The whining, yes it was definitely the whining that first got my attention. As I was relatively new to the shooting scene I wasn’t sure what to make of it, having been invited along for some beating on a crisp November morning I was standing looking towards the Guns. I was like a sponge, keenly absorbing everything around me. However, I was also sadly absorbing quite an annoying noise. My introduction to game shooting came from one of the local farming families. It was their eldest son who stood at his peg with a liver and white English springer spaniel, and it was this dog that was frequently whining in what would otherwise have been a wonderful setting and experience. 

I was on the flank so I could see both the Guns and beaters on this frosty morning, with the last few leaves on the trees providing a picturesque blend of autumn colours. The gentle tapping of the beaters’ sticks in the distance added to the air of anticipation. It was as if a great play was about to start in a theatre, apart from that noise again, the whining. The spaniel’s high pitched emanations kept piercing the perfect bubble of this traditional sporting scene and new to it as I was it was evidently not a welcome ingredient in this otherwise heady mix of sporting bliss.

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