missing shots

How to think positively on a shoot day

We’ve all been there. We were shooting perfectly well and then, on one drive, we inexplicably have the equivalent of a batting collapse. Just as perfectly competent batsmen seem incapable of performing even the most basic functions under increasing pressure and are sent back to the pavilion, so we cannot…

timing a shot

Am I rushing my second shot?

Q: I have started to struggle with hitting two birds on the trot with a slight gap between them. I often kill the first bird and miss the second, is there anything I can do that will help? A: You are clearly doing something right as you say you are…

forward allowance

Why do you miss when shooting?

You will probably have heard it at some point on a clay ground from the back of the cage: “You’re behind it, mate.” While it is meant well, there is little more irritating than this kind of unsolicited comment. Another supposedly self-evident truth that is trotted out repeatedly on a…

driven shooting

How to address pheasants at different heights

Q: Can you give me any tips about how to avoid addressing straight driven pheasants too early? Whenever 
I saw a bird flying towards my peg last season, I mounted too early, took forever to get beyond the bird and then missed behind. A: The timing of shooting driven pheasants…

Can I load ammunition for a friend?

Q:  I enjoy loading my own ammunition for my .223 and .243 rifles. I have been asked to do some reloading for a friend. Is this legal and would I need to inform my firearms enquiry officer (FEO)? The law on reloading A: There is nothing in law that says…

spaniel asleep

19 ways for shooters to keep occupied during Lockdown II

As current Government COVID rules stand, you won’t be able to go out driven gameshooting in England until 3 December 2020. In addition target shooting ranges and clay grounds are also closed until then. However BASC advice states that: “Rough shooting, wildfowling and deer management may continue during the lockdown…

gun mount

How to move on from clay pigeon shooting to gameshooting

So you’re considering taking a step from clays to game? For many, the world of gameshooting is an interesting, if rather daunting and intimidating place. You may be comfortable on the clay ground, but how do you take the next move, to bridge the gap between shooting an inanimate object…

protesters on a shoot day

What do when faced with protestors on a shoot

What are the practical measures you can take to maintain safety and de-escalate a situation if you are unlucky enough to be confronted by protesters on a shoot day? Confrontation and intimidation Remember that extremists amongst animal rights groups frequently work to the same agenda – that of confrontation and…

Female Gun with pheasant

Can my wife use my gun cabinet for her shotguns?

Q: I’m wondering if we need to have two gun cabinets in our house or whether it would be legal to just have one. I shoot both rifles and shotguns and so have both a firearms licence and a shotgun licence. My wife has taken up shooting in the past…

shooter by landrover

How I dealt with my depression

The start of my depression It was a still, soft October morning. I was feeding my pheasants and enjoying every minute of it, because there were lots of birds on show and already they looked more or less ready for sport. There was still over a fortnight to go before…

cleaning a semi-auto

Can my brother leave his semi-auto at my house for cleaning?

I own a three-shot semi-automatic on my shotgun certificate. My brother owns the same model and make of semi-automatic, but it is a five-shot and it’s on his firearm certificate. The only difference between the guns is my magazine has been restricted to two cartridges by a gunsmith. My brother…

Christmas gifts for shooters

45 Christmas gifts for shooters 2020

This Christmas it’s going to be hard for many of us to go out Christmas shopping due to Covid restrictions and so we’ve put together a long list of Christmas gifts for shooters that you can buy online which can be delivered directly.  As well as products we’ve also included…

public footpath

Conflicts with the public in the countryside

Many of my shooting permissions border large urban towns and while I reap the benefit of pigeon flying out to feed in the fields surrounding them, I inevitably come into contact with the residents of the towns too. Public in the countryside By and large, people who enjoy walking in…

freezing game

Tips for freezing game

There are a few rules to freezing game to make sure you have a good supply throughout the spring and summer months and they apply whether you have a chest freezer or something smaller. Label everything Always clearly label your game even if you tell yourself confidently: “Oh, I’ll remember…

Despatching injured bird

What’s the most humane way to despatch a pricked bird?

Never leave an injured bird Every sportsman should keep unnecessary suffering to a minimum. The prime objective of shooting live quarry is to ensure an instant death for the bird but inevitably there are occasions when birds are pricked (wounded) and need to be quickly despatched. Our quarry deserves respect…

Lamping foxes

Why you shouldn’t tackle rural crime by yourself

As sure as day follows night, hare coursing and the poaching of gamebirds and deer become more prevalent after harvest. The seasonal increase in poaching and rural crime generally isn’t for any noble reason or observation of a season of any sort, it is simply due to the fact that…