wellies in mud

Boots or wellies for airgunning?

A: The snug fit of lace-ups does tend to mean that they lend themselves well to stalking, and I  sometimes appreciate the extra ankle support when covering long distances, but I don’t regard them as essential. Rubber boots have come a long way over recent years, and fit tends to be good if you opt for…

pigeon shooting technique

Top tips for a successful pigeon shooting technique

I am so fortunate to be out and about shooting pigeon all the time. I’ve had the privilege to learn from some of the finest pigeon Shots over the years and have learned and modified some of their techniques to my advantage. I am a great believer in using traditional methods, making use of the limited but good…

How to hand rear wildlife

How to hand rear injured or orphaned wildlife properly

What would you do if you saw an injured squirrel or orphaned deer in trouble on land near you? David Whitby examines the ethics behind hand rearing wildlife back to health and even keeping them as pets – have you ever had to hand rear corvids, foxes or deer in…

Clayshooting tips

Clayshooting tips for the game season

Clay shooting is in full swing, so why is my mind already turning to the new game season in just a few weeks time? Good stead for game As we are based in a rural farming area it’s natural that our members’ attention will now begin to turn towards the coming gameshooting season. The practice they’ve had…

Chesapeake Bay retriever

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is the ultimate wildfowling dog

Looking down at  me as I write is a splendid drake pintail, a memento of a wildfowling excursion in February 1989 with fellow Shooting Times contributor Mike Swan. Mike shot the pintail and presented it to me afterwards. It had been retrieved perfectly by his golden retriever. Mike has always had golden retrievers, so it was completely unmarked and instead…

choke for wildfowling

What is the right amount of choke for wildfowling?

Q: Last season was my first foray into wildfowling. I had been told by fowling friends, whom I assumed were knowledgeable, that a fully choked 12-bore was essential. I therefore acquired a 12-bore boxlock with fully choked left barrel and three-quarters choke with the right barrel. However, the results were extremely…

grouse or pigeon

Walked-up grouse or pigeon over stubbles?

Walked-up grouse by Ben Samuelson For the real shooting cognoscenti, there really isn’t anything quite like a day of walked-up grouse. Some people will talk enthusiastically about a big pheasant day in the West Country, or partridge over hedges in East Anglia. Giles will even be having a decent go below at pretending he’d rather be shooting…

Wemmergill

Grouse shooting on Wemmergill moor

Driving across the Yorkshire Dales towards County Durham there’s not a soul to be seen, just the odd sheep and acres and acres of heather coming into bloom. It is a beautiful, stark landscape. To the uninitiated it’s bleak and lonely but keep climbing and driving away from any sign of civilisation, and then turn into Stackholme Farm. Welcome to…

Scope mounts

A step-by-step guide to fitting scope mounts

Most airgun shooters put plenty of time and thought into the selection of a new gun or scope, but the significance of choosing the right mounts and ensuring that they are properly fitted is frequently overlooked. Mounts provide the vital link between your airgun and optics, and making the wrong choice will usually compromise accuracy. Quality pays It is…

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…

shooting grounds

15 of the best shooting grounds for game Shots

Atkin, Grant & Lang Shooting Ground Address: Windmill Road, Markyate, St. Albans, Herts, AL3 8LP Profile: The shooting ground arm of the iconic gunmakers sits in 55 acres of ancient woodland and grass pastures. You’ll find 14 shooting stands offering every conceivable sporting target herein, not the least of which…

Ibex

Ibex stalking in the Spanish Gredos Mountains

I have just returned from the most amazing, challenging, physically testing, at times frightening and most enjoyable hunting experience of my life, bar none. Through a good friend, David Pantlin, I had been invited to hunt Iberian ibex on an estate in the Gredos Mountains, 200km west of Madrid in Spain. I have often flown over the mountains…

harvest shooting

Harvest shooting time and the pigeon is easy

Shooting pigeon over stubbles is the pigeon shooter’s easy time of year. The weather is favourable; it’s easy to get to the exact spot where you want to shoot because often you can drive right to it. The short, cold days of shooting over winter rape seem a distant memory and it is the pigeon shooter’s real…

feeding tips

Top feeding tips for your shoot

With the pheasant release process well under way on most shoots, careful feeding of our growing poults is a main task for the majority of low-ground keepers as July turns into August. As the birds begin to spread, so the feeding programme needs to move with them, and how we manage that can have big conservation consequences — both positive…

How to deal with wet weather when you put your birds out

If the weather is on your side when you put your birds out it makes such a difference. A nice run of dry days — when the birds can sit out, dust and sun themselves, followed by warm nights and sunshine  first thing in the morning to dry off any dew and perk the birds up…

Greylag

An evening flight of greylag in West Wales

It was a still, bright October evening at Llanrhidian in West Wales, and Tom and I had decided to try for a shot at evening flight. Being in the outer reaches of the Bristol Channel, this is a coast of big tides, and at 10m in Swansea tonight’s tide was predicted to be one of the biggest…

Dove hunting

Dove shooting in South Africa

South Africa is a sportsman’s dream: not only is it bursting with some of the most exciting hunting in the world but also, flying from Europe, there’s no jetlag. Less well known are the fantastic opportunities for wingshooting, notably red-eyed doves and rock pigeon. These birds prey on crops and the damage done to precious yields of soya and…

Hunting safaris

The conservation benefits of African hunting safaris

Safari! Derived from the Swahili for a journey, the very word itself still evokes the spirit of past adventures, of hot, weary hours spent trekking in the bush, of long-forgotten hunting expeditions in East Africa. Even today, hunting safaris still conjures up the thrills and excitement of a bygone era, known most intimately by the hunter, rifle in hand.…