Some good friends invited us to join us for two days of woodcock shooting on Islay this week, with Islay Estates. It had been recommended by Jonathan Young, editor of The Field, as one of the most fun shooting trips. Well it certainly lived up to the billing!
Given this week’s storms I think we were lucky to get on and off the island at all, but the ferries ran to time, we were very well looked after at the Bridgend Hotel and we had two excellent days shooting. Scott and Alan from Islay Estates took us out both days and were both knowledgeable and excellent company.
The first day the weather was forecast to be terrible so we kept to the woods around the hotel. As it turned out the rain held off until the end of the day but we saw lots of birds and had some excellent shooting. The next day were in open scrub, a mixture of birch and whin. Again we saw plenty of sport with pointers helping to point and flush the birds (well, helping most of the time anyway).
The final bag for the two days was 19 woodcock, 1 snipe and 2 pheasants. There were a couple of woodcock not picked and we saw plenty of birds during the two days. If you want some relaxed but energetic shooting on a lovely island, go to Islay.