Mike Swan

Mike Swan

Mike has been a member of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust advisory team since 1982, having previously completed a PhD in Botany. He runs his own small shoot in Dorset, as well as enjoying wildfowling, fishing and woodland stalking. He runs the GWCT’s tertiary education programme, and provides advice on game management and conservation to gamekeepers, shoot managers, farmers and conservation organisations across southern England, the southwest, and throughout Wales.

end of high birds

Could the ruling on lead mean the end of high birds? In the early 1990s, when we had a voluntary phase-out of lead for shooting over wetlands, my old mate…

fox predation control

Let’s start by noting the words ‘predation control’, rather than predator. In managing game and wildlife, how many predators you kill is of no great relevance; rather it is the…

Waiting on the peg

With the season all but over, my mind as usual turns to planning for the next. In just a few weeks, the pheasants will be setting up their territories, strutting…

woodcock shooting

Woodcock have a reputation of being unpredictable in their movements, here today and gone tomorrow. So you could be forgiven for feeling that whether or not you shoot them makes…

duck flighting

There is hardly a more exciting sound in the world of shooting than the rush of air through duck wings as they drop in at evening flight. Every time I…

Grouse moor

Coming from the soft south, 
I didn’t see a live grouse until I was 19. That was in the summer of 1974, when I took off to the Cairngorms for…

how to call a fox

Wise keepers make life as difficult as possible for those pheasant pen predators intent on finding a tasty meal. Birds are usually lost in two ways: Mass kills of poults…

duck breeds

Identifying different duck breeds The question “What’s that one then?” should never be heard from the person who shot a bird, so knowing what the odd unusual duck looks and…

Greylag geese

Have you noticed how often ducks coming to a flight pond come in twos, especially later in the season? It’s no accident — by this time of year the breeding…

coypu

At up to 3ft long including the tail, and weighing perhaps 9kg, the coypu is fairly impressive for a rodent. It is not quite a capybara or a beaver, but…

Shooting a Beretta

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, wants a fee increase so police are not “subsidising gun ownership” I am pleased to see that BASC’s Bill Harriman is suitably…

woodcock

Sportsmen and women are being asked to refrain from shooting woodcock until 1st December, in new guidelines issued by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). This is due to…