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Nick Horten

Nick Horten

Five minutes with Eley Hawk sponsored shooter Nick Horten

 

Discipline/quarry:

I'm a lifelong hardcore coastal wildfowler harvesting duck and geese.

 

How long have you used Eley cartridges?

I`ve used Eley cartridges since I was sixteen and I`m now sixty-six so that's exactly fifty years.

 

Favourite load(s) and why?

My favourite load is the steel Eley Lightning 3" in number 3 shot. It is lethal out to the maximum range I can consistently hit wildfowl.

 

What do you love most about Eley cartridges?

Their excellent ballistic performance which, provided I do my part with the gun, results in instantly killed quarry.

 

Gun(s) Used:

I mainly use a 12 bore side by side, 3" chambered, Ugartechea boxlock ejector. A gun from a maker who is no longer trading. I use this inexpensive piece of Spanish gunmaking mainly because I love traditional side by sides but also to illustrate the point that one does not have to spend thousands of pounds on a gun suitable for wildfowling. My second choice of gun is a good semi-automatic, followed closely by the ultra-robust pump action.

 

Greatest shooting achievement:

Mastering the art of punt gunning.

 

Competitions won in the last five years:

Absolutely none. I don`t have a competitive bone in my body!

 

Favourite ground/shoot:

I'm happiest out on the mudflats below the mean high water mark pretty much anywhere around the British coastline. But there is a special place in my heart for a secluded bay on the south coast into which the wigeon pile on a dropping tide. Thick with zostera grass it`s a favourite spot for banshee whistling packs of wigeon fighting against a stiff south-westerly gale. They come in high against the darkening sky, turn into the wind, and cascade down like falling leaves. Slip off the safety catch, here they come!

 

Fondest shooting memory:

I was taught the art of wildfowling by two elderly former professional `fowlers. These old guys - incidentally - both committed users of Eley cartridges, were a direct link with wildfowling’s colourful past and I have fond memories of absorbing the history and shooting lore that they were anxious to pass on to the next generation. Something that I`m very keen to do.

 

Most valuable tip/advice:

Whether you shoot the fastest grouse, the highest pheasants, the trickiest clays or the most elusive of wildfowl, go to a good shooting school as early in your shooting career as you possibly can. It may not be cheap, but the investment in education will repay itself a hundredfold over the years.

 

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