Shoots are more optimistic about the future than they have been for a number of years, a survey by rural property consultants Smiths Gore and sporting brokers GunsOnPegs has found.

The latest Shoot Intentions Survey, an annual look at the economic opportunities and challenges anticipated for the season, found that bookings are rising for commercial shoots.

The survey also found that nine per cent more shoots this year will be putting down more birds than in the previous year, though the majority of shoots ? 73 per cent ? will be keeping bird numbers at the same level.

GunsOnPegs director James Horne said: ?We definitely witnessed more optimism at the end of last season on account of a strong performance with repeat bookings.

?Traditionally there is a drop-off in bookings from March through to early July, which is consistent with previous years, however early indications suggest that bookings will pick up again from now on as thoughts begin to turn towards the autumn and the start of the season.

The rest of this article appears in the 18th July issue of Shooting Times.

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The rest of this article appears in the 4th July issue of Shooting Times.

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