what to wear game shooting

The Novice Shooter’s new clothes

It is evident that clothing is a significant expense when you take up shooting. It is vitally important to choose the right stuff, as no outdoor sport is fun in inappropriate attire. One advantage of the lengthy shotgun certificate application time was that I was able to buy the associated shooting…

release pens

How to manage release pens correctly

Time and again as I wander into the depths of a wood in my role as a Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) game adviser, I come across an embarrassment. The combination of tatty fencing, battered feed drums, broken drinkers, bags hanging from branches, and other mess is a dreadful advert for shooting. Add a bit of over-stocking to…

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley: the greatest Shot of all time?

If you asked me to say who I thought was the greatest Shot of all time, I would have no hesitation in saying Annie Oakley. Her skill and feats of accuracy have become legendary. However, she was much more than a mere exhibition shooter — she was an international superstar who was presented to the crowned heads of…

deer stalkers

Steps to a successful stalk

In the first part of this feature – How to think like a deer –  I looked at why considering how a deer uses its senses, and how this can impact on its behaviours, can help to make you a successful stalker. So, bearing this in mind, how can this inform your stalking in practice? Every…

red deer

In praise of the Scottish red deer

There can be a bit of head scratching as to what is a native Scottish red deer. It is not entirely straightforward and over the years has been further confused by man’s interference, “improving” the local population by adding genes to provide sport and in doing so diluting the purity of the native animal. Plus, of course, red deer…

airgun to control woodies

Five reasons to use an airgun to control woodies

You may never get the large bags you get with a shotgun, but there are numerous advantages to shooting decoyed woodies with an airgun. We’ve listed a few below: When shooting a woodpigeon with an airgun it is best to aim for the head or – if the bird has…

A.A. Gill

A.A. Gill in the hot seat

Did you have a crack at the stags last year? “Yes I did. I haven’t missed a year for probably the last 12, no… maybe 15 years; something like that.” Do you go to the same estate each year? “I do. The estate is Letterewe, which is on the further side of…

DIY keepers

10 tips for DIY keepers

Whether you have recently set up your own DIY shoot or if your syndicate could do with some fresh new tips, Tim Weston will help save you money and improve the efficiency of your shoot. Stop the rats Keep rats from lurking under feed bins and hoppers by building a…

Breeding ferrets

Advice on breeding working ferrets

Over the years I have ferreted more than a few times, so I would like to think that I know what makes a good working ferret. At this time of year lots of kits are being born; the whole point of breeding ferrets is to improve on the ferrets that…

Keeper’s tip is a personal decision

Keeper’s tip is a personal decision

Ray Leake from Adelaide writes: Having recently spent a mostly enjoyable 10 days’ shooting in the UK, which I do every year, I am prompted to add my thoughts to the increasing number of comments made by Guns. Tipping the keeper is and should be a personal way of saying thank-you for what was hopefully an enjoyable day. Using…

Gamecover

How to care for your gamecover crops

Planting gamecover crops is one thing. Getting them to grow to their full potential is another. We nurture ours through the first few important weeks after planting and, providing the weather is on our side, most of them will ripen and stay standing until the end of January. The better…

cage traps

How to set cage traps for rabbits

A reader asked a question regarding rabbit traps: I have been given some cage traps by a farmer friend, but the only things I have caught have been birds and hedgehogs (all of which were released unharmed). How and what is the best way to set this type of trap? Professional…

deer stalking

Highlands v Lowland stalking. What’s best?

Stalking in the Highlands By Ben Samuelson I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m rather hoping that Giles has done the decent thing and left the space below completely blank. How can sitting in a tennis umpire’s chair at horribly early o’clock to wait for something that is as…

Young Shots in Action

Summer holiday shooting for Young Shots

Various shooting grounds across the country are hosting Young Shots days to get young people involved in shooting during the summer holidays. Purdey Young Shots course at West London Shooting School (12 July) or West Oxfordshire Shooting School (11 July). The Purdey Young Shots course for 10-17 year olds provides…

House martins

Why are the house martins moving out?

When we moved into our current Norfolk home there were house martins nesting under the eaves, but there aren’t any now. Some people dislike the mess made by these delightful little birds, especially if the nest is attached to the eaves directly above a window, but we miss our house…

Red deer

Open seasons for deer

Here is our list of open seasons for the various species of deer when you can go out stalking. (Dates are inclusive.) Red Stags England and Wales: 1 August – 30 April Scotland: 1 July – 20 October Northern Ireland: 1 August – 30 April Red hinds England and Wales:…

Biosecurity

How to improve the biosecurity on your shoot

Biosecurity is a set of preventative measures designed to protect a farm or rearing field from the entry and spread of infectious diseases. Disease can be spread a number of ways: through contaminated feed, water, equipment, vehicles or people; contact with other flocks or the wild bird population; via faeces and secretions…

clayshooting ground

Organising charity clay days

Now summer's here, make the most of the fine weather and do some good by organising a charity clay. Here's our easy guide to what you need to know

deerstalking in Scotland

How to think like a deer

Did you know that deer have six senses? They share with us those of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch or feeling, but there’s an extra. The vomeronasal organ is based in the roof of the mouth and is an important one to consider when stalking. You may have spotted a…