I have always rated it, marginally, over any other part of gundog work, however, there are always a few grey areas. 😉 I hope seasoned pickers up will appreciate this:
A Keeper says as a briefing to his pickers up….:
” Yes well you know… stick to the rules… but make your own judgement call most times. Never nick a bird when a gun has a dog, but, then again, never trust any of the guns dogs to actually pick the birds – so if its Harry, John, Frank A, Frank C or Micky Useless then send your dog immediately when he shoots at something. It will NOT be dead.
Only pick running birds during the drive. This is an UNSHAKEABLE rule…. But, then again, probably best send even if stone dead incase they are only pricked. Only pick up dead birds AFTER the whistle…. unless you are so far away you can’t HEAR the whistle then probably best make your own judgement on if i’ve blown it…. because I don’t want you standing down there in 100 mile hollow, like a tit in a trance, if you could be doing something useful to earn your twenty quid.
If its a last years Cock Bird then please pick it during the drive. BUT if its a ‘this year’ Cock please hang on till the end. You will know the difference by the fact that as they fly over you at twenty miles an hour you will PLAINLY see that their tail feathers are a quarter of an inch longer on a ‘last years’ Cock. And there is a twenty quid fine for anyone who gets it wrong…
Oh and please report ALL cases of dangerous shooting to me immediately and we shall deal with them in the strongest manner. UNLESS, of course, the gun is me, my best mate Larry Lowshot (hes such a laugh at the Christmas Do we couldn’t be without him…!) my father in law, or the landowner. Also excluded are the husband of the lady who bakes us blinding cakes for teatime, the rich git who drives a 400 mile trip to shoot and is a Loader for Prince William or the pretty lady I quite fancy who’s husband just pegged off…drifts off…. by GOD she has some REALLY tight breeks on today…… drools a bit…. snaps back to the job in hand….
SO please adhere STRICTLY to these crystal clear instructions…. and you might JUST get asked back…. ”
😉 😉 😉 ……….
Thomas had his first days picking up this Saturday. I can say, without bias, that he was an uncomplicated, mature, level headed, interested, OBVIOUSLY raw but ‘keen to understand what I wanted’ individual! He was an idiot before we started, hands up! He charged round the farmyard saying ‘Hi!’ to everyone like the over social individual he really is, but then come first drive, he settled straight away, and whilst nothing taxing was asked of him, he gave me the feeling ‘This youngster will be fine… ‘, and I hope readers will understand that on all the important points. He was a Picking up dog First, and a Brown dog second. And THAT is how I like it!