Beaters and pickers-up

Guns, beaters and pickers-up. All on an equal footing

Whether we like it or not, most shoots have a distinct social order. It’s Guns first, then loaders (if there are any), pickers-up and finally beaters. It is a natural order, because (if you will excuse the pun) it’s usually the Guns that call the shots. However, it is always refreshing to…

Pig Hotel Brockenhurst

What is it about a Pig hotel that makes shooters feel at home?

There is a real buzz about the Pig hotel collection, started only five years ago, which stems from it doing things differently. Its commitment to growing its own food and sourcing produce locally — within 25 miles to be precise — is at the forefront of the business and runs through…

British countryside

Whatever happened to the British countryside?

Years ago, if you went from Walsall towards Litchfield on the No.6 bus, crossed the Shire Oak traffic lights and carried on for a couple of miles, you would come to a farm just before the Boat Inn. The man who farmed it was my grandfather’s best friend, a man…

man shooting .17HMR

Why the CZ 452.17 HMR is still the best for bagging bunnies

I spend a lot of time with my rifles to complement my ferreting and trapping — especially at this time of year. Not all rabbit problems are the same so I have to be adaptable, which is why my gun cabinet contains a wide variety of firearms. I certainly couldn’t operate…

pigeon dish

Where to sell your woodpigeon

A gamedealer Gamedealers will be more than happy to buy woodpigeon and, depending on the time of year and numbers available, will pay a fair price for birds in feather. You can expect about 30p to 50p for a bird in feather. It may not seem much but if you…

airgun to control woodies

How to handle woodpigeons after you’ve shot them

Once pigeons have been successfully shot and picked-up, they must be treated with respect; they are a food source and should be handled as such. At different times of year you’ve have to handle the birds differently before hanging woodpigeon in the chiller without spoiling. It is wrong to shoot a good…

Dwarf sorghum

Getting your covercrops right

The reason that most shoots change their covercrops is because of a failure, but simply changing them will not guarantee success. It is vital to be honest about the reasons for the failure and to include the factors under your control, rather than just blame the weather or bad luck. Creating a…

Cocking shoot West Sussex

Cocking Shoot, West Sussex

Technology is a wonderful thing. I have an app on my iPhone that marries OS maps with GPS, so I can say with absolute certainty that the guns shooting Triangle at Cocking Shoot in West Sussex stand in a ride cut in the woods at a height of 150m above…

wildfowling

Wildfowling ban looms for Findhorn Bay

On 8 March, Moray Council will debate a call by Friends of Findhorn Bay to ban all shooting of geese and duck on the nature reserve. Earlier this year the group presented a petition signed by locals who do not want wildfowling to continue. However the Findhorn Bay Local Nature…

Lindsay-Waddell

Lindsay Waddell NGO chairman interview

Robert Cuthbert: Did you find shooting or vice versa? Lindsay Waddell: “I spent a lot of my formative years with my aunt and uncle, a shepherd in the Angus Glens of Scotland, and “attached” myself to the local keeper, Dick Barrett. From the age of seven or eight, I spent…

Grouse moor beaters

How guns can impress the beaters

I have spent a few days on the other side of the hedge this past season and it has been, let me tell you, very instructive indeed. It is easy as a gun on a top-class driven shoot to see only the end result. That steady stream of beautifully presented…

Pigeon shooting kit

What you need to know about guided pigeon shooting

If you are new to pigeon shooting, do not have permission or simply want a hassle-free day out on the woodies, hiring a professional pigeon-shooting guide is an inexpensive way to experience shooting one of Britain’s biggest agricultural pests. But what’s in store for you and what should you expect…

forward allowance

The limits of the lead factor

“Give it 4ft, 5ft, 6ft”; “I think that bird needs at least 10ft, actually no, that’s at least a gate’s length; change that, it needs a bus’s length.” Does this sound familiar? What is the obsession with lead when it comes to shooting game, and why is it most guns’ and…

pigeon shooting in trees

Get in line for roosting results

In this piece, I will explain some of the techniques needed to shoot pigeon that are flighting and roosting. Flighting pigeon and roost shooting are challenging sports. The angles, speed and distances that the woodpigeon fly outmatch any other form of quarry we shoot in this country. It can also be…

roe rut

English and Welsh roe review 2015

Numbers of roe from England and Wales measured in 2015 were again up on the previous year. Having measured more than 250 heads in 2014, we were presented with just over that number this year. The quality was not quite as good as we have seen in the past —…

shotgun cartridges

What’s the perfect pigeon cartridge?

The cartridge-making business is a fiercely competitive one, won or lost on marketing strategy, so if one company can find an edge, it is quickly exploited. It is only relatively recently that cartridge makers realised the huge potential market in people who shoot pigeons, with all the top boys now producing specialist…

wood pigeon

What is the right weather for shooting pigeons?

Most articles written about pigeon shooting mention, at some stage in the proceedings, the weather conditions on the day in question. Indeed, I have written many times, how Paul and I wait for the “right” weather, when planning a sortie. So what, in order of preference, are we looking for? Wind…