Browning B525

Wanted – a bargain claybuster to replace old Browning B325

This reader’s Browning B325 could date back to 1995 when the model was introduced, and I am guessing it is around 25 years old. These guns keep their value, and a reasonable example is worth at least £500 on the secondhand market. However, this gun’s owner tells me it has definitely seen better days. The woodwork is scratched,…

Ferrets

How to start ferreting

Ferreting is one of those activities that can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. For a newcomer it can seem quite daunting when you consider all the bits and bobs that are collected by those experienced in the art. However, you can still start ferreting and catch rabbits with a minimal amount…

Pigeon shooting days

Pigeon shooting influenced by Syd Barrett?

There are two difficulties for me in writing this story. Firstly, while readers love tales of everything going wrong, this happens to be an unashamed success. Secondly, while it is immodest to write about one’s own performance, this was so extreme that, like an out-of-body experience, it was not me but someone in my dreams shooting in my…

chocolate Labrador picking up

How to treat paw injuries in the field

A: It can affect a dog but tetanus is relatively uncommon, particularly if a wound bleeds to any extent. There is no equivalent vaccination available for dogs as there is for humans. Treatment for paw injuries Though small wounds are probably best left open to heal naturally and larger wounds may require stitches, when you are out…

Clay shooting

First invitation to shoot – what now?

A: Congratulations on receiving your invitation to shoot. However, before you mount a gun to shoot at any sentient creature, you need to have plenty of practice at clays. Go to a good ground that will do proper gun fit too. That will make you a better shot and will also give you confidence in…

First gun advice

First gun advice for my son. A 20-bore or a .410? What’s best?

A: Mike says: It depends on the sort of shooting your son is going to be doing. If his first gun is just for a bit of general vermin control around a farm, then the .410 might be okay. However, if he’s going to do clay, game or pigeons over decoys, then I’d go for the 20-bore and…

Woodcock

When it’s best not to shoot woodcock

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has published a short guide detailing when and when not to shoot woodcock. The British breeding population of this wading bird is on the red list of birds of conservation concern, with only an estimated 55,000 male woodcock breeding in the UK in 2013 — a 29 per cent decline on…

Shooters eating lunch

Shooting sports make huge contribution to rural economy

Shooting and countryside organisations have highlighted the important role that the shooting and farming industries play in supporting rural tourism. A number of groups gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee inquiry into tourism’s role in supporting rural growth in England last month. Vital source of income for rural business The committee is also examining issues…

fresh game

Tips for freezing game

I’ve made a few mistakes freezing game in my time. The first mistake was made by not knowing if the frozen bag of pheasant was diced meat or just breast and legs. Obviously once defrosted I realised it was the wrong type and the meal plan had to be changed quickly.…

on grouse moor

How the grouse debate was won

More than two years of hard campaigning by those who wanted to see driven grouse shooting banned has ended in complete failure. Securing parliamentary time for their issue was more than the anti-shooting campaigners dared hope for when they launched their latest petition to ban driven grouse shooting, and their excitement was palpable. The activists’ hopes were dashed however when what seemed…

How to be an ideal beater

How to be an ideal beater

  The ideal beater Nothing makes my job easier than a good team of reliable beaters and picker-ups. In any beating team there is normally a core that know the ground better and work that bit extra to make the day a good one. Most of my beaters are locals, many seem to have been here…

Sprocker debate

Rocked by sprockergate

Earlier this month, I did something I’d never done before: I bought a copy of The Sun. I’d had a tip-off that the paper included a gundog news story, and sure enough, on the cover was the headline Royal exclusive: Queen’s dog in cheat storm — see page 7. I turned to the page to find a picture…

man with air rifle

Should I use a sound moderator on my airgun?

Q: You would be surprised just how much of a crack an airgun can make — especially pre-charged models. An airgun-specific sound moderator from the likes of Huggett, Air Arms, BSA, Weihrauch or Daystate can hush an air rifle’s muzzle report to the merest of whispers. Keeping an airgun quiet is a great aid to stealth and helps…

moorland grouse

RSPB officer attacks GWCT

Rural organisations are concerned that the RSPB considers itself to be “at war” with moorland managers, following a highly critical public presentation  by one of its senior officers. Speaking to the North of England Raptor Forum in November, RSPB senior upland policy officer Dr Pat Thompson said that certain groups,…

Will Garfit chooses dream pigeon shooting team

Will Garfit’s dream pigeon shooting team

The first would have to be the late Archie Coats, father of modern pigeon shooting. He was like a sporting father to me as friend, tutor and influence, for better or for worse. He was a superb shot using his Webley 700 boxlock, side-by-side, with nimble footwork, fast reactions and intense concentration for the opportunity of a safe shot at whatever quarry entered…

flying pheasant

Bird flu discovered in pheasant flock in Lancashire

A number of the flock have died and the remaining live birds at the infected premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the avian flu virus is very…

Shooting automatic ball trap

How to shoot automatic ball trap

Automatic ball trap is challenging For the gameshooter, most trap disciplines are ideal for building up the reflexes often needed for walked-up shooting – where game will be going away and may be rising. For the purely competition shooter ABT offers a great challenge, and with the angles greater and the clays quicker you can still pull through into top place…

pheasant drive

What’s better? A big last drive or a big first drive?

Big last drive By Ben Samuelson It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that a lot of shooting folk are also worshippers at the gentle church of cricket. Both involve a lot of very civilised waiting around with the soothing balm of a glass or two of something being applied to ease the pain. Both…

Korthals griffon

20 things to know about the Korthals Griffon

The Korthals Griffon is known as the Griffon Korthals on the Continent Or the Griffon d’arrêt in France and Quebec It was founded by the Dutch breeder Eduart Karels Korthals in around 1873 He dedicated 20 years to developing and perfecting his “Griffon” It is fully recognised by the Kennel…

Man with shot load in field

Pellet size and shot load – due an increase?

A: The debate on shot size is always an interesting one and many people, particularly of my father’s generation, grew up shooting nothing but Eley Impax 28gram No.7s at everything. Now I come across lots of people who shoot nothing but 36gram No.4s as their standard load, from September partridge to January pheasants! Cartridges must be fit for purpose The…