Fieldsports Britain – George Digweed, airgunning pigeons and the Schools Challenge, episode 129

Fieldsports Britain – George Digweed, airgunning pigeons and the Schools Challenge, episode 129


[Music] Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up,
19 times world champion, George Digweed, talks shooting while fishing in the rain. Team Wild is air gunning pigeons, rabbits,
crows, well anything within range really. They are giving guns to kids in Gloucestershire.
The Schools Challenge is in full flow, embracing all that is good in our sport. We are here in Namibia, but that is for a
later date. First it is Test Splat Special. [Music] This week we leave the air rifle and 243 behind
and play with a shot gun loaded with some clay shooting 7 1/2 ‘s. First up is a small
leather football that has lost its puff. We are standing about 20 metres away from the
target and the shot sends the ball flying. Little do we realise that peppering the ball
with shot has added benefits. It now has a new life as a novelty musical instrument.
No real splat action from the football, so let us try an onion. The onion takes the full
force of the cartridge and disintegrates. So how far has this vegetable flown. Is it: a) 6m b) 7m c) 8m Well done those who chose 6m. Nothing proved
nothing gained. Next week we really will be giving you Norma ammunition. We do like a bang and Team Wild, they do like
an air rifle. Ian and Steve are out with their pellet pushers after just about anything. [Roar of stag] Sometimes the best sport is on your door step.
Steve and I live just a few minute’s drive from each other. And behind his butchers shop
is some ground which often produces plenty of opportunities. Well these really old line of oak trees and
the jackdaws are starting to nest inside them and around them and everything else. So there
is a lot of activity, flitting from one tree to the next, here there and everywhere. So
it is just a case of finding a nice little spot and sitting down and just being patient.
We should be able to knock a few off. We can still hear a few up in the trees here.
I can hear a couple of crows as well. And there are some wood pigeons. Pretty much a
mixed bag today. Hopefully, fingers crossed. We are both using air rifles today. Steve
has a sub-12ft/lbs Daystate Huntsman and I have a 30ft/lbs Daystate Mark 4AS which means
I can be confident in having a stab at a squirrel which crosses our path. So Steve has just seen a squirrel in that
tree over there. It is roughly 25, 26 yards. I am shooting a Daystate Mark 4AS and it is
a 30ft/lbs version. So it is a pretty straight shot from muzzle right out to about 35 to
40 yards before it starts to drop off. So ranges when you are shooting an FAC air rifle
are not as critical as a sub-12ft/lbs such as the one Steve is shooting here. I am at
a bit of an advantage. With the squirrel keeping a low profile we
turn our attention to the bigger part of the woodland. Wood pigeon and crows are possible
targets. We settle down and wait for the birds to return to nest or just stop for a breather.
Even with their fantastic eye sight, I am hoping we will be invisible tucked in next
to the tree. We spend a good hour preparing to hijack any unsuspecting crows, but my best
opportunity appears as we head back to the car. The wood pigeon is a fair old distance
away. I kneel for the shot. Watch and learn. 60 odd yards, but that is the difference between
shooting a 30ft/lb gun and a 12ft/lb gun. You have just got that little bit extra range.
He did not know what hit him. With something to show for our patience we
head off to some new ground where we hope to go rabbiting with a night site later on.
The Klondyke is a place dedicated to keeping all things steam powered alive. The trouble
is the rabbits are undermining the foundations under some of these heavy bits of machinery. There are plenty of rabbits around here. As
you can see they have put down a lot of stone here to support the heavy weight of these
engines. The rabbits are burrowing underneath the edges. Which means where they store them
they are starting to break away. So we are going to come round now and see if there any
out and see where most damage and most sign is. Then we will come back a little later
tonight when they come out at dusk and see if we can pick a few off for them. We have
been instructed to leave them here so that they can have them for the pot as well. Nothing so bold enough to show itself in daylight.
So we are going to have to wait until we lose the light. We promise the engineers we will
leave them what we shoot. In the mean time we keep things close to home and have a look
around Steve’s back garden. Another one bites the dust. We manage to bag another couple of birds and
give some a scare. Darkness brings with it a whole range of possibilities, especially
with a night site. We can now return to the Klondyke and see what is about. So we had a pretty good show at our last knockings
and shot 4 birds as they came in to roost. 1, 2, 3 that I shot and 1 that is still flapping
around that Steve shot. So now we have come back to the Klondyke where we showed you a
bit earlier on and we are going to nip round and see if we can knock some of those rabbits
over which have been undermining the parking areas. A scan round the main site shows that nothing
is between the cherished machinery. What we need to see is what is next to the bank. Thankfully
there are eyes everywhere. There is even a meandering hedgehog. I line up the cross hairs
and the Daystate knocks down a rabbit or two, which we hope will keep the guys here happy. Good sized rabbit. Right then, I have done
my job, your turn to do yours. What? I shot it you can dress it out. We promised
we would leave one for the pot. Same old story. But he is the professional and it means there
will be a good chance we will be invited back. For more information about the Daystate Huntsman
and Daystate Mark 4AS air rifles visit www.daystate.com [Roar of stag] Now another rabbit in the proverbial head
lamp. It is David on the Fieldsports Channel News, well not Stump, but hammocky type of
thing. [Music] This is Fieldsports Britain News. We are just months away from the London Olympics
2012 and Team GB’s and Fieldsports Channel regular, Abbey Burton has just won gold in
the World Cup, in the Women’s Trap in Linate. Great Britains Burton and Spains Fatima Galvez
fought for the top place, from the first to the last shot in a neck and neck race. I remember in 2007 or 2006 I think it was,
we had a shoot off for the gold medal at the world championships. Even though she is my
friend I was still definitely determined to try and not lose to her again. The Countryside Alliance has been defending
shooting from an attack by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. The conservation charity is
launching a campaign calling for a nationwide ban on lead shot. Including a ban on the shot
used in game shooting. Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance says this is a blatant
attack on shooting and that it would create a health scare which could affect hundreds
of rural jobs. And finally we have a couple of fox stories
for you. The first is from Australia and Martin Smith who apologises for not measuring the
big one on the right, but he did not realise that no fox shooter worth his salt leaves
home nowadays without his scales, camera and tape measure. And here is another white one. Deer manager,
Craig Martin, is pictured with this impressive looking animal. Craig said it does not have
red eyes. So it must have been leucistic. You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain
News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts. [Music] Thank you David. Standards are slipping. Now
it is back to a rain soaked Blighty and Georgie Almighty. We talk to 19 times World Champion,
George Digweed, about designing clay shoots. The accident that nearly stopped his career
before it started. And of course a bit of fishing. George Digweed is a champion and a countryman.
We have done as many films about him pigeon shooting, foxing, or crow shooting as we have
about him winning clay competitions. Today he is taking us trout fishing. The weather
is appalling, but with his busy schedule, we catch up with the biggest name in shooting
when we can. I have not fished probably since the middle
of last year. And then when I fished in the middle of last year it was on a river system.
So it is a very different scenario the one I am trying today. We will give it a go. One
thing is for sure, I am not one of these purist fishermen who has to fish in a certain way.
I attempt to catch rather than be the most pure fisherman there has ever been on the
planet. You do not get to this size without a few nibbles I can tell you. As George is fishing in pretty horrible conditions,
we ask him about the worst conditions he has ever had to compete in. I think probably the worst conditions I have
ever had to shoot in were the World Championships last year, in France. We shot the second,
no, the third afternoon and we were the last people to go out and it started raining. It
just went from bad to worse and worse than that. You could not comprehend the conditions
we shot in. The water was literally, we had full waterproof clothing on, and the water
was just running out of the bottom of your trousers. It was just horrendous. Anybody
who was in it will tell you. And there were a lot of people in it at that time, because
there were 8 rotations going on. It was just the worst 3 hours you can ever imagine. So for any clay competitors out there, make
sure that if you are competing against George make sure the weather is cold and damp. And
what was nearly a real damper on George’s career was the injury he sustained from his
family’s butchery business. I have a bit of a problem when I am fishing.
Years ago, you can see look, in the butchers shop I cut all the tendons off to my wrist.
You can see the scar there, where they joined it. On a cold day like today, I tend to lose
the feeling in that hand. It makes it difficult to control the fly line. At least that is
my excuse and I am sticking to it. Does it affect your shooting then? On a cold day I can certainly feel it. But
I just use my right arm a bit more. I should not have said that. The wind is playing havoc with his tackle.
So why has he gone for this particular fly. In these conditions it is quite dark. It is
a horrible day, we should not really be out. We should be sitting in doors having a glass
of red wine. Having a glass of red wine watching the cricket on TV. It is quite a light fly
for dark conditions so I think they will see it. We have had a lot of rain here over the
last 2 or 3 days here, hence the water is quite cloudy and dirty. I just think that
something they might be able to see a little bit clearer might possibly work. But who knows
and I do not do enough fishing to understand it by any means. Before we head back for a glass of red, we
ask him about the new direction his career is taking him. Like so many professional golfers,
George is going to start designing competition clay layouts. It is a new challenge this year, which I am
quite looking forward to actually. I am going to try and design it with a not only British,
but European feel to it. We tend to shoot longer, faster targets in the UK and we tend
to shoot more edge on targets in Europe. I am also going to perhaps add a little bit
of flare to it, which will be quite nice. A couple of designs which have not been done
much before and better presentation. Hopefully we should have a good shoot. It is open to
all as long as you remember the CPSA. It would be nice to fill out the event and get everybody
down there and create a nice atmosphere. That is quite enough trout fishing for one
day. There were 2 very strong nibbles. Proof at last, the George cannot win them all. The
next time we catch up with George, let us hope the weather will be kinder. So we leave
the final word to the man to endorse today’s excursion. Anybody who says that trout fishing is idyllic
needs their brains tested. Oh well. Well George started shooting in childhood.
Here are a few more children starting shooting. It is the Schools Challenge. It is All things Bright and Beautiful at Bredon
School on the Sunday morning of the Bredon Fete shooting festival and second Schools
Challenge event of 2012. However, vicars all over the country were telling their parishioners
that morning, that due to the widespread flooding, we will omit the verse about soft, refreshing
rain. Happily nothing stops the Schools Challenge. Because of flooding on the course the organisers,
the Oxford Gun Company have moved the traps in front of the imposing school mansion. We have actually, as you can see from last
year, we are in front of the main house, which actually makes a much better back drop, because
we have had, unfortunately as you will have seen all over the news river Severn floods
in Tewkesbury. The school’s shooting ground were about 10ft under water. You can’t really
do under water shooting. David’s dad Doug feels they have really pulled
a rabbit out of the hut, or is that a rabbit out of the trap. Bredon School have always supported the Schools
Challenge. They did not want to cancel to upset the children so they have allowed us
to move from off of the front plane up to here and put it all around the house. As you
can see it is a fabulous venue. All we can do is thank Bredon School for being so accommodating. Once the kids turn up, the competition proper
gets underway. Taylor Hedgecock from Soham in Cambridgeshire is a frequent past winner. It has been good. It has been enjoyable shooting,
I really like it here. How was your sporting shoot. It was good I dropped 2. That was alright. We just saw you on the rabbit mania there.
How was that? I dropped 2 on there so that is alright. Taylor has high hopes for the competition
and is undoubtedly a shooting star of tomorrow. There is home grown talent here. Megan Bates
and brother Oscar Bates are shooting for Bredon school. I am shooting well. I am shooting high 30’s
at the moment. I shot 42 the other day at Oxford. So I am getting better slowly. It has just been a lovely atmosphere. The
weather has been lovely and it has been really nice. Not windy like a typical Bredon school.
It has been nice. The Schools Challenge is not just a clay competition.
It is a festival of shooting and there are try out stands for all kinds of shooting sports. Air gunning is a fair ground attraction. The
Bredon fete also has black powder shooting. Where visitors fire round balls from muskets.
To do this they use traditional gunpowder of the kind that saw action in the English
Civil War. A lot of the bang has gone out of modern shooting. Sponsors make this event
happen. Out of the shooting I think it has been probably
the highest so far. We have got some seriously high scores coming up. The weather is good,
everyone is enjoying themselves. It is good. We have also got a lot of new schools and
individuals, which is good. We have got a couple of new state schools which have come
into it. We have got a couple of new sponsors. We have got BSA. We have got CPSA. They have
come on board this year. So all good at the moment. At last it is the prize giving and senior
boys individual prize does indeed go to Taylor Hedgecock of Soham village college. Warwickshire
college does well. It wins senior boys team and the girls individual. Hayley Wood is from
Warwickshire college. And does Taylor Hedgecock win the rabbit mania. No he does not. It is
Will Allen. From the Schools Challenge, the future of
our sport, to hunting Youtube. Our weekly round up of the here and now. It is hunting Youtube. Showing the best hunting,
shooting, and fishing videos that Youtube has to offer this week. Tribute film to Fieldsports Channel, we are
so touched. Country Pursuits TV was upset when I got a kicking on the Channel 4 programme,
Urban Foxes Live. He has produced this. For everything that is going on last week
on that silly programme Urban Foxes Live on Channel 4. This one is for you Charlie Jacoby. Another called Stuart suggested this new film
from Yorkshire Roe Stalking, called Another Brace of Bucks. Stuart calls it nice footage
of foxes and roebucks and he is right. James Marchington filmed this young lady and
her pals ratting more than a year ago. But has only just found the time to put the film
together. It is worth the wait. This little girl is a Youtube star in the making. The Prince of Wales makes a speech about sustainable
fishing on the Royal Channel. Buckingham Palace’s very own Youtube Channel. A subject very close
to Charles’ heart. The royals have always liked subjects. It is wonderful to have royal
backing for an angling issue. But what awful filming. It looks like it was shot on her
majesty’s iphone. For example, I have particularly encouraged
the preservation of cod stocks in the north sea, which are showing signs of recovery,
for what was, only a decade ago, a much depleted fish. Well this does not happen every day. While
filming a segment for its fishing show Tales from the Outdoor Show for USA TV, B Polacough
caught this amazing footage of a 40lb Barracuda jumping into the boat. That is not the only foreign film to catch
our eye this week. BP Hunting Vids is warthog hunting with a 50 calibre muzzle loader and
shoots one at 60 yards. Lots of useful technical details. What will they think of next. Ed Gun USA, also known as Ted’s Holdover is
probably the most watched air gun channel on Youtube. In this film he gets to go shooting
in concrete silos which are no longer used by an American farmer. So he is a ok with
Ted adding holes to the roof. And going further afield, thanks to viewer
Kiwi Shoot from South Island New Zealand for sending in this one. It is a wild rabbit cull
on a 15,000 acre farm. Farmer gives Kiwi Shoot permission to go anywhere he likes as long
as he closes the gates. Here he is using a 223 round, because as he says, a body shot
will also kill it instantly due to the shock. How right he is. 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 8, then
send it in via Youtube, or email me the link on [email protected] Well, we are back next week when we will be
here in Namibia, with Zeiss the fabulous sports optic company’s Blaser, the brilliant rifle
maker and Norma the most superb ammunition. Now if you want to subscribe to our show,
you can click on the button which appears somewhere on the outside of the screen there
or we are indeed a Youtube show these days. Go to www.youtube.com/show/fieldsportsbritain
. Or you can go to our website. We have one www.fieldsportschannel.tv Scroll down to the
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