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Written by a Wiltshire farmer who has enjoyed 60 years of field sports.
I was lucky enough to have been brought up on a large farm in Wiltshire with our garden running down to the River Avon. This being the case, it is not surprising, therefore, that we grew up to accept hunting, shooting and fishing as part of our lives. As children, we all had ponies, the .410 was a prized possession of boys and with the river, the fish has little peace in the summer holidays. Now approaching the age when it is considered wise to cut down on some of our former activities, fishing is the only field sport left. The guns have been sold and horses, at least for me to ride, are a no-go area according to my wife! But I have always kept records and/or diaries to remind me in my later years of the fun we used to enjoy, whether hunting, shooting or fishing. I always said I would one day collate the various notebooks, game books, fishing records, etc. to illustrate how things used to be, primarily, to be honest, for my own enjoyment, but to do it in book form in case anyone was ever interested in publishing it. Starting at Michaelmas, the traditional start of the farming year, shooting is first up. Grouse shooting (although not in Wiltshire) starts on the 12th. August, partridges on the 1st of September and pheasants on the 1st of October. The opening meet of the local foxhounds is on or near the 1st of November and the hunting season lasts until March or April, by which time fishing is upon us. With trout fishing starting on the 15th. April you can see that the all-round filed sportsman can enjoy his sport throughout the year and this I have endeavoured to convey in this book.