The PACEC report has been very helpful but we must not rest on our laurels or become blasé about the role our sport plays

Shooters don’t need to be told our favourite pastime does the countryside an immense amount of good, because most are actively involved in conservation or shoot improvement works on a regular basis already.

The recent PACEC report confirms it.

It makes for very reassuring reading, but therein can sometimes lurk a danger – a possibility we might be tempted to rest up a little on our considerable laurels or become just a tad too blasé about the role the sport plays in the scheme of things.

Doubtless you will have got the gist of the PACEC report from the coverage it has been given by magazines, but the circulation of all shooting publications put together falls well short of the total number of shooters out there. How, then, are they going to hear the good news and be therefore able to spread the word?

Let’s not kid ourselves, shooting’s opponents must be continually reminded about our sport’s innumerable positives, and studies of this kind help hammer home the arguments perfectly. There is some evidence that message is being taken up: a recent online poll conducted by BBC Countryfile which asked: “Does shooting do more good than harm for the environment?” 37,876 (84 percent) had voted YES while a paltry 6,837 (15 percent) were saying NO.

The problem is (and it came across loud and clear in many of the anti’s online comments) the NO camp continues to remain deaf and blind to the obvious truths about shooting, preferring instead to wallow in its old pit of prejudice and ignorance.

The beauty of the PACEC survey is that it gives every shooter the answers with which to counter misleading claims leveled at the sport, be it in conversation or a debate either in the pub, on the web, the letters’ pages of newspapers and on TV and radio.

Straight shooting!