We’re a month removed from The Game Fair, but it is still strong in our memory as we take a look at some of news and notable developments.
Boots were naturally popular throughout the weekend – and there are few better than Ariat’s impressive range of wellies and hill boots. At The Game Fair, they told us they’ve just launched women’s versions of their popular Catalyst Defiant hunting boot.
Ariat’s VP James Wilson said, “It’s packed with all the features you get in the men’s version. Durability, comfort – products that are really built for the consumer.” Also check out the new zipped version of their Burford welly, set to hit the market in November.
Staying with footwear – well, sort of… Le Chameau is known first and foremost for its top-end footwear, but at The Game Fair, it launched something entirely different: a range of shooting jackets, made primarily with game shots in mind but really suitable for any field sport or outdoor activity.
The jacket has been redesigned with flexibility in mind – in fact the slogan Le Chameau has adopted to promote them is “Designed to move in the countryside”.
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Year of the Gamekeeper
It’s official: 2020 is going to be the Year of the Gamekeeper. At a packed eception at The Game Fair, BASC chairman Eoghan Cameron launched the initiative, designed to support the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust with funds and recognition, and welcomed a number of sporting greats who support the scheme as well as the GWT’s own Helen Benson.
By asking every gamekeeper and member of the shooting community to do one thing next year to raise funds for the GWT, the organisation hopes to raise £220,000. You can do your bit by heading to the website below and clicking the ‘Support our work’ link.
Gamekeepers Welfare Trust
British Game Alliance
At one of the British Game Alliance’s popular game cookers demos, we got the chance to find out more about the organisation, which offers a quality assurance scheme and self-regulatory body that ensures that game meat that enters the food chain comes with provenance and meets a quality standard. 550 shoots have signed up so far, and by the end of 2020 the BGA hopes to have 1,000 shoots on board.
On top of that, the BGA is a marketing board, providing recipes and initiatives to get more game meat stocked in restaurants, pubs and shops. “The opportunity for game is massive, and we just need to get it active, out there and promoted within the market – promoting it as a healthy and sustainable alternative to chicken,” said the BGA’s managing director, Tom Adams.
British Game Alliance
The UK’s largest shooting organisation was out in force, supporting its members and answering queries – and doing a couple of things you might not expect too. Head of biodiversity Ian Danby showed us their new recycling drive – encouraging shooters to recycle their cartridges and minimise the amount of plastics deposited in the countryside.
“That’s something that’s really worked with people,” he said. “It’s not something they were expecting to come here and see, but they’ve really engaged with it.”
He also encouraged everyone to read up their shooting law after the General Licence debacle: “There’s too many people out there making posts on social media who blatantly don’t understand how General Licences work and responsibilities. Read them, understand them, abide by them.”
Wicked Lights Rekon sticks
They were tested by Mike Powell in the last issue of Sporting Rifle, and at The Game Fair we got another chance to see the ultra-popular Rekon sticks in the flesh.
Ashley Thompson from Scott Country demonstrated the tripod’s huge range of adjustment – in terms of height, tilt or pan through 360 degrees. “It’s an excellent piece of kit, especially for long nights out foxing,” said Ashley.
“People are amazed by all the different positions you can use it in, from prone all the way to standing.”
Atop Thomas Jacks’ impressive night vision tunnel and viewing platform, we got a view of something truly tantalising: the Sightline night vision scope from Yukon. Brand new this year, the first samples arrived in the UK only a few days before the show.
Fitting between the Yukon Photon and the Pulsar Digisight price-wise, it’ll retail around £889 – an amazing price for what it offers. The N470, for example, offers 6-24x magnification range, the highest Yukon has ever reached on one of its units.
With custom hearing protection all the range among shooters of all kinds, we caught up with one of CENS’ approved dealers, Plugzz, to see a casting in progress of the new DX plugs, and find out more about how the technology works.
“There are several plugs in the range. The DX1 is the new universal program, with long-life batteries as standard and the option for passive models as well,” said Paul Lincoln of Plugzz.
“Then there’s the DX3, which has a game program, a clay program and a tactical mode. And the DX5, the premier model in the range launched a year or two back. It’s been going down really well.”