Kansas pheasant

How to improve your pheasant shooting technique

Here are some pheasant shooting techniques to help you in the field Footwork and balance In all forms of driven shooting, good footwork is the building block for any shot, and with good footwork comes good, controlled balance. Without these two factors at the start, shooting consistently is not possible.…

flying pheasant

Which is the faster bird – partridge or pheasant?

Game shooting: Which bird flies faster and needs more lead - a partridge or a pheasant? I’m reasonably okay at game shooting, but I do struggle on partridge shown on the same drive at the same height. Can you shed any light on my problem?

Bisley shooting ground

Seven top grounds for game shooters in England

Top grounds for game shooters Barbury, Wiltshire Nestled into the foot of the Marlborough Downs just a few minutes from Junction 15 of the M4 this picturesque ground is well run by Huw Stephens and his team. It’s open every day of the week and it is loaded with rural…

Shotgun loaders on shoot

Shotgun loaders – why they are the hidden experts of game shooting

There are two basic ways in which loaders offer their services: either they become involved with a game shooter wherever they travel to shoot, or they contact local shoots and shooting estates to offer their services as a loader to Guns visiting that particular estate. Credibility – particularly in safety…

the woodcock

The woodcock – so elusive

As both a challenge of shooting skill and a delicacy for the table, the woodcock is regarded by many shooters as an elusive and highly prized trophy. It is certainly one of the most mysterious birds among our quarry species. Most encounters with this secretive and interesting wader are of the bird on the wing. Disturbed from its…

keeper's day

Keeping everyone happy on keeper’s day

As the season draws to a close, talk among the beaters and pickers-up is of the end-of-season keeper’s days. For many gamekeepers, it is the only day of the year they get to shoot pheasants. Indeed, for some of them it might be the only day of the year they get to go shooting at all. There…

Game bird

What makes a game bird fly well on shoot days?

What makes our game birds fly well one day only to perform poorly the next? No one wants low birds that present little challenge and result in an inedible carcass along with a feeling of ‘really, what is the point?’ At the opposite end of the scale, the cruelty of excessive-range shooting is not only unacceptable but leaves a similar…

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…

game shooting at sunset

How to shoot more driven birds

At this time during the season, I tend to lose count of the number of times I hear Guns saying, “I got off to a really good start with my shooting, but now the wheels have fallen off …”. There are a few factors that cause this. Birds are now strong on the wing, the weather conditions…

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…

Mark Osborne William Powell

Mark Osborne of William Powell in the hot seat

Mark Osborne was interviewed for the October 2016 issue of Shooting Gazette. Have you been out relentlessly since the Twelfth? “I was out on the Twelfth and have been out a fair bit since as we keep going as long as we need. As well as letting days, we also manage quite…

man shooting pheasants in field

Better pheasant shooting tips

The season is well under way and many of you will have no doubt already enjoyed your first outings. I’ve spoken with many gamekeepers and they are all singing from the same hymn sheet: pheasants have done well this year and in many cases have feathered up nicely too. There has been a lot of dogging-in on many…

preparing for the new season

How to prepare for the new season

If you haven’t already been busy shooting grouse and still need to get prepared for the forthcoming 2016/17 season, now is the perfect time to do it. What follows is my “hit list” of what to make sure you have covered before you head into battle. Lessons and practice This is the time to iron out…

release pens

How to manage release pens correctly

Time and again as I wander into the depths of a wood in my role as a Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) game adviser, I come across an embarrassment. The combination of tatty fencing, battered feed drums, broken drinkers, bags hanging from branches, and other mess is a dreadful advert for shooting. Add a bit of over-stocking to…

DIY shoot

How to start up your own DIY shoot

Can you recall a time when the roughshoot, that splendid amalgam of sport, offering the odd walked-up pheasant or perhaps a partridge, a snipe, a mallard and a brace of rabbits, was a readily available alternative to the organised driven day? If you can then you have reached a certain…