Remington Versa Max

Can you date a gun from its serial number?

A: In an ideal world, all manufacturers would agree to incorporate the date in the serial number, in a mutually-agreed formula using plain language. For instance, at the end of the number the figures 03.2016 could indicate manufacture in March of this year. The fact we have to live with,…

pointing dog

Spotlight on continental HPR breeds

One of the founding fathers of modern electric blues music was a man known as Muddy Waters. A fellow black musician, bemoaning what he perceived to be the hijacking of their music — mainly by the American middle class — once voiced his concern. Muddy, far simply agreeing, responded: “Black, white;…

puppy with ball

An insider’s guide to training gundog puppies

It’s going to be a busy summer at the Twistmount Kennels as I have a few youngsters that are ready to start their more formal training. I have two home-bred young springer spaniels that are showing real potential, a little liver-and-white bitch called Dolly and a black-and-white dog called Logan.…

easy woodpigeon recipe

Woodpigeon, wild cherries and gingerbread

Serving woodpigeon with wild cherries and gingerbread may not be something you’d ever think of doing, but this unusual combination works together very well. Wild cherries aren’t yet in season but it won’t be long – and it pays to have some advance warning because you may have to get…

jumping Labrador

Hip dysplasia in dogs

It’s many years since the dangers of hip dysplasia in dogs were first recognised. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club (KC) established their joint Hip Dysplasia Scheme in 1984 in a bid to try to understand the disease better, and to eradicate it from pedigree dogs. The scheme can…

sunrise over Scottish loch

Winner of Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

Thousands of entries were received but winner Ian Cameron impressed with his stunning images shot in the Highlands with his “ancient” camera. Ian said: “I am absolutely delighted and surprised to have won. I thought the pictures I’d entered were pretty decent and that I’d do okay, but wow! I…

shotgun cartridges

What’s the perfect pigeon cartridge?

The cartridge-making business is a fiercely competitive one, won or lost on marketing strategy, so if one company can find an edge, it is quickly exploited. It is only relatively recently that cartridge makers realised the huge potential market in people who shoot pigeons, with all the top boys now producing specialist…

shotgun with cartridges

Shotgun certificates – 10 frequently asked questions

    1. How long will it take me to get my shotgun certificate through?   This is probably the question we’re most frequently asked. A lot depends on where you live – read on for the full story …    2. How can I apply for my shotgun certificate?  A…

venison haggis recipe for Burns night

Venison haggis recipe for Burns night

Venison loins, venison haggis, chanterelles, leeks, potato, beetroot, basil pesto and truffle jus Ingredients 2 leeks, chopped 125g chanterelle mushrooms butter salt and pepper 4 x 250g pieces venison loin 2 floury potatoes, diced oil for frying 200ml venison jus 5ml white truffle oil 500g venison haggis 16 cubes beetroot…

red grouse recipe

Red grouse with liver en croute and bread puree

Ingredients For the roast grouse: 4 young red grouse salt and pepper 4 sprigs of thyme 4 cloves of garlic 8 bruised juniper berries 50 g butter for basting For the liver en croute: 4 livers from red grouse Cooking oil ½ tsp thyme, chopped salt and pepper 25ml brandy…

pan seared venison loin

Pan-seared venison loin

Ingredients For the venison loin 200g venison loin per person 25g butter Salt and pepper For fondant potato 4 potatoes weighing 200 to 300g 225g unsalted butter 150ml chicken stock sprig thyme sprig rosemary For the braised red cabbage 75g butter, plus extra to serve 1 red onion, finely chopped…

Gun standing by peg

Etiquette: How to get invited back to shoot

Receiving an invitation to go shooting of one of the sport’s great pleasures. Hopefully you’ll receive several during the season. But have you never noticed a falling-off in the offers you receive. Or wondering why they have stopped altogether? What is the problem? Could you be doing something wrong? We…

red legged partridges

A day on the River Cottage game cookery course

What a view. The Devon and Dorset border spread out before me on the first chilly day of the winter as I waited on top of a hill with my fellow River Cottage students. We’d parked up and were waiting for a tractor and trailer to take us down the…

gamekeeper on horse

Meet Dragon – the last horse on the beating line?

A horse moving with a line of beaters isn’t a sight you’re going to see much these days. In fact Frank Shellard says he is probably the last person riding on the beating line in the UK. (If you know anybody else, please get in touch.) I asked him what…

in field with gundogs

Beating the black dog

You may remember me, or rather you may dimly recall the monthly pieces that I wrote for Shooting Times, about fishing (occasionally) and shooting (mostly) and (in particular) running my own small shoot at High Park in Cumbria. I did this for around 10 years and then, three or four years ago, there was suddenly…