spread my secret squirrel bait, on some branches and I knew that elixir would pull in every tree rat from miles around and I was not wrong, There is a great video I will add to this article I was watching a squirrel coming from the right what I didn’t see was the one already munching my bait, Emilie saw it and bagged it in fine style right off the branch I was one very proud daddy right there I telle boys THAT’S MY GIRL!
As for me I got into the local corvid population and a few pigeons Bruce did the same and as the light faded the girls were excited as they knew what was going to be a wild feast for that very evening. But first again I don’t know how this happened Bruce and I had to do all the work preparing this wild meat for the table.
I got home and went straight into wild chef mode, and made my famous Southern Fried popcorn squirrel, popcorn wood pigeon with some pan seared pigeon breast on a simple bed of pan roasted herby garlic potato with a sweet chilli dipping sauce on the side, I will say not a morsel was left and please no licking the pictures with this article all I will say it tasted divine and was as sweet on the lips as it was on the eye.
Bruce and I headed out on the hill lamping, for a couple of hours but alas the weather came in bad and stopped play. The girls didn’t want to tag along lamping they were full of my wild feast and were content to sit and watch hunting and shooting DVD’s. When we got back there they were snuggled down in front of the fire hot chocolate in hand talking about the day they had still giving each other banter.
I will say we all had a brilliant day, and are going to arrange another one very soon, for some of the Pass It On Young Sports Daddy/Daughter duos. Until then I hope you enjoyed reading this article from an awesome day out Ole Hedge Creeper Style.
Please keep the brilliant positive emails coming, Greg and I try to answer you all personally but some do slip under our radar. Catch up with me over on www.theolehedgecreeper.co.uk also don’t go out in Mother Nature, unless you have your www.gun-ice.co.uk with you, until next time I say proper job mucker.
Daddy and Daughters Day Ole Hedge Creeper Style
By; The Ole Hedge Creeper.
Aka: Rob Collins.