Vol. 5 Num. 1
DECEMBER - JANUARY 2017 ISSUE
As the wingshooting seasons continue to unfold this year into next, we move deeper into the experience of traditions that bind us to the elements we love about the sport. We’re part of a collective, members of the international wingshooting tribe, and the gear and shotguns we use and clothes we wear announce our identities.
For one family and their well-known business, these outdoor traditions stretch over generations and are passed along to and nurtured among family members—and shared with customers worldwide. We’re speaking of The Orvis Company, at which the latest generation of Perkins brothers join their father, uncle, and grandfather in helping to define and refine what it means to love the outdoors lifestyle. Based amid Vermont’s Green Mountains, Orvis is the longest-running mail-order business in the United States, founded in 1856 in Manchester, Vermont. Please see our feature, “Family Ties.”
We delve further into traditions with our continuing series on best London shotguns, and introduce the Covey Rise Gentleman’s Shotgun currently being built in the UK. In this issue, best London shotgun authority Chris Batha begins to tell us how the guns are manufactured, with specific descriptions of how the action comes together. This gunmaking process has changed little since the 1800s. Which fact also is very much true for gamekeeping, a profession that endures at estates throughout the UK. First and foremost, the gamekeeper is responsible for the health and perpetuation of wildlife on the estates, especially gamebirds. As the author Roger Catchpole writes, it’s part art, and part science.
US hunters—particularly those in the Northeast, Midwest, and along the Atlantic Coast, where woodcock are found—will be delighted to learn about woodcock shooting in the UK, specifically on Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The birds migrate through these UK Western Isles just as they do through parts of the US on their journey from summers in Canada and the northern states to wintering grounds in the Southeast.
Our “Conservation” department this time is about the recovery of snipe, a close cousin of woodcock though snipe tend to inhabit marshy lowlands or meadow wetlands. The author, Chris Madson, writes about his own lifelong reverence for these birds, and shares the great news about their recovery. Enjoy making and reflecting upon your own upland traditions throughout the seasons.