Fieldsports Britain – The Ferrari Macnab

[Music] Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up
on this week’s show, one challenge, at two ends of the country, 3 species and a 4 wheel
drive Ferrari. Let’s start with the challenge. The Mcnab
for the modern Fieldsports enthusiast the Mcnab has evolved into the most challenging
sporting quest in the world. To catch a salmon, to shoot a grouse and to stalk a stag. From
the wilds of Cornwall to the far north of Scotland. The UK offers fantastic sport from
tip to toe. So why limit Mcnab to a single estate and a single day when you can have
it all. 3 species the red stag, red grouse and atlantic salmon are the ultimate in sporting
quarry. So we are heading as far south as possible to bag our stag, up to the Yorkshire
moors for our red grouse and then on up to the river Thurso, just a few miles from John
O’ Groats to try and hook our salmon and to make things even more difficult, I have never
shot grouse and I have never used a salmon rod before in my life. Finally 4, the Ferrari
4. The FF this piece of automotive exotica has a 6.3 litre V12 engine, produces 650 horse
power. It can do 0 – 60 in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 208 miles an hour. It is
a 4 seater, it’s 4 wheel drive and best of all
it has plenty of room in the back for your guns and gear. The price of perfection on
the other hand £272,000. We’ve got three days and 1500 miles to cover
to complete the Ferrari Macnab. So as much fun as it has been, we must leave the sand,
sea and a seasonal tourist fest in Padstow and get some rest, because tomorrow morning
the clock starts ticking and we have an early start ahead of us to give us the best chance
of a Cornish stag. After a sleepless night we swap the Ferrari
for a 4×4 with ground clearnace and head off with professional stalker Scott Milne – In
the vehicle I put my request in.. A pricket would be perfect. A little cull
animal….would be absolutely ideal. But that never seems to happen does it? Great, oh well let’s hope the gods are with
us because blanking here will really ruin my day. With the full moon lending a helping hand
Scott spots some reds deep in the valley – He takes us through fields and sets me up in
a high seat with a block of woods to my left – what he’s hoping is the animals will pass
below us as they return from feeding. However, as the lights get switched on we see thick
fog has settled all through the valley. No joy this morning. There is quite a bit
of fog in the bottom valley and Scott thinks that the animals have probably moved back
from the open fields where we first spotted them this morning into the cover of the woods
without us being able to see them through the fog. But we saw a couple of animals out
on the far hill. We have heard a couple of stags roaring in the woods. So what we are
going to do is drop the rifle back to the truck and we are going to go and have a sneak
through the woods and see if we can come across a few deer. See them in action. We are not
allowed to shoot in that particular block of wood. So we thought we would have a sneak
and see if we can find a stag or two. I’m keen to learn more about the red deer,
I’ve only ever stalked hinds in Cumbria, I’ve never experienced the rut with it’s sights,
sounds and smell. We can smell a stag which has just walked
by. Really strong musky smell. It is almost like.. you can be like a German
Pointer, you can be walking through the woods and then……your mark like. We can’t see the stag but you can see the
damage he’s doing all around us and we can’t blame this inquisitive roe deer for it…
it’s all reds. There is a lot of light coming in as you can
see there is just nothing that hasn’t been eaten by the deer. There is a real heavy population
of red deer in here. The holly bushes are moulded like somebody comes in and prunes
them by night. We have got some over here that are just a
few inches high Every time any young shoots grow they nibble
them off and the browse line you can tell it is red deer in here. You can see how high the line is through the
trees. The ivy everything is all head height. We
can physically look through the trees. If you had to get down onto your knees to look
you know you have roe deer or fallow deer. But when you can physically look stood up
you know it has to be a deer 4 foot to the shoulders. As we get to the bottom of the valley we here
another roar – and like sailors being drawn to the Siren’s call we head in his direction
– Scott takes us through this lot and I try not to think about the Ferrari’s pristine
leather interior.! Rising up the other side we know we’re getting
closer. If my heart was pounding already thanks to Scotts swamp tour it certainly is now. We continue to walk through the wood – there’s
a glimpse of some hinds but that’s all – We head back and consider our options – My
fantasy scenario was that I’d be on the road heading to Yorkshire by lunchtime but that
isn’t going to happen and an evening stalk would really muck up our plans..or at least
any chance of getting our heads down tonight. As well as embracing the finest sport Britain
has to offer on our coast to coast tour it’ll will also allow us to sample some of the local
delicacies – Just sampling the millionaire lifestyle, the
glamour of the job, sitting in a Tesco’s car park here, Eating a warm Cornish pasty. Rock
and roll. After seeking some advice from apollo the
German pointer we hit on a compromise – It’s still early, about 2, but Scott controls deer
on a plantation near a stately home and he reckons our best bet is to head over there. It’s very different terrain from this morning
– not that I’ complaining, and within ten minutes a older red calf is browsing on the
ride infront of us. He hasn’t clocked us and it is a good job because at this angle neither
Scott or I can make out if he’s male or female. Not at the moment. It is about 96 metres. I keep my Blaser R8 rifle and Zeiss Duralyt
scope combo trained on it. Definitely got a black belly and yes there
is a pizzle. In your own time, whenever you are happy. It is a safe shot. Scott eventually gives me the nod – he’s sure
it’s a stag calf and so am I. I just need to let him get into a safe shooting position. He’s hit and jumps into the cover…thankfully
it doesn’t take long for apollo to find the young stag… It is not quite the roaring beast we were
pursuing earlier. To be honest with time pressure we are on when Scott said he had spotted a
stag calf, it didn’t take very long to make an executive decision that it might be a suitable
choice today. Especially in this area, Scott was explaining the deer do a lot of damage
to a nearby stately home garden and they have quite a strong cull policy. Yes quite pleased. Quite pleased …with a hint of relief mixed
in there too – Scott asks if we want to take some venison with us?’s tempting, but
we’re a bit short of space..which is one of the reasons I asked if Open Season could lend
me a Blaser rifle which breaks down neatly to a ferrari friendly size. The saddle mounts
for the Zeiss scope allowed us to zero the rifle at home, break it down and then rebuild
it for our two outings – it’s quite a feat of engineering especially as it did the job. Before we leave I ask Scott about some of
the big old boys he gets down here. Let’s lift this up and have a look at it. This is one of my little ones I knocked over.
The only reason I shot it. It had a real bad broken leg after the rut. In the rut they
rut so hard. They push hinds and with the stone walls we have got and the big rocks
they just put their body on the line and this poor guy smashed his front leg really badly.
He was never going to recover from it so I let him pass his genes on and knocked him
over at the end of the rut. Done him a favour really. But he was still coming up about a
9 year old stag. He is 19 points. That is the sort of calibre we get and may be that
one we heard roaring this morning was of this sort of stature. I am kind of pleased in a way. We have mission
accomplished today and for me this is something to come back for another day. Something to
aspire to in the future. So thanks so much for your hard work Scott. No worries. Job jobbed. We are going to hit the road. Yes good. Thanks mate. On leaving Cornwall we’re still on course
for the Ferrari Macnab and hopefully a decent nights sleep. Day one drawing to a close and stag, after
a fashion, in the bag. I have to say I am really relieved that we managed to get something
today. There was quite a lot riding on the first day if we had failed today it throws
the whole story into turmoil trying to sort out plan B and everything and I didn’t sleep
much last night. I think I got about an hours kip, I was just worried about how it was going
to go. Scott was absolutely brilliant, a pleasure to talk to. So knowledgeable about his deer.
So passionate about his stalking. A real education just to walk in the woods with him. I am pleased
for him as well as for us because he tried so hard to make sure he got us our deer. And
to get one on the deck I think both he and I would have liked a slightly larger one,
but I am no trophy hunter and we have helped him with his cull plan. Management is the
big thing for Scott so really, really pleased with that. We have got a couple hundred miles
to go now until our stop over for the night. Normally that would be a bit of a chore, but in this thing I think it is
going to be a bit of a pleasure. Our resting place is a hotel just outide Birmingham
– We need to be at the grouse moor for about 0730 so it’s another early start ahead. Morning, day 2, about 4.30am in a car park
near Birmingham, having just managed to wrestle contact lenses into eyes drier than the Sahara.
We have got about another 100 miles to do this morning. So we had best crack on, but
as you can see I have got my shooting best on today. I would normally reserve a tie for
court appearances and job interviews. Hopefully neither of those will result from this trip. Even if the guests at the hotel didn’t request
a wake-up call they certainly get one. We start making our way north – eventually
the traffic evaporates and we have our first chance to burn some fossil fuel. Then the
rainbow appears and it’s on with the brakes for a photo opportunity in this stunning part
of the country.. Back to the job in hand and we need a grouse..I’ve
never shot one so I’m going to need some help from an expert. Got a good morning, but it is breezy. It is, it is wild. What is the plan you have got for us today. Well this morning we are just going to take
a walk through here, through these hillocks. It is quite a good bit of ground for walking
up grouse. Plenty of blinds, plenty of skyline. A good opportunity to come over a ridge and
drop on them. Sneak up on a few. So if it is open moor that is not so good
for walking up. No it is not especially at this time of year.
We are into October now. We have already had 5 driven days on the moor. So it is a case
of we need to get into these outside edges now. If we were to go into the middle of the
moor where we have been driving grouse, we wouldn’t stand a chance. And we are going to be shooting over your
dog today. I have got one spaniel with me, but these
grouse in here, just form in a tight line, walking through nice and steady, they should
hopefully get up in front of us and I have got my spaniel there to do any retrieving. Great stuff. If we get one. If we get one. Fingers crossed. Let’s go and have a go. The weather, temperature and terrain are in
complete contrast to our stalking which was only 24 hours ago. It’s hard going and unfortunately
the birds are lifting well before we’re in range. Then I get my chance – and the birds
continue on their flight path. It’s a big blow – I just sense the opportunities are
going to be few and far between and I need to put all my hours watching Andy Crow into
practice. The grouse are really flighty. We have had
one opportunity which I have fluffed. Any advice on shot placement and what I should
be looking at. Or just get onto them as quick as possible. As quick as you can. Ready at all times. Any
time the grouse can get up and you need to be on to them. As you saw really fast wing
beat. They are out of range in no time. Get straight onto them swing through, best of
luck. Thanks Jim. We pack up and head across to another part
of the moor – the weather is even worse over here and I’m glad I forced those in contact
lenses.This isn’t the weather for glasses or cameras..!!! Then I get my second chance and we watch — and
we watch and we keep watching until … It’s down. Is that your bit. Yes we will keep that. Right let’s do a bit of a walk round here
and come round into that and we can pick it up on the way back. Yeah? It is down though. It’s down. Bloody hell. Well done. Let’s go home. We work our way around and back but there
isn’t a second chance. All I really want to do is find that bird. The wind is unbelievable as you can see. Raining
side ways. I don’t know who was more surprised me or the grouse or Jim that the bird was
hit. And everybody the bird, the dog, me and mostly Jim, were praying that he picks it
up and accomplished part 2.# After 10 nail bitting minutes we have a grouse
and even though some purits might say I need a brace – I don’t care – I never specified
bags just species and this one counts – alot. There you go Dom. I was getting a bit worried. I am going to
give your dog a kiss in a minute. I love that dog. As I said before this road trip can present
opportunities to tantilise taste buds and just like the ferrari I need some high octane
fuel to keep me firing on all cylinders. And in this part of the world I know just the
place – and it looks like they’re expecting me… So yesterday I attempted some regional cuisine
and it went pretty badly with our luke warm cheese pasty. We are not going to make the
same mistake twice. So we have come to this fantastic butchers which is in ……just
up the road from the grouse moor and this is basically Holtam heaven. At this phase of our Ferrari Macnab we’ve
been joined by Chris Blackburn of UK Gunworks and his friend John Maclean – They’re not
just here for the pies although I wouldn’t blame them. They’ve helped arrange grouse
shooting and salmon fishing for the challenge and most importantly Chris is going to teach
me how to cast. Refuelled and relishing the fact that we’ve
bagged our second species it’s back at Jims to take in some breathtaking views and talk
moors. You were telling us that since you have been
here the last few years you have turned around the grouse numbers here. How have you done
that and what are the knock on effects of that kind of conservation work. Yes, the grouse numbers have increased nicely
on this moor. And it is just down to the main principles of grouse moor management which
are predator control. Foxes, crows, stoats and weasels throughout the year, but concentrating
more at spring time, the most crucial time of the year. Habitat management. We have reduced
the grazing on the moor, we have improved the heather burning and the habitat as you
could see this morning, it is looking good at the moment. It is. Application of medicated
grit as well that has helped a lot as well. It allows you to carry a stock of grouse and
you are not building up strongylosis. Well I have taken one of the moor for you
today. It was pretty tricky conditions. I imagine that a lot of guns find it pretty
contrasting to your average pheasant shoot if you are not prepared for it. Well we do get people come who have never
shot grouse before. They might have shot a lot of pheasants or lot of partridges, but
this is just a whole different kettle of fish altogether. When they get this wind up their tails they
just go don’t they? Rather do. They are like rockets. Well talking about wind getting up their tail
I think we are going to have to do that. So thanks for your time Jim. We will see you
again. No problem. Thank you. What a morning, what a great guy and what
an experience. I’m never going to forget my first grouse…we wend our way though this
beautiful part of the country back to civilisation – stopping for some super unleaded – suddenly
I feel a little over dressed and I’m in need of a costume change for the next leg of the
ferrari macnab So we are heading up from the grouse moor
in Yorkshire towards Scotland. But we have got a problem, I haven’t got any fishing gear.
Hopefully we are going to solve that by paying a visit to the famous John Norris fishing
super store here in Penrith. Let’s go and see a man about a rod. It’s really more than just a shop – and I
am hoping that some fishing expertese/know how /magic even luck might rub off on me – I’m
no stranger to fishing but I’m really apprehensive that I’m got make a real cock salmon of this
last part of the challenge. I have never been salmon fishing in my life
and I need some help. No problem at all – dead easy. Talk me through the essentials, what do I
need and how to use it. First thing you need to know is where you
are fishing. Ok we are fishing up on the river Thurso. So you are going to need a 15 foot salmon
fly rod which is a ……rod. A reel to match that, balance that up with a fly line, selection
of flies, leading material. You will need to get kitted out in the right gear, waders,
wading boots, wading jacket, so you are covered for the elements. So it is not as simple as a tackle box and
pair of wellies then? No, no a bit more complicated, but I will
make it as easy as I can for you. Great stuff let’s go and have a look. No problem First it’s the rod It does feel very light, but it looks, double
handed is that going to be more complicated for someone like me who has never done it. No, double handed, it sounds complicated,
but it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Easier to cast a double handed than it is a single. Well, let’s hope so. Then the reel…. Blimey it looks like a winch. Incredibly light. Light, big….. so you get a very fast rate
of retrieve when you bring your line in. Then the line and flies. This line perfectly balances with that rod. So if you get the wrong line your fancy rod
won’t work properly anyway. No, everything has got to match, everything
has got to be well balanced. What on earth our salmon feeding on if they
are going to take things like this. They aren’t in the river feeding. So that is true salmon don’t feed when they
are in fresh water. No they are not feeding in fresh water at
all. You are just trying to trigger aggression. My fabulous Mr men booties will have to go
too if I’m going to stand firm on the rocks. All this amazing help and advice is not helping
the nerves, I always thought we might have a chance of a deer and a grouse but the salmon…
that’s in a different league. And if you want to know what this fish does to grown men just
look at James’ eyes when he answers my next question..!!! What is it with the salmon. Salmon is probably the hardest catch, because
they are not feeding in fresh water and they are probably the hardest fighting fresh water
fish you will find. Once you get that take from the fish, you will know exactly what
I mean. Your heart stops, the fish takes, then the fight starts and it is absolutely
phenomenal. The best feeling in the world. But again they are the hardest fish to catch,
because they are not feeding. So it is all about the challenge. Not only
is it an incredible fish to fight it is the challenge actually catching it in the first
place. Because you can put a lot of hours in for
salmon with not many good results, but when you do get your results in and you put the
hours in the results are fantastic. Right – all the gear – and you guessed it
no idea we leave penrith on the last leg of our journey – and it’s a long long way…to
the top of bonnie scotland… A quick mileage update. We have still got
another 350 miles to go and it is telling us that it will take about 7.5 hours. Which
means we will probably be rocking into our accommodation tonight at about midnight. Which
is a pretty long day. But the car so far has been awesome. It is just eating the miles,
really comfortable, cruises beautifully as you would expect and there are worse places
to spend 7.5 hours. David’s car for starters. Wednesday morning and the last day of the
Ferrari Macnab – We’re staying at the world famous Ulbster Arms on the banks of The River
Thurso – Before breakfast Chris takes me down to the bridge for a bit of a pep talk and
to enjoy the views of this famous stretch of water so often enjoyed by Royalty – And the line will come round onto the dangle
and there is a back eddy where the line will go slack and the line starts coming towards
you naturally. There’s also some advice from Dougie reid
who has been fishing this water for 40 years…I then get a crash course in casting – and cue
the Rocky-type monatge of me getting stronger – casting longer may be not.. lets get on
with it and head to our beat,,, lucky number 4! We are quite optimistic this morning. The
weather is lovely the water is in great condition and I think over 20 fish were banked yesterday.
There is quite a lot of positivity. There was somebody who was fishing this week who
had never fished before and caught their first salmon. So it can be done. Whether the gods
are smiling on us today we will have to wait and see, but we are going to give it a good
go. Although it looks cool we leave the ferrari
plus rod on the bank near the hotel…I wonder what would happen to it of we did 200mph with
that strapped to the bonnet??! Like a boxer about to enter the ring – my
trainer and manager man handle me preparing me for the first round. Tentativley I creep
out into the river – fish are jumping all around me and within 15 minutes I get a take
– what a moment !! – Wow……..No!………I just had a take……I
could actually cry now. What if that is it. What if that is the only fish that comes anywhere
near all day. I am actually shaking. Despite all the advice to wait when you get
a take my years of trout fishing meant I snatched at the rod – and my salmon has gone…. It is a long way to be here. But it all feels
worth it now even without landing anything. I think it is a pretty special place to end
the film. I don’t know why I am saying that. It is 10 o’clock. Another 7 hours fishing. Half and hour later Chris shouts to us that
he’s in – he thinks it’s about 6lbs – what a moment – it’s so exciting – people try for
years to catch salmon…Chris takes it in his stride Well done. I want to weigh it. Cock fish. What did I
say it was, a guess? 3 or 4 lbs. Hook in the mouth. Hook’s out. 4.5 – 5 …..4.5 not a bad guess was it? Can I touch it before it goes back. Notice the cape on its nose there. That is
where it has been in the river long the cock fish tend to get a cape, hook. It is bleeding
a little bit, nothing bad. What I will do is put it in the water. Working it backwards
and forwards to get water through its gills. And he will let you know when he is ready
to go. That is what I am doing now. A lot of people
put them back having fought them for 15 to 20 minutes and recover it for 10 seconds and
then let it go because their hands are cold in the water or something silly. Fish welfare
is the priority. He is ready to go. There you are. He’s swam away. That was good. Worth the journey for something like that
then Chris. Yes, all good. Just got to get you one now. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. We have seen
a lot of fish moving up and you know both flies are fishing over the top of fish and
you are in with a chance and sure enough Chris said he has missed one and then 3 casts later,
2 casts later bosh straight in. So fantastic. First wild salmon I have seen banked. Just
makes me hungry to get involved. I too head back into the water and a change
of fly – then incredibly – I’m in… This time I make no mistake. Coming up stream. My heart is about to come
through the front of my chest here. Have you noticed how the normal drivel that comes out
of my mouth has stopped. I’ver never been so focused in all my life.
The guys on the bank want me to describe what’s happening but I just can’t… Ooh – feel the tail slap the line can’t you? After 10 minutes of terror Chris nets my fish,
and what a fish … and I’ve done it – 3 species in 3 days, from one end of the country to
the other… in a supercar. I can’t believe it. There we go just in the
bottom of the mouth. Here it is. My first ever salmon. Here on the river Thurso. Beat
4. The Ferrari Mcnab we have done it, I can’t believe it. 3 days ago didn’t give us a hope.
I’ll keep hold of it for a while. I think it will be quite tired. We see the salmon safely back into the water
– no trophy for me just the memory of a knee tembling moment that will stay with me for
the rest of my life…something I’ll tell my young son about when he’s old enough to
understand. Relief and torrential rain pour down on me….I
hooked a salmon and now salmon fishing has hooked me – I’m straight back in the river. For the next few hours Chris, John, David
and I just grin at each other… then Chris says he has a surprise for me – a chance to
fish on the Thuro’s private beat with Head ghille Dougie Reid – What a privilege and
what a place! So what is a full spey cast then? Well it’s a double spey swing….swing and
swing. But I am only half doing it. I am not doing it the proper way. Spey fishing is merely
done in the rivers, spey casting. We are fishing quite a special beat on the
river today. You are, you are on the private beat. Which
belongs to Lord Thurso. The Queen Mother used to fish it when she was alive. She came up
here every summer and stayed at Castle of Mey and the Thurso was her little treat and
she used to love fishing. And Prince Charles still comes and fishes it. It is a beautiful spot isn’t it. It is a lovely spot. The private beat is unique
on the Thurso. The rest of the Thurso is quite open and flat. This bit is lovely. Dougie is another one who still gets the salmon
shakes after all these years. It just makes your knees tremble and I still
get that feeling. Even today after all those fish. Even after all the fish I have caught. I don’t
know how many fish I have caught over the years. I never kept count, but I enjoy it,
I love it. At the begining of the 20th century the river
was damed which meant the water levels and the fishing could be maintained for longer.
It also meant there was a huge obstacle preventing the salmon from reaching their spawning grounds,
so a fish ladder was built at the same time. So these amazing fish have already had to
swim over 20 miles to get from the sea to here. They get here. They have got the fish
ladders built in here to protect them from the flow of water and allow them to get up
stream and into the loch. Their journey is not done here they still have to go all the
way up into the hills behind me to get to their spawning ground. They are an amazing
fish. On the way back to beat 4 for a few final
hours fishing we see a scottish red stag – our cornish red was only 48 hours ago but we’ve
crammed so much in it feels like a week. We may have completed THE Ferrari Macnab challenge
but there’s somewhere we feel we need to be in order to complete THE journey – John O’Groats
half an hour north of here. Again there’s a fuel stop to keep the V12 singing along
as we head for the UK’s northern coastline. The weather remains dry and bright, the Ferrari
looks fab next to the famous sign post. I feel exhausted but so chuffed. So many people
have helped me with this mad event and I still can’t believe it has actually worked out. So here we are John O’Groats, the end of the
line for us after 3 amazing days. We have done 1500 miles, we got our 3 species. We
have done the Ferrari Mcnab and the best news of all. I have just been told it is 755 miles
to drive home and I can’t wait. This journey began as a celebration of British
Fieldsports, but it has been so much more than that. It has been an opportunity to meet
some remarkable people. People that have dedicated their lives to the preservation, improvement
and management of our most fragile habitats, from ancient woodland to heather moorland
to the pristine rivers of Scotland. These people, are the true guardians of our wild
spaces. That they share their knowledge with such enthusiasm is a gift to all of us. They
deserve our respect, our admiration and our support… if nothing else to offset the carbon
footprint of this amazing machine. To see Fieldsports Britain Extra with all
the usual news and Hunting Youtube, click the screen.


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