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40 reasons why we shoot

A list of the benefits shooting brings to the community

benefits shooting brings

There’s plenty of misinformation about shooting. So here’s a list, with facts published in Shooting Times, of the benefits shooting brings to the community.

Why We Shoot

  1. Research has shown that going shooting boosts mental wellbeing and physical health.
  2. Shooting improves social contact for a variety of ages
  3. Shooting instils a strong sense of responsibility in the young.
  4. Research shows shooting promotes community and strong social networks
  5. Game shooting is an accessible sport, enjoyed by many thousands of people from all walks of life
  6. There are many forms of shooting, including; Airgunning, clayshooting, gameshooting, stalking.
  7. Game shooting, airgunning, stalking and clayshooting are open to disabled participants
  8. Game meat is free range
  9. Game meat is leaner and lower in fat than farmed meat and rich in protein
  10. Game meat is tasty due to the varied natural diet of animals in the wild
  11. Shooters spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services*
  12. Shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full time jobs*
  13. Shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK economy (GVA)*
  14. Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area*
  15. Shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation*
  16. Shooters spend 3.9 million work days on conservation – that’s the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs*
  17. Two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting*
  18. GWCT research has shown that ground nesting birds thrive best on managed moorland
  19. Gameshooting sustains the rural community with employment and income.
  20. The past two years have seen increases in the number of hen harrier nests in England, as well as chicks that have fledged. Well over half of these chicks were produced on grouse moors. (Source GWCT).

Why we shoot wood pigeon

  1. Woodpigeon can breed in every month of the year
  2. The birds will generally have two to three broods a year
  3. As oilseed rape has been grown more, pigeon have had more year-round sustenance
  4. It is estimated that pigeon damage to crops costs British farmers £12 million annually
Outdoor eating

The joys of an outdoor lunch

Healthy food

  1. Unlike mass-produced poultry, wild game is antibiotic-free
  2. Game is a source of the healthiest fats, such as Omega-3
  3. Pigeon is a superb source of iron and zinc
  4. Goose is very high in selenium, which is known to be an antioxidant
  5. Rabbit is higher in protein than chicken

Benefits shooting brings to conservation

  1. Wild bird shoots often have high numbers of songbirds
  2. The grey partridge, our traditional farmland gamebird, has declined by over 90% in the past 100 years
  3. In arable counties, woodland has often only been saved due to shoot management
  4. Wild bird shoots often necessitate employing multiple gamekeepers

Wildfowling is a sport that has worked hand in hand with conservation over the years


  1. There are 140 dedicated wildfowling clubs in Britain
  2. Disturbance to wildlife caused by wildfowlers is almost non-existent
  3. The Stanley Duncan Trophy, named after the Shooting Times contributor, is awarded to fowling clubs that excel at conservation
  4. BASC was founded to protect the rights of wildfowlers
Scotland's grouse moors

A Scottish grouse moor


  1. Angling is worth £55 million to the Scottish economy
  2. Shooting generates 11,000 full-time jobs in Scotland
  3. The end of salmon fishing would result in Highlands households being £12.5 million a year worse off
  4. 270,000 trips are taken to Scotland each year for fieldsports


  • A total of 170 million cartridges are purchased in Britain every year
  • In 1851 there were 2,867 gunmakers traditionally used to take seven years, but these days it’s usually three
  • Beretta in Italy is the oldest gunmaker still in existence

Why our readers shoot

We conducted a poll asking readers of Shooting UK why they shoot. Scroll through the images below to see what they said.

*Data provided by the Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) in an independent survey