8th November 2016 A long day on grouse at Bransdale Pictures from Roland, Daniel and a few others – THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH! Bransdale is one of the most isolated dales in the North York Moors National Park and is rarely visited as compared with Farndale and Rosedale for example. 18'000 acres belong to the Bransdale estate; that means the moor provides six separate driven days grouse shooting over a huge range of different terrain. After all the helpers have met in the morning they change their own cars to other vehicles. Flankers and beaters sit together with their dogs in Pinzgauers (Austrian military cars from the Swiss army!)... ...the picker-upers use four by fours and about 10 - 16 Dogs are sitting in the back! Everything is squeezed in - even our "big" Lockthorns! And off it goes over very steep pathways - up and down! Just arrived at the destination. The beaters and flankers are ready to start. They walk in a huge line and push the grouse against the guns. You need to have quite a good condition to walk on this ground... ...and it needs some experience to push the grouse in the right direction... ...towards the butts. Only good guns are able to hit the fast flying birds! When the flankers have finished they return to their pinzgauers where the drivers are already waiting for them. Now it's time for the picker-upers and their dogs. Now it's time for the picker-upers and their dogs. ...and each wants to be the first! The "unloading" looks quite spectacular... ...but soon everything has settled down. The picker-upers with their dogs arrange to walk in a line - as the beaters did before. The dogs hunt the ground systematically to find shot grouse... ...in front of their handlers. Depending on the ground it's quite exhausting... ...and it is much easier with four legs than with two! As soon as the dogs find a grouse they retrieve it. The rest of the gang is not allowed to compete for its "prey" even if it is wounded game - that takes practice! Small can be that big! For every shooting day about 6 picker-upers will be needed - each with about 5 to 15 Dogs! This number of dogs is necessary - the area is so spacious! Tough for the dogs (just for the dogs????)... ...and from time to time you need a break! Lunch break between the drives (normally five a day):... ...a well-deserved cooling-down for the dogs! Feeling stronger everybody meets again. And off it goes over hill and dale... ...over streams,... ...through bracken,... ...uphill and downhill! Downhill? Well... ...OK, let's do it! The end of a long day is not far off. A last glance at the scenery... ...a last and thankful glance at the dogs... ...a last glance in the eyes of a happy dog,... ...and then everybody walks back. Tired dogs wait to jump into the cars... ...and get something to drink. It was an exciting, tiring,... ...it was a beautiful day!