So what's the situation with pheasant shooting next season?
We’ve searched out a number of the best pheasant shoots around that will welcome shooters from September, with social distancing measures in place.
If you like the challenge of tricky birds on a variety of terrain then this shoot is one you should visit. Situated to the south of Hay-on-Wye in stunning countryside. Visiting Guns are tested in every possible way in a mixture of woodland and open drives. And if you fancy shooting back-to-back days then you can take another day at Llwyn Madoc, to the west of Builth Wells, another of the best pheasant shoots around.
Contact: Ben Brown Tel. 07711677726 or email: email@example.com
Located in the South Downs National Park this is one for high birds. After years of careful conservation and planting, the home shoot is very well regarded among those in the know. Shooting takes place over 6,000 acres of that unspoilt, spectacular downland countryside which produces the highest of pheasants during when November comes around.
Six hundred feet above sea level in the Meon Valley, the 2,500-acre Bereleigh estate has a well deserved reputation for showing fine pheasant over grassland, arable and mature wooded valleys. The Georgian house can accommodate a full team of Guns with followers. Mascombe Bottom is a natural depression in the chalk downland and shows arguably the best birds on the ground.
Contact: Bereleigh Sporting
The name Black Andrew strikes fear into the hearts of shooters worldwide, but this notorious high bird drive is just one of many on offer at this stunning Borders shoot, less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Bowhill offers 200-250 bird days for parties of eight to 10 Guns, normally incorporating five drives taken from the choice of 19 in total. Certainly deserves its place on our list of best pheasant shoots.
Contact Hawthorn Sporting
On the Welsh borders you will find some of the most spectacular shooting in Britain. Steep valleys and high hills make for memorable days and high, testing birds from the cliffs above the banks of the River Teme will stretch the most experienced Shot.
Contact Downton Shoot
Brixton Deverill, Wiltshire
Shooting over the Brixton and Sutton Veny beats, this ground carries a fearsome reputation for early season partridge that hurtle off the high banks and are visibly un-phased by wind speed or direction, powering over the line. However, when the pheasant come on-stream, they equal the best shoots found further west. Many guns would suggest that Abyssinia is the signature drive, but Beeches and McSharries shoot as well as any and Horseback on its day is unbeatable. Great shoot lodge and lunches are a given.
Contact: Jeremy Lee Tel. 01747 834488 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Combe Sydenham was once the home to Sir Francis Drake. Today it offers traditional pheasant shooting in steep valleys and narrow gulches, bringing testing but not impossible shooting. Efficiently keepered and professionally managed, it still retains a family feel and victuals equal the sport.
This shining light in the northern shooting stable of best pheasant shoots has long been regarded as a top destination for the high bird brigade. With a famous category system, the ‘extreme’ days have become the stuff of shooting legend, and if you have enjoyed this unique challenge you really do have a feather in your cap. In the foothills of the Pennines, the 15,000-acre estate generally offers days in the 250-300 bird range, but bigger days are available on request.
Gurston Down, Wiltshire
The chalk valleys to the west of Salisbury prove to be good shooting ground. David Hitchings started the shooting here way back in 1966 and this shoot still retains the air of a family day, and that is perhaps the cleverest trick of all. The hospitality is spot on and the whole team clearly love what they do. Happy days indeed.
While Exmoor steals the West Country sporting headlines those who are prepared to stay on the A30 for a little longer and cross the Tamar into the proud county of Cornwall will be well rewarded. The pheasants here match some of the best you will find anywhere. But it would be a shame to travel all the way to this rocky and romantic outpost at the toe of the UK and not make a few days out of it, so why not try Boconnoc as well? Sounds like a good trip doesn’t it?
This shoot is one of the most famous in the country for the quality of the day, Days often start and finish at the Boar’s Head in the centre of Ripley, and guns will be treated to an astonishing array of drives in woodland and rolling countryside. Topographically, the Ripley Castle shoot includes the following ground: Ripley Castle, Mountgarret, Eagle Hall and Ashfold Side and Hardcastle and Heathfield Moors.
Shooting Gazette has been singing Warter Priory’s praises for a number of years now. There is a genuine local feel to this shoot and everyone knows their roles well. Everything from the Wolds topography to elevenses from a custom-made shooting wagon makes a day at this 12,000-acre gem well worth the wait.
Duncombe Park, North Yorkshire
Helmsley is the market town at the epicentre of this northern shooting powerhouse, and there are many excellent shoots in the area. The closest shoot to Helmsley is the magnificent and historic Duncombe Park.
Contact: Mount St. John Sporting
In the last decade this name has become synonymous with the fashion for stratospheric birds, which is hardly surprising as the flagship of the Bettws Hall empire truly does offer the sort of birds that can give you nightmares and some occasional moments of sheer delight. The shoot lies in the valleys of the Cambrian Mountains and at the foot of Snowdonia national park and the 12,000-acre estate provides endless drives to appeal to all manner of guns and ability.
Contact: Bettws Hall
Oliver Pope is the sixth generation of his family to run this marvellous 1,700-acre Dorset estate and its famous shoot with equally famous shoot lodge.