fox in field

Keeping livestock safe

On a Friday in February, I waited at my burger van for Tony Jones to arrive from Yorkshire for what would hopefully be another enjoyable weekend of foxing. As usual, the weather was absolutely rotten: cold and raining, with high winds. I usually finish work at 1pm but, with the…

roe rut

English and Welsh roe review 2015

Numbers of roe from England and Wales measured in 2015 were again up on the previous year. Having measured more than 250 heads in 2014, we were presented with just over that number this year. The quality was not quite as good as we have seen in the past —…

Chinese water buck

UK other species review 2015

Many stalkers will be aware of some of the changes that have taken place over the past 12 months with the introduction of the CIC’s Handbook for the Evaluation and Measurement of Hunting Trophies. The changes for roe deer are few and have been easily assimilated; those for other European species have been…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

Scottish roe review 2015

There are two aspects of trophy roe from Scotland that remain consistent. The first is the overall numbers that are presented for evaluation; the second the locations whence they come. Last year proved to be no exception, with the eastern side of the country producing the pick of the trophies, and…

deer stalking

How to avoid being seen, smelled or heard when stalking deer

Lately I was asked: “What do you consider the most important technique that should be put into practice while deerstalking?” I have to say the question found me a little off guard. At the time I was giving a DSC1 lecture on roe deer and it wasn’t the question I was expecting.…

High Seat

How to use a high seat for deer culling

There are plenty of stalkers who poo-poo the notion of using a high seat: “That’s not stalking,” they say, “you’re not using any fieldcraft.” They do have a point. However, high seats can be one of the most useful tools in culling deer. They give you the chance to observe what is on a patch of ground,…

Men deerstalking

Why land reform risks wiping out Scotland’s deer

Scotland’s Parliament has the devolved power to deal with land reform and land ownership, with the path to reform inevitable. But are the current proposals — which include the ending of tax relief for sporting estates and forced sales if owners block economic development — the best way forward for…

The world’s smallest shoot?

Back in the 1970s I made a couple of life-changing decisions. I resigned from a secure job in banking to become a full-time writer, sold my house in suburbia and moved with my wife and four children to live in a remote area of the Shropshire-Welsh border hills. Friends told…

Rifle skills

Four principles for better rifle skills

There are four marksmanship principles you need to hold firmly in mind if you want to improve your rifle skills: Aim, hold, sight and shot. These can be seen as the fundamentals of accurate shooting — and they must be utilised every time. They are easy to practise at home…

CLA Game Fair 2015

Five Things You Mustn’t Miss At the CLA Game Fair

Come and see us Don’t leave the Game Fair without saying hello to us (stand T1505). We would love to meet you. Pick up a terrific offer of three months’ subscription to Shooting Times for £19.50 with a direct debit. Each new subscriber will receive a bottle of Naked Grouse whisky…

Deer calls

Scottish deer – a political animal

Earlier this year, Aileen Macleod, Scotland’s minister for environment, climate change and land reform, published a review of the Scottish National Party Government’s policy on deer and deer management — Scotland’s Wild Deer: a national approach. I feel an affinity towards the document because on the front cover it shows a…

roe deer

Improving deer management

The British Deer Society (BDS) is renowned for its promotion of deer welfare and best practice management as well as for courses such as the Deer Stalking Certificate (DSC) 1 and 2, deer management and humane despatch. But did you know that part of its remit is to fund scientific…

Roebucks

Roebucks: is April too early to cull?

For the roebuck — whether mature or a youngster — the rut used to be when he was most likely to become a statistic of a successful stalk. Today, the period of danger has spread. It seems that April Fool’s Day — or the weeks following it — is when…

Have you booked your Shooting UK Event?

Shooting UK has now launched three exciting new events for the readers of Sporting Gun, Shooting Times, Shooting Gazette and The Field – and of course, visitors to the Shooting UK website. Whether you want to find out what jobs a gamekeeper has to do throughout the year, how you have a…

Catherine Leach Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall Norfolk’s lady gamekeeper Catherine Leach

What springs to mind when you think of Holkham Hall in Norfolk? The fabulous beach featured in Shakespeare in Love? Perhaps the tremendous 25,000-acre estate that covers miles of shoreline and some of the most beautiful parts of Norfolk? What about the Victoria Inn, where you can sit and listen…