Shooting in woods

Is British shooting in danger of selling itself short?

The television series Jack’s Game was first screened on Channel 4 in 1983. In one episode, the cameras follow Jack Charlton, two of his friends and their dogs as they walk-up some wild and wonderful land on their rough shoot. Jack ruefully points out that the money they spend on…

Edwardian shooting party

Are today’s Shots less accomplished?

Driven shooting has been an established sport in the British Isles since it was introduced by the mid-Victorians. The sport of shooting had previously been largely a matter of a gentleman walking-up game over his dogs. His firearm of choice was a muzzle-loading shotgun, until the advent of breechloading pinfires…

cock pheasant

Estates should act to limit the number of dead poults

Too much pheasant roadkill In the early years of my shooting career, pheasants were far too valuable to use for retrieving practice. I didn’t shoot many and those that I did bag were destined for dinner. This became second nature and, even today, I don’t like to use a shot…

position for rifle shooting

Finding the best position for rifle shooting

There are various positions from which you can shoot a rifle. But which is the correct position for rifle shooting for you? Let’s take a look at some options and see how you can improve. Remember you should not immediately expect 1in groups at 100m from these positions. Check and…

sporting shooting

Do shooters ‘go soft’ as they age?

Flicking through the dog-eared pages of an old shooting diary is a pleasant way to spend a spare half an hour. The further back the stories go, the better. Only recently I found a small, hardback volume from my youth. Its entries, mostly relating to pigeon shooting exploits, are sporadic…

9 of the best gun slips

Gun slips are an essential accessory for shooters. Not just to protect the gun but to keep you and your shooting companions safe and remaining within the law. Guns should always be transported in a gun slip and always be in a gun slip if they’re not broken or aiming…

shotgun components

Shotgun jargon buster

Even Guns who’ve spent many seasons standing on the peg or walking along hedgerows are sometimes unclear about some shooting terminology. For example, whilst most shooters will know what the action on a gun is, they might be a little less sure about what the top strap is. (Answer below.)…

Guns on a shoot

12 things you should know about tipping on a shoot

Tipping on a shoot is a time-honoured part of a shoot day. It gives you the chance to show your satisfaction with how the day was run. It also says a lot about you personally. Unless you are the employer it is considered very bad form not to tip and…

Barrel length

Giving the very high birds your best shot

High bird shooting is a specialist subject. Some devote themselves to nothing else, but is there an optimum barrel length for it? It might surprise you to learn that the fashion for long barrels is nothing new. Take a look at any of the fowling 4- and 8-bore shotguns from…

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…

best ear defenders for shooting

11 of the best ear defenders for shooting

Shooters of a certain age often have hearing issues because wearing ear defenders for shooting wasn’t much of a thing back in the day. We’ve all been out in the field with somebody who says: “Sorry, deaf as a post. Never wore any ear protection when I was younger.” Just…

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…

Tips for women shooters

10 top tips for women shooters

Shooting is becoming more popular with women every year. The most recent Home Office figures in 2019 showed an increase on the previous year of more than 1000 female shotgun certificate holders. So if you’re interested in joining the growing number of females going out into the field, how should…

loader on a shoot

What is expected of a loader on a shoot?

A loader should stand by, deftly handling the Shot a loaded gun while swiftly reloading the empty one, as overhead the birds soar over in a never-ending stream. But is a loader still necessary today? We have all seen the sepia-tinted photographs of Edwardian shooting days when the aristocracy would…