I always enjoyed shooting - I was at Bisley a couple of times in the late 70s as a cadet in the Air Training Corps - and I carried on during my time in the RAF. Mostly full bore, but some .22 and pistol shooting. Its a great sport. I still love guns, and I still shoot. The thought of hunting never really appealed to me though- I don't see how it can be considered fun to shoot a living creature, unless they are IRA, in which case that's something of a public service, of course.
So there I was, just a few short days ago, driving through Yorkshire and admiring the scenery, when a fantastic idea occurred to me. Country sports are often considered to be somewhat exclusive, and inaccessible to many. So it occurred to me that it would be a good thing to 'democratise' the concept, and to make it more accessible by opening up what seems to me to be a whole new sector in field sports.
Think about it - there are hundreds of thousands of them on the Yorksire dales. They don't actually do anything except chew cud or whatever, and they are slow movers, so hunting sheep would be a great way of getting into the sport. Even an Afghan on poppy seeds couldn't miss one of those.
This idea could even be extended to include a whole new concept in hunting - the machine gun. If you were a sheep, what would you prefer, being electrocuted, then hung up by the hind legs and slaughtered in front of all your pals, or would you rather take a couple of rounds of 7.62 in the side of the head whilst peacefully gazing across the moors?
Think how much money this would inject into the subsidy industry (or farming, as it used to be called).
I don't really understand sheep. But it occurred to me as I was wistfully watching them and considering the best angle to go for a head shot, that these animals are sadly unaware of their purpose in life. Think about it - of all the zillions of sheep that ever lived, not a single one of them ever had any idea of how nice they taste.