feeding rat in night vision cross hairs

This is the start of the ratting season for airgunners

Most farming units harbour 
a few resident rats throughout the year — especially if pigs or poultry are present — but numbers usually increase as autumn arrives. Many of these incoming rodents will have spent the warmer months in open countryside, foraging a relatively natural diet. But things start to…

beaters and pickers up

Despatching pricked birds – the best way to do it

A vital aspect of shooting is the humane despatching of a wounded bird or animal, be it a pheasant, duck, pigeon, rabbit or squirrel. The prime objective of shooting live quarry is to ensure, wherever possible, an instant death for the creature we are pursuing. We are, hopefully, taught how…

Use of airguns in England and Wales under review

The Government is being urged not to introduce additional legislation restricting the use of airguns in England and Wales, which is under review after a child was wounded in Bristol. The Countryside Alliance (CA) said that though it is right that gun laws should be revisited when tragedies occur, “we…

dog tail injury

Help! My cocker spaniel keeps injuring his tail …

Q: I have a four year old cocker spaniel with a partially docked tail. I have used him over the past two seasons and twice now he has damaged his tail, causing it to bleed but not enough to prevent him working. My vet has offered to dock him further…

Tick with tick remover

Doing this will reduce the risk of Lyme disease

Q: I stalk frequently in a wood and heathland area where there is a lot of bracken and when I get home, I often find ticks both on the roe that I shoot and on  myself. I am concerned about the risk of Lyme disease. Is there anything I can…

red stags

Scottish estates urged to seek rates relief

Scottish landowners are being urged to take advantage of rates relief to avoid paying “eye-watering” new sporting fees. Scottish Assessors has issued notices to around 6,500 landowners after repealing rates exclusions on shoots and deer forests brought in by the Land Reform Act. The rates will apply to any landholding…

put my dog back on his lead

How can I get my dog to go back on his lead after exercise?

Q: My one-year-old standard poodle-springer is a happy, energetic, intelligent pet at home. He has a few issues with chewing, but we put that down to boredom and it is slowly getting better. However, I have now encountered 
a more serious issue. I take him every day to the fields and…

hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Which is the best hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Though it is not a claim I have ever heard him make, Rory Major has almost certainly trained and competed with more breeds of gundog than anyone else in the business. He has trialled everything from retrievers and spaniels to setters and most breeds of hunt, point and retrieve gundogs (HPR). His successes include making-up the…

Beretta Silver Pigeon 1

Beretta Silver Pigeon I

Ever keen to keep a fresh face on long-life models, Beretta has launched the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I with the new Game Scene engraving. The Silver Pigeon range has involved many models over the years. There have been some changes to the action, but essentially the heart of it…

shotgun in car

What to do if you have a car crash when you’re transporting your gun

Q: Imagine you are on your way to your shoot, with gun, cartridges and dog in your car, when out of nowhere someone crashes into you. Fortunately neither of you are hurt, but both vehicles are immobile. My question is should 
I call the police, as I can hardly hail…

BASC appoints new chief executive

BASC has appointed a new chief executive, due to join the team in February 2018. Ian Bell, a brigadier in the British Army, will take up the role at BASC when his current deployment as Commander British Forces Germany comes to an end. Mr Bell has a huge enthusiasm for…

Why are Labradors greedy?

A rogue gene could explain your Labrador’s  insatiable appetite. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a genetic variation in Labradors that, they suspect, makes some obsessed with food. The research was led by Dr Eleanor Raffan, who said: “This is a common genetic variation in Labradors and it…

rules for picking-up

The golden rules for picking-up on a shoot

If you have picking-up dogs, 
then it is always good to get them 
out working, especially if you haven’t been out on the grouse moors or 
on partridge days. Taking them on 
a small boundary day is ideal if you 
get the chance, as it will remind them what they…

shooting tweeds

When you need written authority for gun loans

Q: I have noted with pleasure recent changes in the law over borrowing shotguns. I allow a local pigeon shooter to shoot over my farm, and he would like to bring his 16-year-old son with him and lend him his gun for use under supervision. I am quite happy with…

How to keep your pheasants close to home

As birds mature, they start to wander. Not necessarily because there is something badly wrong with where they are, nor because they are looking for something particular that their release wood can’t provide, but more because it is part of the natural maturing process of most wild things, pheasants and…

Weihrauch HW66 .22LR thumbhole

Weihrauch CW66 .22LR thumbhole – the perfect vermin gun?

Weihrauch is famed for its well-engineered range of air rifles, 
of which I am a bit 
of a collector. My first air rifle was 
an HW35, too. Weihrauch has made a range 
of rimfires as well as full-bore rifles 
for decades and its rimfire rifles offer the same blend of…

Kansas pheasant

How to improve your pheasant shooting technique

Here are some pheasant shooting techniques to help you in the field Footwork and balance In all forms of driven shooting, good footwork is the building block for any shot, and with good footwork comes good, controlled balance. Without these two factors at the start, shooting consistently is not possible.…

Crowcombe Court, Woodcock Club

A grand affair: the 33rd annual Woodcock Club dinner

I turned up a little late to the 33rd Shooting Times Woodcock Club dinner on 22 April. But the road that winds its way over the Quantocks to Crowcombe Court in Somerset is not the sort of place that someone with even the vaguest appreciation of landscapes could bear to…

wildfowling club

Wildfowling Club of the Year award now open for entries

The purpose of Shooting Times’s new award is to highlight the incredible contribution made by fowlers across the UK. Wildfowling Club of the Year award now open for entries Editor Patrick Galbraith explained: “Wildfowlers are possibly the finest ambassadors that shooting has. Their conservation work, appreciation of the landscape they…