Ian Woodcock, gamekeeper
Saturday 23 September 1995
"Then I jump into my truck and go around my beat, checking traps for vermin. Sometimes my dogs catch a rabbit, which I feed to my ferrets.
"When I come back, it's time to take the broody bantams off their nests. Nowadays they use artificial heating to rear chicks, but I stick to tradition, with hens playing surrogate mother to the eggs I collect in the wild. I keep a record of when the eggs are put down and know exactly which day they'll hatch.
"At 9am I have breakfast and plan my day. On hatch days I transport the baby chicks out to runs in a field. I `bit' the pheasants with rings through their nostrils to stop them pecking each other to death. Every bird counts, and if they die I take it personally.
"When the pheasants are big enough they go into pens in the hedgerows. After three weeks they're free to leave, but they still fly back when I call them. Some of my neighbours aren't very cooperative, they grow sweetcorn the other side of the fence to tempt my pheasants.
"I visit the pens after lunch, then return to the rearing fields to move the coops on to fresh grass. Pheasants are remarkably stupid, and if we do it without trapping a leg we've done well.
"At 7pm I feed my dogs, then it's teatime, when I talk to my wife about the day. After tea, I put the chicks away for the night. Then I stand and listen for a bit. If one's crying, I know it's not under its mother and I have to start again.
"Once a week I go out rabbit-shooting, about 9pm. We shoot for an hour, then come in for a drink, then go out again with a lamp looking for foxes.
"I'm only half asleep at night, anxious about what might happen. It's like this seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. It's not a job, it's a way of life, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it."
Ian Woodcock was talking to Tony Kelly
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Sick elderly man makes 'complete turnaround' after emotional reunion with dog
- 2 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 3 Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
- 4 Ebola cruise ship ‘in utter panic’ as Mexico and Belize refuse to let it dock
- 5 Death of northern white rhino leaves just six of endangered animals left in the world
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...