A new survey of shoots around the country shows the sport?s increasing confidence, despite a challenging economic climate.

The Shoot Intentions Survey, conducted by rural property consultants Smiths Gore and sporting brokers GunsOnPegs, found that more than three quarters of commercial shoots will raise their charges this season. None of the shoots questioned intended to reduce their charges.

Smiths Gore and GunsOnPegs believe that the survey?s findings demonstrate that the majority of shoots are optimistic about the new season, while also reflecting the increase in the cost of putting a bird down.

Smiths Gore head of sporting, David Steel, said: ?Now that confidence has risen, commercial shoots are recouping their losses. Many have come to terms with the need to tighten their belts and have acted accordingly. This is a positive indication of optimism for the sport, given the tough time experienced by many shoots in the past couple of years.?

The survey has information from 110 shoots, half commercial and half non-commercial. Around half of those questioned were optimistic about the season, with commercial shoots more optimistic than non-commercial.

The rest of this article appears in the 28th September issue of Shooting Times.

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