Beating line

Do beaters, loaders and pickers-up get paid fairly?

Some beaters, loaders and pickers-up rely on shoots as their main source of income throughout the season. However this money cannot replace a regular salary (and it’s been hit hard by Covid restrictions) and in any case shoot earnings have to be declared and are taxed accordingly. Few complaints Although…

Walked up grouse

How to dress for walked-up grouse and partridge shooting

When we all look ahead to the new game shooting season, certain images will invariably spring to mind. Morning coffee and bacon rolls in dank stone bothies or sheds, collars pulled high, while excited spaniels and labradors charge about outside in the sleet and snow, their breath fogging in the…

poults

How to keep your poults happy

Poults start to wander three to four weeks after release. Not very far initially but, as they grow more confident, they wander further and further from their pen. It isn’t the same as the September and October wanderings of almost mature birds, but more the naive exploring of adolescents that…

Rangefinding binoculars

The best rangefinding binoculars put through their paces

Rangefinding binoculars are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, which is likely a direct result of their widespread use in the US. Across the pond, where big men drive big trucks, rangefinding optics have long been established as an essential item. The landscapes people hunt in, over there, are vast…

Wild rabbit in crosshairs

The rabbits are back

Rabbits have always had a reputation for being able to reproduce at a rapid rate, but there weren’t many signs of that happening on my patch last year. Thankfully, things are looking very different this summer and I am delighted to report that these resilient creatures are, once again, breeding…

Setting up trail cams for hunting

The best trail cams for wildlife monitoring

Four sharp ‘pinks’ from a blackbird and she froze, ears strained, tongue flashing across her nose. Then she was off. A minute later an unfamiliar man lumbered into view, trampling clumsily through the thick bankside grass. The nearest footpath was a few hundred yards away. It was one of the…

deer in garden

Shooting deer near houses. Is it legal?

Q: We’ve all heard of the proliferation of the deer population over the last few years. Where I live muntjac are starting to be a real nuisance in local gardens. My neighbours know that I go deer stalking and have asked me to come over to do something about controlling…

Gralloching kit

Gralloching kit – these are the essentials

What is gralloching? The term ‘gralloch’ is derived from the Scottish word grealach and defined as “the process of removing the entrails of a dead deer”. An efficient, timely and hygienic removal of a deer’s internal organs is required to avoid any risk of food contamination or damage. The gralloch…

rangefinders for shooting

Best rangefinders for shooting: an expert gives his top picks

Laser rangefinders for shooting are the answer to judging distance when airgunning. These pocket-sized accessories are quick and simple to use, and give an instant and accurate measurement so you can apply the right amount of holdover or number of clicks on a scope’s elevation turret. So we’ve pulled together…

Steel shot for pigeon shooting

Best steel shot for pigeon shooting: what’s recommended?

Some of the most highly experienced pigeon Shots I know of were discussing their preferred steel shot for pigeon shooting loads and their opinions blew holes in some of the received wisdom that we have in the public domain. There was no mention of bismuth nor any of the derivatives…

best hunting trousers

Best hunting trousers: tried and tested in the field

The best hunting trousers should be waterproof, as kneeling and crawling over wet grass will feature on most days. (If you’re looking for the best shooting smocks read here. ) Primarily, what I want from trousers out in the field is comfort and to achieve this they must fit well.…

best clayshooting grounds

Best clayshooting grounds in the UK (according to our reviewers)

Clayshooting is increasingly popular as people want to enjoy an outdoor sport that is healthy, inclusive and accessible. Whether you’re a keen clayshooter who enjoys the challenge of the different clay disciplines or whether you’re first and foremost a game shooter who likes to keep their eye in out of…

lesson in clayshooting competitions

Clayshooting competitions: Here’s how to shoot your way to success

When I’m preparing a relatively new clayshooter for clayshooting competitions my lessons follow a certain format. Once we have gun, clay cartridges, hearing and eye protection sorted we get straight out onto the ground. A lesson in clayshooting competitions We begin shooting a few easy targets to warm up and…

Hunting lamps

Hunting lamps: we pick out the best around

The vast majority of us still rely on trusty hunting lamps to get the job done and ‘traditional’ lamping remains by far the most cost-effective way of dealing with nocturnal vermin. With this in mind, I was delighted to put a selection of hunting lamps to the test this month.…