Feeling at home with the rifle

22nd February 2014

Wednesday 29th January 2014

The morning was taken up by assessments, first up we had field observations – tracks, signs, birds, insects and plants (the latter included botanical names) etc. There were 75 questions in all and I felt pretty confident afterwards. Then we had a bird slide and sound test, the results were pretty much instantaneous and I was happy with my performance. Luckily we broke for breakfast before the final two tests of the day. The first was navigation which I know I’m rubbish at and finally a scenario test for “viewing potentially dangerous animals”.

Once the tests were over it was straight onto preparations for tomorrows “Assessment Walks”, I’m leading in the morning and then backing Ben up in the afternoon. There was still time for fitness but my energy levels were really low and I struggled. I managed to find the energy to finish the session before recharging over lunch. Then it was time for walkies once again, this time I was “Back up” to Ben which was good practice for tomorrow. Walking with the rifle is becoming a lot more natural, you almost forget that it’s there when you get it into a comfy position.

Out of fifteen of us only ten had decided to see this final part of the course through to the end and do the “Trails Guide” assessment. This combined with the fact that six were on a sleep out meant that only a few of us went on our walk. When we got back the others had got tucked into the beers and were having themselves a bit of a party. I managed to grab one beer for myself but that wasn’t until just before bed as I was finishing my final reading ahead of tomorrow’s assessment.

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