Hunting for Dots – By @AlyRadia93

By Alysha Radia


Hunting for Dots

The humble dot. They dart about our planet, wide eyed and curious.  They are prolific breeders, and as such, can be found on every terrain that Earth has to offer. The dot can take a number of forms. Some species of dot stand out in plain sight. They are bold and braggadocious, with their feathers all a-plume and their breasts a-puffed. “Doooooooooootttttt”, they screech, from posters slicked up on tube tunnels, and star spangled reviews in the Sunday Times’ Culture supplement.

Others, however, slip by, shrouded under the veil of snobbery – completely unnoticed by the creative creatures that seek to snag them and suck out their juices, in order to store them away for times of creative drought. This scarcely seen species of dots is particularly native to the top shelves of newsagents and community centre notice boards. They are often nocturnal creatures, found prowling round the ‘the dark side’ of the internet or sparking between the synapses that knit together to form the cerebral matter of the subconscious.

I headed to one of these off-licenses, on a quest to find one of these unlikely dots.

After scanning the shelves, past the Vogues and The Dazed and Confuseds, and along a herd of red skinned tabloids, my eyes finally fixated on my prey. Thickly paged, and with a glossy coat, what a glorious creature she was! ‘Rifle Shooter – The Uk’s Best New Shooting Magazine’!

Ok… enough of that laboured metaphor. You get the picture. I went to an off license, and after some deliberation, decided that the magazine I would be least likely to read was a magazine about killing innocent animals. Maybe rich coming from someone that is definitely not a vegetarian.

There was only one copy on the shelf, and the lady at the till looked at me with great suspicion as I brought the magazine over to pay for it, with a face not unlike the startled expression of the warthog that adorned its front cover (move over Kendall Jenner theres a new ‘babe’ in town). I read that thing, cover to cover, and entered into a whole new world. And here’s what I learnt:

  1. They talk about the animals that they are out to slay with an a tone of admiration that would not go amiss in the National Geographic. And then you get to the ‘best new gun’ column.
  1. There are very few women in this magazine. Looooots of white men. Just saying.
  1. Shooting Sports and bullet companies are allowed to advertise!!! A snippet of the copy’ – ‘Whether you’re after vermin or medium-sized game, CZ’s micro-Mauser 527 can do the job!’ And another – ‘Perfect ergonomics for accurate shooting with a splash of extravagance’. Next brief I say!’
  1. Guns and shooting paraphernalia is REALLY expensive – apparently the latest in Camo coats will set you back a cool £399.99. ‘Exceptional value for money’ is £956 for a CZ 455 rimfire rifle. Bargain.
  1. There are loads of leagues and tournaments and types of competition within the sport. It’s no just about killing, its about what and where you kill it.
  1. Your selection of successful kills is called a ‘tableau’, like one might refer to a selection of fine paintings.
  1. The stereotype of the post-kill shot with two smiling men caressing their ‘big guns’ whilst beaming behind the carcass of a dead deer is absolutely a thing that is alive and well, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know.
  1. So apparently there is a distinction between ‘Rifle shooting’ and ‘Sporting shooter’ in that rifle shooting is limited to deer, and boar, whereas sporting shooting includes pheasant, partridge, pigeon, grouse, goose and assorted duck to the menu.
  2. It’s craft time! I’m not kidding but this magazine contains a step by step picture tutorial for how to mount the skull of your slain as a trophy on your wall.
  1. There is such a thing as a ‘prolific skull examiner’, to whom a recently deceased one was paid tribute to.

11. Apparently its not that rare for ‘the wrong animal to get shot’ and for people to injure their beloved pet dogs. The magazine gave sage advice on what to do in such a crisis.


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