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Donkin's World: Devon Shoot With Red Bullets

Richard Donkin has fun with a gun in the county of Devon.

No bird farm lived up to its reputation this year as our full day walked-up shoot with nine guns accounted for one pheasant, one pigeon and a crow. A heavy night in the pub on the Thursday had dampened our enthusiasm but at least the sun shone and we avoided the kind of downpours afflicting the north west.

As members of this once-a-year shooting group move well in to their fifties, the urge - when not shooting, at least - to behave like little boys allowed to run rampant for the weekend does not seem to be receding. The infantile sport of hiding things is undiminished. This year a Range Rover was spirited away.

In revenge, its owner hid the keys to two other cars that would be needed on the Saturday, the day of the driven shoot. Unfortunately he hid them before going to bed and the next morning could not remember where. So the whole house was turned upside down until the keys were found in an airing cupboard.

It usually takes a few pints on the Friday night before we have any kind of a bust up but this year a tussle started between the two brothers in our party just as we reached the bar of the pub. Outside in the car park one of them had snatched the spectacles of the other and thrown them on to a high van roof. As both of them are somewhat vertically challenged, and since the despectacled one could not see without them, his glasses were stuck there.

Fortunately a young chap climbed on to the van and retrieved them. The van belonged to the young man's band called The Red Bullets and they are really very good, singing all their own stuff. Check them out here. http://www.myspace.com/redbullets The van climber is their lead singer and songwriter, Peter Edwards. He's a real talent.

In fact they are one of those groups you get the feeling are on the cusp of being discovered and signed to a record label by one of those people who do that kind of thing. This is where the real creative talent is - in pubs and small venues up and down the country, not the X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent.

These guys will be successful through a combination of talent, hard work, constant practice and regular performances. There wasn't much space between the band and the drinkers on Friday, but just enough for our smallest shooter - yes the one who threw the specs, hid the keys and had his own car hidden - to squeeze in to a space at the front and begin dancing Dave Brent-style "sort of fused Flash Dance with M C Hammer shit'' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_au0UUHI2aI He was, as the barmaid told him with a bit of prompting, "awesome" or was it "simply the best"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4mMI0wd0OE&feature=related

The driven shoot on the Saturday, meanwhile, was fairly restrained in comparison. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkM2Se3tqaU&feature=related


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