Linda Mellor heads to Fife, camera at the ready to capture a mixed driven shoot against the picturesque Scottish landscape
I am on my way to Teasses shooting estate situated in the Kingdom of Fife, less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh airport. The estate is set in the rolling hills near Cupar and is a popular venue for driven pheasant, partridge and duck shooting.
Turning off the tree lined road into Teasses you start to appreciate the secluded location of this Scottish estate. Driving up the track the landscape opens up to an enormous panoramic of distant Perthshire hills, Schiehallion is easily recognisable with its conical peak standing out amongst the other mountains.
Heading up the single track, some pheasants linger, watching me as I drive passed while others dart into the woods. Further into the estate, the land opens up to gentle rolling hills and ahead you can see the buildings of the Bothy and shooting lodge.
In the Bothy three Labradors are sleeping on the mat next to the pot bellied stove. head gamekeeper Kenny Horne calls his team together to deliver his plan of action (affectionately known as his sermon!) for today’s shooting. Reading from his notebook, Kenny says, ‘We’re going to start at the Bomb hole moving onto Hairies hole followed by bankhead then lunch.’ The team splits up into beaters and picker-ups as they head to the vehicles to get their dogs and be in position for the start of the first drive.
Teasses has a total of 28 drives over 1,000 acres, all offering a wide array of shooting challenges. The shooting estate was created from a blank canvas in 1996 by Sir Fraser Morrison. With Kenny’s help the entire estate was redesigned and shaped with roads, trees, fences and water to create a varied and challenging shooting landscape. The team consists of head keeper Kenny Horne, under-keeper Johnny Readhead, Kenny’s two sons, Rhuaridh and Jamie, and a team of eight beaters and pickers-up.
The guests arrive just after 9am to a warm welcome. After some coffee, Kenny talks about gun safety, safe shooting and draws the peg numbers.
Into the vehicles for a short journey to the first drive of the day, we park up at the side of the track as Kenny calls out the peg numbers. Pickers-up, Ian and Steven, walk their dogs over to positions behind the guns so they have a clear view to send their dogs out to retrieve any injured game.