Food for thought (No pun intended)

A colleague from England who enjoys blowing away wildlife with high calibre weaponry sent me the following article today. I’ll let you read it before I toss my two cents in.

Husband’s ashes used for shotgun cartridges
By Auslan Cramb
(Filed: 16/02/2004)

The widow of an expert on vintage shotguns had her husband’s ashes loaded into cartridges and used by friends for the last shoot of the season.

Joanna Booth organised the shoot for 20 close friends on an estate in Aberdeenshire after asking a cartridge company to mix the ashes of her husband James with traditional shot.

A total of 275 12-bore cartridges were produced from the mix and were blessed by a minister before they were used to bag pheasants, partridges, ducks and a fox on Brucklay Estate.

Mrs Booth, of Streatham, south London, said it was a marvellous day out and her husband would have loved it. “It was not his dying wish, but I remembered that he had read somewhere that someone had had their ashes loaded into cartridges and he thought it was very funny.

“One of our friends, a woman who had never shot before, got four partridges with James’s marked cartridges.”
Mr Booth, an independent sporting and vintage gun specialist for Sotheby’s in London, died two years ago, aged 50, after 18 months in a coma following severe food poisoning.

Julian McHardy, of the Caledonian Cartridge Company in Brechin, Angus, said it was the first request he had received to put ashes in shotgun cartridges. “He was loaded in our Caledonian Classic, a 28 gramme load, No 6 shot with degradable plastic wadding.”

Before the first drive, the cartridges were blessed by the Rev Alistair Donald, the Church of Scotland minister from the nearby village of New Deer, who said he had no qualms. “It was a perfectly normal scattering of ashes, a few words and prayers. After all, he had a lifelong interest in ballistics.”

The special cartridges accounted for 70 partridges, 23 pheasants, seven ducks and a fox on Jan 31

Now, from what I’m led to believe by my aforementioned colleague, and experiences with other shooters in England, birds that are shot on these hunts are always eaten – it’s an extreme faux pas to waste the fowl. Now anyone who has eaten partridge, pigeon, or any other bird that has been brought to earth by a shotgun will know that during the process of eating said meal, they will have to pick out a number of shot, and that there may be some minor powder in those cavities.