MARCH 2016 BLOG: SHOOTING IN MAURITIUS; FIRST AMONG EQUALS; SUNSHINE AND STORMS; 2016 BOOKINGS; OUR NEW INSTRUCTOR

Mauritius and new shooting
DSC_8319We were fortunate to escape to the sunshine in February for a trip to Mauritius. Neither of us had been before and this nation with its peaceful population of Hindus, Muslims and Christians was a revelation. The lush green tropical island was formed from the caldera of multiple volcanos and is now characterised by sugarcane, rum, vanilla, flowers, mountains, coral reefs and golden beaches.

Mauritius was also where Gerald Durrell did so much conservation work, notably on the Pink Pigeon, Mauritian Fruit Bat and rare Mauritius Kestrel, all of which we saw in their wild environment. In the creation of an interesting circle Andrew worked with the Durrells at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust on the groundbreaking Celebes Macaque enclosure so he was delighted to see the success of JWPT projects in Mauritius.

A happy chance meeting led to us spending a day looking at local game and wildlife in the company of Dominique Thévenau who runs Mauritius Fishing & Hunting Safaris.

DSC_8371Dominique’s knowledge and experience (he spent many years as a PH in South Africa) was inspiring: he not only manages a huge estate that employs several locals, but has a wealth of knowledge about hunting and shooting, animal management and biodiversity, was charming and modest and had an appealing fondness for chocolate. Yes, we liked him.

We are currently liaising with Dominique to offer WMS clients a chances to visit Mauritius for some sustainable hunting of the local Rusa deer (found nowhere else in the world) and wild boar, which provide much appreciated food for the locals and keep populations of these animals healthy.

On the fishing side Dominique takes clients fly fishing and spinning on the seaward side of the island’s reefs for bone fish, dorado, trevally, tuna and more.

Let us know if you’d be interested in a trip to Mauritius to hunt or fish.

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First among equals
WMS runs a “First Among Equals” policy when it comes to showcasing shooting kit. This means we are not restricted by any “pro user” agreement with a specific brand. We showcase what we like, simple as that.

This allows our clients to compare optics from the likes of Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Minox and Nightforce, and rifles from manufacturers such as Blaser, Mauser, Brno, Howa, Savage, Steelcore and Remington.

So if you want some new kit, don’t just look at it in a gunshop, come and try it here and hone your shooting skills at the same time. Then you can decide what suits you and your shooting before parting with your hard-earned cash.

IMG_1430Sunshine and storms
In common with the rest of rural Britain, we are weathering the succession of storms and looking forwards to spring proper and some dryer weather.
We have been running clients days throughout the winter for hardy souls who enjoy an additional challenge of wind and rain and it is of course good preparation for those tough hunts.

On a positive note our new moving target system is fully installed and we are just awaiting some dry weather for final ground works.

We’ll be testing and filming the system later this month so look out for some new videos popping up on social media.

2016 bookings
Bookings are busy for 2016 with dates going fast so if you want to shoot and train with us we recommend calling us sooner rather than later, especially if you want to prepare for a hunt you’ve already booked.

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To meet demand we’ve increased our training capacity this year by taking on another instructor. Chris Parkin is a highly-regarded shooting journalist and all around excellent rifle shot who has a wealth of knowledge about rifles and scopes.

Chris, who has tested and reviewed much of the kit on the market, will bring his technical engineering knowledge and analytical mind to complement WMS’s training services.

We are booking clients on days with Chris from April onwards and know he will be enormously popular.

Andrew will still be providing training on the majority of our bespoke one-to-one and two-to-one days while Alan and Helena are also available to act as a guides for experienced groups who want to use our facilities for their own practice days.

We wish all our friends, clients and colleagues a great Spring and look forward to seeing you at WMS.
Andrew and Helena