Despite following one of the coldest winters in years, sporting agencies reported record numbers of birds as the grouse shooting season came to an end last week. Few moors failed to recover from the cold weather and agents told Shooting Times that prospects for next year were good.

?The 2010 grouse season in Scotland has been one of the best for a number of years,? said Robert Rattray, a senior partner with independent property consultancy and sporting agency CKD Galbraith. ?It may be more than coincidence that this last excellent season followed one of the coldest winters since the infamous big freeze of 1962/63, which was also followed by one of the best grouse seasons ever recorded.

?Demand for driven grouse shooting remains strong, and with prices in the region of £140 to £150 plus VAT per brace, there were plenty of experienced teams looking for days of 100 or more brace where possible. This year?s bags ranged from the modest 40- to 50-brace days to upwards of 300 brace, with many estates reporting their best grouse numbers for almost as long as they could remember.?

The rest of this article appears in 15th December issue of Shooting Times.

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