• Browning Blog: Pest management in the United kingdom (fox and rabbit)

    Pest management in the United Kingdom

    In my opinion, small game starts with rabbits and stops with foxes: I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you, that both of the above populations require careful management across the country. I can say with confidence that almost every single hunter would pull the trigger if he saw a fox in front of him, in the right situation.

  • Browning Blog : Hurray for the empty bag!

    Hurray for the empty bag!

    Ah, the empty bag! Every hunter has come back with it, and no hunter looks forward to it! Empty, but usually with a bitter tinge of disappointment and a bitter feel; it can put you in a bad mood, even make you insufferable to friends and family…

    But what would hunting be without it? What pleasure would we get from the battue, the night in the hide, or the walk-up, if the possibility of the empty bag never loomed in our mind?

    The fear of leaving empty-handed

    Every hunter knows this grim paradox. Waiting for the bird, looking for the hare, casting the hounds after the boar, we all hope the quarry will appear in our sights, presenting us with a shot – fairly and squarely, of course!

    Yet the possibility of it not happening, of our efforts and stratagems and trusted techniques being fruitless and for nothing, adds piquancy to our excitement.

    Learning patience through hunting

    It has often been said that hunting provides a master class in patience, and so it does; but it also teaches us to master the possibility of failure, though without ever truly succeeding, thankfully.

    For surely the most wonderful and deepest aspect of the hunt is precisely the fact that the lure of the marsh or the woods does not wane, despite, or perhaps because of, the times we come back empty-handed. In it is a touch of sublimated instinct that brings us truly to life and, in some way, keeps us from apathy.

    I have never understood that hunters can be blasé, personally: for me, it’s a complete contradiction in terms, and maybe returning from the hunt empty-handed serves to protect us from a state of mind that by its nature shuts out wonderful excitement. Especially as we always do “see” something out on the hunt: we just have to open our eyes and ears…

    An example, to illustrate

    Picture the scene – which won’t be difficult as many of our readers have been in similar situations. I’m standing at the foot of an enormous oak tree, bang in the middle of a forest. Most of the leaves have fallen; a tenacious, cloaking mist hangs all around; I know that the easterly wind of the last few days has brought in a fair number of wood pigeons. All bodes well for the “on-the-branch” shooting I’m hoping for, wrapped snugly in my hunting jacket, gloves on hands and balaclava pulled tight…

    The first few minutes see birds speeding over the treetops, followed by others, then more still. I’m sure that some among them end up roosting within range of my shotgun.

    The minutes go by and turn into an hour, two hours; night is looming and I still haven’t shouldered once; my chances are fading, but I still believe. Around me I can hear whistling and flapping wings; I catch a glimpse of a shadow of these lightly “mocking” birds; some have settled further away, but too far away, and with no way to get nearer… We’ve been there before: who’s the pigeon, now? At the end of the day, Lady Luck didn’t smile on me; time to take down the lofting poles and go home.

    A stronger state of mind

    Disappointing, yes, because I believed. It all looked so promising… But the conundrum, the great conundrum, is that tomorrow and the day after that, a year and ten years from now, despite everything, I’ll still believe. And the day I do come away with a fine bag, maybe on a day when the conditions are conspiring against me, I’ll remember the times I left without a harvest, the countless empty bags, the fruitless waits and frustrated efforts that make the successes so meaningful.

    This modest example of a fruitless pigeon hunt can be applied to every hunting discipline, of course. It merely shows that the heart of the hunt is hope permanently fed by desire. So, hurray for the empty bag!

  • Browning Blog : Offseason preparation and training

    Offseason preparation and training

    Hunting seasons are very different from one country to the next, and that is exactly why I consider myself a very lucky man. I live and hunt in England where technically hunting happens all year round. If you are lucky enough to have permission to hunt the ground where muntjac is present, then you will have deer stalking for 365 days a year. Muntjac, rabbits, pigeon, wild boar, crows and foxes can be hunted all year round and most of the above (except muntjac) can be shot at night too.

  • Browning Blog : Mistakes we have all made them

    Mistakes, We have All made them !

    We can learn a lot from our mistakes, so here are a few lessons that I have seen or heard that you will hopefully not be repeat

  • Browning-blog-miguel-angel-moraleda-wildlife-artist

    Miguel Angel Moraleda: Wildlife artist

    Hunting is much more than just a sport or a hobby: it’s a true philosophy of life and we haven’t yet fully understood all the issues it raises.  Since time immemorial, it has inspired the cultural world – in its widest sense – and particularly, pictorial art. 

  • browning-blog-top-10-excuses-poor-marksmanshis

    Top 10 excuses for poor marksmanship

    In Belgium, we’re used to making fun of our French neighbours, and especially their ability to find excuses whenever their national football team loses a match.  “It was too windy,” “the pitch was as bad as the ref,” “the ball was flat,” etc.  Fair game, I hear you say, since our French friends are past masters in the art of making fun of Belgians.

  • browning-blog-brexit-what-about-shooters

    Brexit blues : What about shooters?

    So what might happen to shooters after the UK leaves the European community, here are some thoughts. 

  • browning-blog-top-10-excuses-going-hunting

    The top 10 excuses for going hunting

    During each period between hunting seasons, the same thing happens. You dismantle, clean and reassemble your weapons up to six times a day. You stockpile so much ammunition that you have to close off certain parts of your home. At night, you alternate between hunting and erotic dreams. Your Sundays punctuated with family meals and naps in front of Inspector Derrick are as joyful as a congress of forensic pathologists.

  • browning-blog-cleaning-rifle

    How to clean your rifle after a hunting day

    Think your rifle does not need a bit of tender love and care; then think again!

    When it comes to keeping your guns clean; rifled firearms need to be given the biggest consideration. Fouling will start to fill up the rifling groves that spin the bullet to stabilise it. Compounding this is the copper that comes off the jacket, which also has to go!

  • The hunt: a boost to the economy!

    Opponents of hunting are often hermetically sealed against any arguments that hunters might advance. Regulation? They either do not believe in it or do not want to believe. The support it provides to farmers and breeders? An unacceptable rural conspiracy, and so on…

  • A weapon for lefties, for skillful shooting

    Lefties make up about 10 to 15% of the population. When it comes to guns it is only natural that they have specific needs. Browning wants to address this issue by launching a range that will certainly be expanded. 

  • Everything you need to know about deer management

    Deer shooting is a popular sport in the UK and is undertaken at many levels. From the novice stalking their first beast, professional hunters who shoot for the pleasure and challenge of the hunt and or venison.

  • The XPO Pro gets the Scottish seal of approval!

    Full-time Scottish deer stalker, Brent Norbury, puts our XPO Pro set through its paces in the Scottish highlands!

  • Lyme’s Disease – Be Tick Aware!

    Ticks are present in many parts of the UK and across Europe and the number of reported cases of Lyme, though small, is rising each year. Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in the Northern Hemisphere. It is estimated to affect around 65,000 people a year in Europe. Infections are most common in the spring and early summer. The aim of this blog post is to raise awareness of lyme’s disease and to offer tips on how to avoid being bitten by ticks.

  • Pictures of the month / Browning wildlife wallpapers

    Pictures of the month – April 2016

    These high definition images are for you – feel free to download them (right click – ‘Save As’)

  • The Wife of a Hunter

    The Wife of a Hunter, a full-time job?

    Catherine Delaunay takes the reader into the mind of a hunter’s wife – she shares her thoughts and opinions on the matter, and how her understanding of such certain lifestyle has changed for the better!