The Season at Teasses now comes to an end and all the hard work of the previous months can be reflected on. It has been a tough year for raising game birds on the estate. First we had tremendous amounts of snow and wind in the early months which took us into what turned out to be a very dry summer, counting three days of rain from May to August – a very rare thing for Scotland. The drought across the summer decimated the insect population on the estate which in turn meant that our game birds were under some pressure. However the population of pheasants, partridge, woodcock and duck have proven once again to be fit and healthy. Raised on the organic estate the difficulties facing our game birds were soon forgotten as the rain clouds finally broke in late August. As soon as the wildflowers and grasses started to grow again, the insect population was quickly restored. The organic approach on Teasses supports the entire ecosystem of the one-thousand acres, not only the farm livestock but the native and natural inhabitants too. With a restored invertebrate population our birds soon fattened-up in time for the Season to begin.
The Shoot at Teasses this Season was particularly successful with guests visiting from all over the planet. We’d like to thank everyone who attended shoots at Teasses and we do hope you’ll quickly book up days for a repeat performance in the forthcoming Season. We’d also like to thank the dedicated gamekeeping team; Kenny, Jordan, all of the beaters and dog handlers. The days certainly wouldn’t have been such a success without your contribution.
We are pleased to share with you some insights from a regular guest and friend of the estate, James Field, who has shot at Teasses annually for the last ten years. The excerpts are taken from an article James wrote about a days shoot at Teasses.
…Teasses Estate in Ceres, which is situated in the rolling hills above Cupar is owned by Sir Fraser and Lady Morrison…and their home is a typical Scottish stone-built grand house, complete with turrets. The adjoining gardens are well worth a visit in the Spring and Summer months but this cold, late Autumn day was perfect for the pheasants, red-legged partridge, ducks and woodcock which abound and which are testament to the Head Keeper’s expertise in effectively developing the 1,000 acres of the estate laid out for shooting in 1996. Each time we have visited, we have experienced some of the best-presented birds I have known. Kenny Horne is the long time Head Keeper who together with his devoted team are very well organised and work like a well-oiled machine, with notably less of the loud whistling, yelling and hooting from the beaters than is found on some estates, and which often seems to intrude a bit too much into the peace of a beautiful country environment as the Guns stand quietly awaiting the first birds.
…We have been instructed to ‘show no mercy’ on this drive, called ‘Ruin Strip’, as it joins a neighbouring property, towards which the birds are driven, and sure enough, after a brief wait the birds start trickling towards us off the hill in such numbers that [the Guns] are often reloading. A lone woodcock crosses the line but all are reticent to address it. During a lull, a lone roe doe bounds across the line and gracefully leaps a fence. Some cracking high straight and crossing pheasants fall to my gun and everyone gets a good workout.
…Into the vehicles and on to the next drive ‘Lochan’; we drive our 4×4’s to the bottom of the estate and are advised to move into position quietly as we are to wait for some mallard to be driven off the lochan. Kenny firmly instructs the guns not to shoot any pheasants we might see until the first duck is addressed. Clever birds these ducks. We listen to them quacking and grumbling to themselves unseen, until with a dull roar they take off as one, climbing almost vertically and immediately gain height.
…We have an American guest with us; Joe, from the Southern US state of Georgia…he seems bemused but impressed by the structure behind Kenny’s presentation of the birds… He says he has never seen birds presented so skilfully in his own country. Joe is an avid shooter and a significant collector of firearms.
We arrive at the third of the twenty-two possible drives on this modestly sized estate…This too is one of my three favourites; known as ‘Pooch’, it is right in the middle of the estate and requires a walk, or more accurately, a stumble across a muddy field full of bog grass to the end of one of the more recently planted conifer woods from which the birds will be driven towards the Guns. There is a distinct air of anticipation. Again, some duck are expected but it is principally a pheasant drive, where they curl around and over the narrow wood from which they are driven. Before there is any evidence of the approaching beaters, the first birds suddenly appear and catch unwary Guns napping. I take a right and left as soon as the shooting starts and birds then arrive at a steady rate from a number of directions to test our reflexes. The horn blows. The morning’s shooting is over all too soon.
… Roll on next time!