Why local markets are essential to venison sales

If you’re looking for fresh food that’s steeped in local flavour, food that comes directly from the countryside around you, pay a visit to your nearest farmers’ market. Take, for instance, our local monthly market a couple of miles away in the small Suffolk town of Halesworth. It’s a place…

River Dee

A river with royal approval

The connection between the British royal family and fieldsports is long and illustrious and, happily, permeates down to this year of our monarch’s Platinum Jubilee. The royal estate at Sandringham has borne witness to many great sporting days, as has Balmoral in Aberdeenshire. Extending to 55,000 acres, and with grouse…

Best Royal Shots

Historic Royal Shots: the finest to ever wear a crown

Best Royal Shots Royalty has been at the forefront of game shooting activities in Great Britain since the mid 19th century when the Prince of Wales — later King Edward VII — promoted shooting as a socially acceptable alternative form of sport to foxhunting among the aristocracy and the landed…

Britain’s lost shoots: Hewell Estate

Those walking through the leafy streets of Barnt Green, one of the most prestigious residential areas in the West Midlands, probably have no idea that about a century ago the land over which they are travelling formed a part of the 6,000-acre Hewell Estate. Stretching from Redditch in the south…

Muntjac – everything you need to know

Among the world’s most ancient groups of deer species, muntjac walked the earth during the Miocene epoch along with mastodons and smilodons — sabre-tooth tigers — in essentially the same form as we know them today. Although they were present in Europe 15 million years ago, in more recent times…

Why all shooters should try fishing

In these days of thermal imaging and night sights, pigeon magnets and whirligigs, and when you can book a day’s shooting and confidently expect a bag of several hundreds of pheasants or partridges, it is probably more important than ever that those who shoot also go fishing. Not, I would…

mae pochard

Pochard – a diving duck that’s in decline

Similar in size to the wigeon, it is difficult to mistake the male pochard for any other duck, with his bright chestnut head, black breast, white flanks and delicately barred grey back. The female is more of a dark and rather drab grey-brown, but has a distinctive buff marking around…

walked up shooting

How we ensure shooting’s future

Nearly half a million people arrived by train, car and coach. Fishermen, falconers, ferreters, wildfowlers, game Shots, gillies and, of course, people who hunted turned out in 2002 to oppose a ban on hunting with hounds. How had this oldest of sports become indefensible to the masses? The answer is…

Britain’s best ever Shots: Reginald Rimington-Wilson

Something of an obscure figure in the annals of game shooting history, Reginald Henry Rimington-Wilson, commonly known as R H Rimington-Wilson, was regarded by his peers as the best grouse Shot on Earth prior to the outbreak of World War I. He was also considered to be the joint-second-top Shot…

A history of gamekeepers that went off to war

With conflict raging again in eastern Europe, we might do well to reflect on the tremendous contribution made to the defence of these islands by those involved in fieldsports. It may seem obvious that those practised in deerstalking or gamekeeping might make an ideal irregular military force, but it was…

How to play your part in boosting the feathered game market

Feathered game have from time immemorial given gratification to the palate of man,” began Mrs Beeton in her 1861 Book of Household Management. The chapter on cookery assures us that the eating of game has a noble pedigree, stretching back to Moses and beyond. (For the our archives of delicious…

Crop protection with Mat Manning

“You should have been here yesterday.” It’s an all-too-familiar phrase which, for anyone with a fondness for shooting and fishing, never loses its sting no matter how often you hear it. The yesterday in question was the day a farmer friend had called me to say a field of recently…

woodcock feathers

A guide to ageing woodcock

Ageing woodcock by examining their wing feathers is a useful skill to learn. It is a way we can help to discover more about the population trends of this migratory bird. (Read more about the elusive woodcock here.) Accuracy in ageing woodcock Features on feathers offer an accurate means for…

How to get the most out of fox calling

I looked at the subject of fox calling last summer, but as there’s only so much you can say in one article, I thought it worthy of further examination. In essence, when you’re luring foxes aurally you can either use a prey-distress sound or that of another fox. It is…