After a full on busy season, I have had my one day off, I did promise myself the whole of February but it never happens and what lays before me now is the task of bringing in all the equipment, which is a mammoth job in itself. We must bring it in, clean it, repair anything that needs it and disinfect it for the next season.
We always leave a certain number of feeders out to carry the birds left over through to April/May time, depending on the weather. The land has finally started to dry out after the wettest season ever. At least now we can get to places that haven’t been possible for months. Walking over a ploughed field with a sack of feed over my shoulder is nearly a distance memory.
All the vehicles are steam cleaned and any maintenance is carried out. It is nice to spend some time in a warm workshop for a change instead of outside in the elements. We once found a dead rat in one of the keepers’ trucks, I personally think a beater put it there for a joke but the live mouse running across the dashboard is another story! I really must not let them get into the state they do but that’s gamekeeping.
Our new gun bus has been a great success but does not look like it did at the start of the season anymore.
This is also a great time of the year to take my Patterdales out with me while the gundogs are resting up. They spend the day with me in and out of the truck, running through the cover crop and doing what Patterdales do best, enjoying themselves and digging out a few rats. Lovely.