Robin Hood laid to rest


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Police were among mourners who bade farewell to a renowned and well-loved poacher who was compared with Robin Hood and so good at his illegal hunting that he was never convicted of it.

Archie “Nooky” Clark died this month aged 52 from cancer and was buried on the banks of Scotland’s Loch Ness in a coffin decorated with red stag antlers, engravings of stags and a wreath shaped like a salmon. His son, Colin, threw .22 magnum cartridges into the grave.

Archie was so popular that even landowners he’d poached from attended the funeral to pay their respects.

He reportedly learned his skills from his father, and in four decades of poaching he was never convicted, despite a number of narrow escapes from the law.

Archie may have got off lightly because he was not profiting from his poaching, instead giving away plenty of meat and fish to local people, especially the elderly, which earned him a reputation as a bit of a Robin Hood character.

“For Nooky, it was the thrill of poaching and the skill required to hook or net a salmon or shoot a stag in the hours of ¬darkness on a laird’s estate which gave him a buzz. Money was not the motivation,” one friend told Scotland’s Daily Record.

The funeral included hunting songs, Archie’s coffin was carried on a ute instead of in a hearse and some mourners carried on the wake for days, a fitting send-off for a larger-than-life man.


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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