I moved to the Isle of Lewis nearly 30 years ago with my wife and children from our home town of Barnoldswick in Lancashire. We relocated to the Island after me applying for a job post and successfully getting the position as General manager of the Abattoir in the Islands main town of Stornoway

I started RJH SPORTS in August 2003 as a result of me being made redundant from my employment, the reason being political, but I won’t bore you with the details. The idea came about completely, as a result of me talking to guests on a renowned driven Woodcock shoot on one of the Estates where I helped out on shoot days.

It became clear to me that there was considerable interest for someone to offer sporting packages for small groups or individuals looking for a couple of days sport as opposed to the more traditional week lets for large groups staying in Lodges. 

I set about speaking to various Estate and Landowners with my plan and proposals, which thankfully received positive feedback and as a result RJH SPORTS was launched in August 2003.

The early days was a combination of home-produced promo flyers and a rather basic website with a hope to entice people to visit and experience the truly Wild sport that the Islands have to offer. The first few years were challenging and mistakes were made, but I stuck to my principles of looking after the client in the way that I would expect to be looked after if I had paid for the experience!

Nothing on the Islands are reared or put down which makes for a unique experience of Grouse and Woodcock over Pointers and Setters, Red Deer stalking and superb fishing for Salmon, Seatrout and wild Brown Trout. There is also the UK’s premier Driven Woodcock shoot which I have been involved with and now run for the last 30 years.

I can offer sporting packages for single guns and rods, to large groups of up to 16 looking to take a traditional sporting lodge. I have a great selection of accommodation providers from excellent self-catered cottages, B&B’s, Hotels and even a Castle!

During the off season through February to the end of April I offer training weeks for owners of Pointers, Setters and the continental HPR breeds. These training sessions are designed to allow the handler and dogs experience working on Grouse and Woodcock whilst been given help and advice from myself to assist them in reaching their potential in the field. The weeks have become very successful with owners travelling from as far as Italy and Switzerland to take part as well as UK based handlers.

Coming up to my 20th year of business I have a quite impressive client data base of visitors from all over the globe visiting and re-visiting the Islands. They travel great distances to experience the unrivalled sporting experience that the stunning Islands have to offer and to take away ever lasting memories of what truly is a totally unique sports persons paradise.

Written by Russell Hird of RJH SPORTS