Rabbit clay target

How to hit the rabbit clay target

The dreaded rabbit clay target. It’s the one that most shooters dread and come unstuck by. You’ll hear clayshooters moan and groan about one as they walk to the stand. Then the excuses start and they’re talking themselves into missing as the elusive rabbit rolls along the floor. So what’s…

Deer stalking

Why do we keep deer heads?

Why do we prepare and keep the heads of the deer that we shoot? Why do we measure deer heads and treasure them in the way that we do? Since the dawn of time, hunters have retained the antlered heads of the deer that they have taken in the chase.…

shooting pigeons

Practising for the next shooting season

For many, it must feel like you haven’t picked up a gun for months. For many game Shots, this could be the case, especially with the season being affected by COVID-19. Covid is no excuse for not picking up the gun, nor is a disjointed season. Regardless of what has…

how to call a fox

This is the kit you’ll need for going out foxing

When it comes to equipment for foxing, there’s so much conflicting advice around that I thought it would make sense to look at what’s actually used out in the field. In this enterprise I have chosen to focus on four experienced fox shooters, including me, Paul, my usual shooting partner,…

shooting rats with thermal imaging scopes

Outwitting rats with thermal imaging scopes

Brown rats are prolific and resilient opportunists. This is in no small way due to their intelligence. Rat brains are remarkably similar to humans’ in both structure and function. They learn through observation, response to stimulus and have a high-functioning memory. This means that while a few sessions of lamping,…

ex-layer pheasants

Are ex-layer pheasants worthwhile or a waste of time and money?

At first glance, buying ex-layer pheasants for £2.50 each appears to be excellent value for money when compared with buying in a seven-week-old pheasant poult at £4. But there are, of course, huge differences between the two and there is a reason why one is almost double the price of…

Chinese water deer

Stalking Chinese water deer

Britain now has more than 15% of the world’s Chinese water deer population, but it is an exotic species native to China, eastern Asia, North Korea and South Korea. It was first introduced to the UK in 1873, when the deer were kept within zoos. They were released into parks…

Professional deerstalker

What it means to be a professional stalker

I am stalking on the edge of the Breckland at Euston and following estate stalker Chris Rogers in pursuit of roe and muntjac. The two roe we are watching are almost hidden by the scrub. With their heads down it also hides us from them and we quietly close the…

shooting syndicates

Eight key steps for creating a successful shooting syndicate

In 40 years of delivering game management advice, I’ve seen all sorts of shooting syndicates, from big formal shoots to little groups of working people who simply want to escape into the countryside for a few winter Saturdays. Some of these gangs are the happiest of people and others much…

shooting instruction

How to find the right shooting coach

In these strange times while we’re all still in lockdown, some of you may have found yourselves thinking about how to improve your shooting, as and when we can get back to some sort of normality. Shooting instructors This is a subject that infuriates the proper professionals. It is a…

shooters out in the field wearing ear defenders

How to deal with the different clay targets

Maybe you’re new to clayshooting or maybe you’re looking at honing your technique after some months off. Whatever the aim, knowing how to deal with the different clay targets and how they are presented to you is key. Read our guide and you’ll not only understand the terminology, but you…

Wearing plus-fours for shooting

Why plus-fours add that little extra to shooting attire

Plus-fours catch the eye A few seasons ago, heading home following a day’s shooting, I stopped off for a coffee at South Mimms services on the M1. Before I had even got to the front of the queue at Costa, I’d been approached twice by complete strangers who had spotted…

English roe review 2020

English roe review 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on both professional and amateur hunters alike has been extraordinary. It is interesting that, despite the pandemic, we still evaluated 1,014 heads of all species last year compared with the 1,200 that we looked at in 2019. The courier business became an enabler for both hunters…

Scottish roe review 2020

Despite COVID-19, figures for the Scottish 2020 list are impressive. From more than 260 roe heads presented, 232 were awarded CIC medals — 61 golds, 65 silvers and 106 bronzes. An astounding 19 heads achieved a score in excess of 150 CIC points, the level considered to be the benchmark…

When looking around a prospective new shoot, take a friend or fellow Gun to bounce ideas off and check details when you return home

What to look out for before taking a lease on some new land

I know of several local self-run shoots that have decided not to start up again this year. The catalyst for the decision for two of them was the reduced number of days they shot in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The keepering team realised that the number of hours they…