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Westcountry Films


Was born in the Westcountry in 1961. He has always been and still is a true hunter gatherer.


“As a small boy I used to watch my dad get ready for a shooting trip. He loved Wildfowling and Pigeon Shooting. Regardless of his chosen quarry, his shooting clothes remained the same; a very long raincoat, once popular in the fifties, a homemade woolly hat which he knitted himself, ( it more resembled a flat tea cosy!) and he often wore very short Wellington boots, which came up just above the ankle, pretty pointless I thought but he said he preferred them.
His Gun was an old single barrelled Duck Gun. The long barrel was pitted but was very strong. Its firing pin was a fraction too short and misfires were common with the old paper cartridges. Dad never used to think big where shooting was concerned, he literally couldn’t afford to.
I can still remember the smell of those empty paper cases”.


Chris’s Father was typical of many in the sixties; old fashioned, with Victorian values and high standards.
“Dad used to keep his gun either under the stairs or leant up against the wall by the back door.
He was very strict and he knew we would never touch it. It’s amazing to think back now, that in those days no one ever used to lock their doors at night. How things have changed!”
“It took me a whole year to prove I’d learnt Dad’s strict gun safety rules, but at the age of twelve one Winter’s afternoon he took me with him to one of his favourite Devonshire farms, he gave me three cartridges and left me at the top of the wood by a steep quarry whilst he went further down the valley. I only had one chance that afternoon at a Woodpigeon sat on a branch at roost time; I took aim, held my breath and squeezed the trigger. Click! – The first of many misfires! It took the strength of my two thumbs to re-cock the hammer; the Pigeon saw me and departed. Hugely disappointing for a small boy but all part of a very long apprenticeship. Later that Winter I shot my first Pigeon, a flying shot! What a momentous day that was.”


“My Mother bought me a second hand pair of binoculars and from that one Birthday present my Wood pigeon and Wildfowling studies began. Dad took me with him one icy frosty wildfowling trip. I was eleven years old and I fell in love with his magical world of estuaries, ducks and wild places.
It took three more Winters till I shot my very first Wigeon, a cock bird, lightly hit, that planed down way out across the estuary, I had no dog so had no choice but to dash headlong after it. The duck luckily had died by the time I reached it, the tide was waist deep, I was soaked and far from dry land, but I’d got it! I really got the bug and have been a mad passionate ‘Fowler ever since”.


Chris grew up like many other kids of his day with no money. If he got sixpence pocket money he considered himself lucky, so he spent his boyhood exploring, fishing, tree climbing, bird nesting, Rabbit catching and living off the fat of the land. Teaming up with a good friend from school , he caught his first Rabbits with Ferret nets, snares and long nets and has spent many hundreds of hours long netting at night. He actually prefers it to any other method of Rabbit catching.
After a severe apprenticeship he excelled at poaching in his day. Inevitably he got into trouble. His Dad’s punishment (in true Victorian style,) was to ban all further shooting trips until further notice. This was inconceivable to Chris, so he set about designing and successfully building a working Shotgun – at the age of Fourteen! All done undercover in his Dads shed and at school. Some of the parts were made under the very nose of his teacher in his metalwork class.

“I was unlucky getting caught poaching by a Farmer with that gun. I’d taken a shot with it early one frosty morning in a field of cabbages. Unfortunately old Bill Ellis happened to be in the same bloody field! “Oi, you’ve got a gun!” he shouted. After a bit of a chase, gun in hand, I leapt over the hedge at the far end of the field, I cleared it, but on landing on the other side got totally stuck in a great mass of brambles. Knowing I couldn’t move, the Farmer casually reached down, grabbed my homemade gun and snatched it off me. I was proper gutted. There was nothing I could do. “I’m taking it to the Police” he squeaked in his high pitched Westcountry voice…


Working as a carpenter and always a keen inventor he made a living on and off for several years by designing and manufacturing the equipment to make the decoys he’d invented, but his real breakthrough came with a brilliant product that sold really well. He used the money he had generated to invest in his next idea. It set him back more than he had expected so after careful consideration he remortgaged his house.
This turned out to be absolutely slap bang at the worst possible time – 1989! The year before the worst recession for a generation.

Contact Information


The Great British Shooting Show: 18th, 19th and 20th of February 2022.


The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, B40 1NT.

Contact us

Call: 01258 857700

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