The Countryman's Weekly

Wildfowling

Wildfowling
December 04
08:06 2019

A morning of mist and mallard on riverbank

By Alan Jarrett.

EVEN if my love is for the wildness of the estuary and the saltmarsh sport on offer, there are other sporting opportunities which can be both challenging and highly enjoyable. Flighting followed by hunting on the riverbank can be a satisfying way of spending a day and it’s something I do a few times every season.

The alarm jangled me awake at 4am, and then we set out on our long journey to carry out the plan – at least the dog could sleep while I drove! My aim was to flight one section of river, move off for breakfast and then hunt out a mile or more of ditch and riverside in the hope of a mallard or pheasant.

The first impediment was thick fog for the first few miles, and any attempt to hurry in case we would be late for the morning flight was thwarted by commonsense. Better to arrive late in one piece, than not arrive at all.

The fog soon cleared and allowed the speedometer to record a sensible rate of travel, but even so we hit patchy fog throughout the trip. Yet we arrived in good time, and the walk to the riverbank as the sky began to crack open in the east was fog-free.

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