I have noticed a growing trend this season for keepers giving away the ‘grace and favour’ brace of birds, ‘oven ready’. I think this is a fantastic idea and I have rarely seen a fellow Gun refuse them, as is so often the case with birds in the feather. Butchers, bound no doubt by some EEC rule, can no longer pluck and dress game birds on the premises and must send them away, which means that many refuse to take them on, or if they do, they frequently return other people’s birds and not your own. I have sometimes been given red legged partridge back when I had taken grey legs in. Or been given partridge instead of grouse!
I think the estates which are doing the oven ready birds go to a great deal of trouble and it is really appreciated by everyone.