red legged partridges

Greedy shot or good sport?

I was talking to a fellow picker-up a few years ago about the performance of the team of Guns visiting the shoot that day. My colleague, who liked to give his dogs plenty of work, was mightily impressed by them but I had to partially disagree. Admittedly, they were decent performers but were not particularly discerning, with a couple of…

shoot lunch

How to host a shoot lunch

The perfect shoot lunch depends as much upon the style of shoot as it does upon the lunch itself. Neither cold pork pies at a double gun 400 bird day nor three-course lunch at a rough day wildfowling are likely to go down well. So a perfect shoot lunch can…

ramshackle hut

Bewitchingly beautiful but spooky

From the first moment I saw Cambridgeshire’s Ouse Washes, a bewitching spell was cast over me. I was enchanted by the wildfowl as I peeped over the bank, enthralled by the sight of those semi-flooded  flat lands between the floodbanks, where all sorts of duck could be seen. To stand and stare down the  ooded washes into the…

shooting companion

How to be an excellent companion on a shoot day

Shooters are generally a friendly lot and will welcome a new face. Read up a bit on clayshooting/pheasant shooting and partridge shooting before you go out and learn the difference between driven shooting and rough shooting. For more in-depth knowledge on some of the terms you’ll hear when you’re new…

working spaniel

There’s more to picking-up than meets the eye

The aim of a good picker-up is not just to come back to the gamecart laden with dead birds, but also to find those illusive runners and pricked birds. A good picker-up and their team of dogs will make every effort to sweep an area, not leaving any injured or dead birds behind. It takes dedication and determination, as…

Peter Glenser

Time for change at BASC with Peter Glenser

Tell me a bit about yourself… I took over a month ago and I’ve been confirmed as chairman of BASC for the next two years. I Iive in rural Norfolk with my wife, daughter and two dogs. Professionally, I’m a regulatory and criminal barrister with a particular interest in rural matters – firearms licensing in particular. I…

Clayshooting spectators

Clayshooting lesson – high, slow-driven clays

Sean Ponting of Widdington Shoot has pretty much been there and got the T-shirt as far as Sporting and FITASC clayshooting goes. He has had 20 years of coaching experience, and has won competitions at county, regional and national level. He has been in the England team 18 times and also captained it. He is a member of The Association of Professional…

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…

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…