pheasant drive

The pheasant shooting season runs from 1 October through to 1 February in England, Scotland and Wales and pheasant is the quarry most game shooters are likely to come across.

Top tips for pheasant shooting

  • Know the breed of pheasant you are shooting. They all behave slightly differently in flight.
  • Get your footwork right. Move your feet correctly before you mount the gun and make the shot
  • Practice your gun mount beforehand. A consistent gun mount will help you take the shot correctly.
  • Finish your shot properly by watching the bird fold in the air
  • Don’t aim, rush or snatch at the trigger
  • Don’t cover the line of the bird with your muzzles
  • Keep your stance and weight correct

Get to know the different breeds of pheasants

You’ll also need to know what the best guns are for this type of shooting, what load to use and what the distance limit is to shoot.

If you’re new to shooting and wondering what the difference between walked up shooting and driven shooting is, then here is an easy guide.

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon

The Beretta Silver Pigeon is a popular pheasant shooting gun

Pheasant shooting has its own etiquette and part of it is knowing what to wear when you’re out in the field so here’s a useful guide.

Later on in the season pheasants behave differently and the talk is all about shooting high pheasants.

And then when you’ve got your bag, you can finish off by browsing through our pheasant recipes.

socks for game shooting

Follow the dress code

Beginners and improvers

If you want to start shooting, this is the perfect place to read up on the know-how and make sure your shooting etiquette passes muster.

If you’re looking improve your shooting technique when you’re after pheasant, then you’ll find a host of articles here on how to be a better shot – with plenty of advice on stance and eye dominance.

We’ve also investigated many pheasant shooting grounds and you can read our reports here and see how they match up to your expectations for shooting pheasants.

pheasant shooting

How to shoot high pheasants

There aren’t many shortcuts in this game — shooting high pheasants takes practice. The only way to become really good at taking on those tall birds is to spend hours standing underneath them. That said, there are a few tricks of the trade that will set you on the path…

Shooting in field

What’s the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants?

How should you tackle standard driven pheasants when you’re out in the field? The sort you’re likely to come across earlier in the season. What would be the best cartridge load for driven pheasants? Speaking from my experience as a shooting instructor I think that the cartridges a shooter uses…

joining a picking-up team

Six must-reads about pheasant shooting

There’s an early morning nip in the air which means that the pheasant season, starting on 1 October, is just around the corner. Whether you’re new to pheasant shooting or a seasoned hand, here are some useful pheasant shooting must-reads covering everything from guns and ammunition to shooting high birds.…

pheasants in flight

The rules you must follow when rearing gamebirds

Before you take any steps to start on rearing gamebirds yourself you need to be aware of the key factors involved. Rule 1: Think of it as a business You need to think seriously about rearing gamebirds right from the beginning and consider it as a business, whether you’re rearing…

Shooter with single-barrelled shotgun

One barrel is all you need

A single-shot, single-barrelled shotgun is not popular these days. The guns are looked down upon as somehow ‘less than’. When I began my shooting life under my father’s instruction, I was as excited as any 14-year-old could be. I had completed my three-year apprenticeship of various gun-, dog- and bird-related…

flying pheasant

Facts about the pheasant – phasianus colchicus

Just how long the pheasant has been found in Britain is open to question but it is likely that, as with so many of our non-native species, the Romans had a major hand in bringing them to our shores. It is also likely that they were bred as table birds…

Female Gun

An invitation to a driven day – a female Gun reports back

I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the wonderful world of fieldsports for most of my life. 
From rough shooting with my 
father to great times on the beating lines, I can still claim that one of my greatest achievements was to be head beater by the age…

springer spaniel

Is the pheasant the perfect gamebird?

Good looking, fast flying, delicious as well as easy to rear, tough and adaptable. The pheasant comes in a perfectly designed package. Like anything that’s relatively trouble-free, we don’t think about it much. So are we in danger of taking the pheasant for granted? An exotic alien We expect it to thrive…

high pheasant shooting

Which type of pheasant shooting is superior?

High pheasant in open fields By Giles Catchpole Snap shooting is all very well and good. Couched on a ride in the midst of the shelter belt or in a clearing in the heart of a block of forestry can be exciting, for sure. Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of…

man with gun in gunslip

Popular shotguns for the pheasant season

What you need to consider when picking out a game gun Weight Gauge Style Action Budget Patrick Galbraith, Editor of the Shooting Times, comments when discussing shotguns for pheasant shooting: “I would say that there has been a move towards affordable guns, with pairs of Mirokus becoming a frequent sight…

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?

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…