Beware of the sheep!

Beware the sheep

Friend… or foe?

Last week I ventured out for a day session on what was to be my winter water until spring of 2012. The lake that I have been fishing is a 17 acre reservoir on the borders of Shropshire and Staffordshire and access to the lake is half mile drive across a sheep field. Parking is in the field near to the lake.

The weather was cold and the journey to the lake was a little hazardous due to icy roads. The gritting lorries had been out doing their jobs by salting the roads which made all but the last couple of miles ice free.

On arrival I could see that half of the lake was frozen, this being the shallow section. I parked up and made my way through hundreds of sheep to the far end of the lake where the water was deeper and fishable.

No fish to my name and with the weather deteriorating, I decided to call at a day just before dark. I got back to my car I moved on around 15 sheep and noticed that there was a patch 3 inch area where paint was missing from my rear bumper. My thoughts were that I must have caught the paint work with my chair or reels when I emptied the car on my arrival. I thought no more about it until I examined the damage in the daylight the following day. There were a number of other scratches on paint work of the rear bumper and also deep gouge marks in the black plastic front and rear bumpers.

I used a Stanley knife to smooth off the burr of the plastic. I wet my finger to see if water would hide the scratches left, and it was then that I tasted the salt off the bumper. The sheep had been using my car as a salt lick and had caused around £150 worth of damage!

I have spoken to my fishing colleague Wayne Dunn, and he has also suffered the same problem a few years ago when he was on another local water.

I will return to the lake again in spring when the gritting lorries have retired to their garages and in the mean time I will find another winter water.

If anyone has any ideas of how to stop the sheep using my car as a salt lick, please let me know. There is no way of fencing off the sheep, so any ideas would be appreciated.

Paul Cooper

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