sunrise in countryside

20 of the best UK pheasant shoots

TREGOYD, POWYS This stunning shoot just to the south of Hay-on-Wye is run by the ambitious team of Ben Brown and headkeeper Clive Hussell, and recent years have seen significant investment in the infrastructure of the shoot. But what has not changed is the quality of the shooting. The terrain takes care of itself but Ben’s attention…

Practice dry gun mount

Want to be a better Shot?

A couple of months ago I floated the suggestion that even a small bit of preparation for the game and wildfowling season might result in a more successful first day out on partridges, pheasants or the flightpond. Doubtless pressure of time has again stymied your best intentions to shoot some clays and to practise those high-incomers and longer…

fly fishing

Why we’re fans of the new Netflix TV series ‘The Crown’

Settling down to a relaxing evening watching TV, I decided to watch the well-reviewed new drama ‘The Crown’ which is now showing on Neflix. It depicts the Queen’s life, from a young princess climbing trees with her sister, through to the Coronation, her life with the Duke of Edinburgh and…

man with shotgun

Firearms licensing: the best and worst revealed

It now seems unbelievable that in 1916 you could buy and own as many guns as you liked without let or hindrance. That changed in 1920 when firearms ownership was controlled, but shotguns were not controlled until 1967. For 21 years thereafter we had a light-touch shotgun control system that worked pretty well, but the bureaucrats had to have…

Wildfowlers

Shotgun cartridges for geese reviewed

A wild goose chase can be exactly what it says on the tin, so when  you get the birds in range you want the confidence that you are packing sufficient power to get one in the bag. Goose shooting can take place in a range of different scenarios, from decoying at close range to foreshore flighting…

red legged partridges

Greedy shot or good sport?

I was talking to a fellow picker-up a few years ago about the performance of the team of Guns visiting the shoot that day. My colleague, who liked to give his dogs plenty of work, was mightily impressed by them but I had to partially disagree. Admittedly, they were decent performers but were not particularly discerning, with a couple of…

shoot lunch

How to host a shoot lunch

The perfect shoot lunch depends as much upon the style of shoot as it does upon the lunch itself. Neither cold pork pies at a double gun 400 bird day nor three-course lunch at a rough day wildfowling are likely to go down well. So a perfect shoot lunch can…

Labrador and handler

Do dogs get dementia?

A recent newspaper report suggested that a third of dogs develop some sort of cognitive decline from the age of eight, and two-thirds do so from the age of 15. Having known a good number of old dogs, this didn’t make surprising reading. Indications of dementia in dogs include the dog getting stuck behind furniture and needing…

wellies in mud

Boots or wellies for airgunning?

A: The snug fit of lace-ups does tend to mean that they lend themselves well to stalking, and I  sometimes appreciate the extra ankle support when covering long distances, but I don’t regard them as essential. Rubber boots have come a long way over recent years, and fit tends to be good if you opt for…

pheasant and game chips

Roasted hen pheasant & game chips by Tim Maddams

Roasted hen pheasant and game chips   Ingredients 1 whole, plucked and dressed hen pheasant A little pork fat or goose/duck fat Salt and pepper A few sage leaves For the bread sauce A good knob of butter ½ an onion, finely chopped ¼ pint whole milk 50G – 100g diced stale bread or, better…

antibiotics in game meat reduced

Lime flavoured roast partridge

Ingredients 4 partridge, ready prepared 2 limes butter or olive oil 4 rashers bacon 4 slices French bread 50g-75g paté (optional) Description Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Spread butter or olive oil over the bird, season with salt and pepper and, allowing one rasher of bacon per bird,…

Amber Hill

20 things you should know about Amber Hill

Her sporting hero is American Kim Rhode who won gold in London 2012 along with Olympic gold medals in Athens, Beijin and Sydney She shoots with a handmade Perazzi MX2000. She describes her Perazzi as ‘perfect’ It was specially created for her in orange and black colours She started shooting at…

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley: the greatest Shot of all time?

If you asked me to say who I thought was the greatest Shot of all time, I would have no hesitation in saying Annie Oakley. Her skill and feats of accuracy have become legendary. However, she was much more than a mere exhibition shooter — she was an international superstar who was presented to the crowned heads of…

A-Z guide to shooting terms

A handy A-Z guide to shooting terms

A Accidental discharge Sometimes called a “negligent discharge”. It is the unintentional firing of a rifle or gun Action The mechanism of a rifle or gun by which it is loaded, fired and unloaded Airgun A general term for any pistol or rifle that uses compressed air as a propellant. There…

shooting with airgun

How big a garden do I need for shooting with an airgun?

A: Apart from in Scotland, where it now looks as though police officers will need to visit households to carry out an inspection to judge suitability for plinking, to comply with what appears to be an unworkable new airgun licensing regime, your son can shoot an air rifle in the garden under close adult supervision. One vitally important thing…

Queen Elizabeth in the field

A Royal picker-up

Gundogs have been a part of the Queen’s life from infancy. Her grandfather, George V, inherited his own father’s taste for gameshooting, as well as a more hands- on approach to the care and training of working dogs than Edward VII had ever shown. In the year before Elizabeth’s birth,…

How to be a good shoot day host

How to be a good shoot day host – 10 top tips

How to be a good shoot day host? Like any gathering of friends at a party, a shoot day needs a host, and what should a shoot day be if not a gathering of friends having a party? The visiting team may field its own host in the shape of…

Robin Scott

A new series on starting shooting

Funny old world, isn’t it? In spite of society throwing its hands up in horror at the mere mention of guns, shooting as a sport has never been more popular. Almost 700,000 people own shotguns in Britain, and the number is growing across all age groups, and both sexes. Add…