Thursday, 12 July 2012

CLA Game Fair 2012 - CANCELLED

Sadly, I have to report that the countryside extravaganza that is the CLA Game Fair - this year taking place at Belvoir Castle, Grantham in Leicestershire - has been cancelled.

Another major casualty of the inclement British summer we're experiencing, and a major loss not only for the show organisers, but also for the many traders who rely on the business they do both at, and subsequent to, the Fair.

A shame - I'm sure most show-goers (and exhibitors) would be more than happy to brave the weather with Barbours and wellies... but this is Britain, and all the red-tape that surrounds these public events was simply too much to cut through... even for the Country Land and Business Association.

CLA Director General Helen Woolley said: "I am extremely sad to say the heavy rain in the run-up to this year's CLA Game Fair has left us with no choice but to take the heartbreaking decision to cancel the show. It is a devastating blow for the CLA team, contractors, exhibitors and the hoards of visitors and guests who make the CLA Game Fair the world's greatest country show.

"I feel enormously sorry for all those who were so looking forward to this year's event. The CLA Game Fair will return next year."

More can be found on the Game Fair's website here.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


The Shooting Show: sub-12ft/lb .177 Air Wolf v rimfire .17HMR 

It's often a question I'm asked - which is best: rimfire or air rifle? It's usually followed by a further question, relating to the air rifle: sub-12ft/lb or FAC-rated?

There's probably no 'right' answer - each has their merits as explained in the video shot for TheShootingShow channel on YouTube, where I was invited along to shoot rabbits with my 11ft/lb .177 calibre Air Wolf alongside a .17HMR pest controller on his patch of land.

In the (fairly short) time we each had, the score was 2-2 - though I picked up both my bunnies, and Mark, the .17 shooter, only one as he unfortunately had a 'runner'.

The grass was very long, and there was a strong breeze, so even though I had a great vantage point on top of the 4x4, I chose to limit my range. As tempting as the bunnies were at 50 yards, off a bipod, the land was alien to me and the conditions just added that little bit too much of a risk. My rabbits were therefore taken at 38 and 43 yards (I used a laser rangefinder to mark points beforehand).

Mark took his rabbits around 20 yards further on - and could easily have stretched that range further if it wasn't for the stems of the long grass blowing about in the breeze.

We shooters agreed that for out-and-out pest control, the rimfire probably had the advantage - but Mark (who hasn't shot an air rifle in years) was suitably impressed with the air rifle's capability... and the fact that it was so accurate even in the wind on 40 yarders. Plus, of course, this head-to-head finished even-stevens.

That said, we were both minced by the 'third' competitor in the challenge - long nets!

Watch the full video here.