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…

Chinese water buck

UK other species review 2015

Many stalkers will be aware of some of the changes that have taken place over the past 12 months with the introduction of the CIC’s Handbook for the Evaluation and Measurement of Hunting Trophies. The changes for roe deer are few and have been easily assimilated; those for other European species have been…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

Scottish roe review 2015

There are two aspects of trophy roe from Scotland that remain consistent. The first is the overall numbers that are presented for evaluation; the second the locations whence they come. Last year proved to be no exception, with the eastern side of the country producing the pick of the trophies, and…

Beaters' day shooting

Beaters’ days at the end of the season

The end of the season brings the long-awaited beaters’ days. Traditionally, it was the day that the estate owner gave to his gamekeeper to invite his friends along to shoot. It has changed over the years and the keepers’ day is now more often referred to as the beaters’ day. An…

Rabbit clay shooting

Tips for shooting vermin

Here we look at how a variety of vermin species can be simulated with clay targets. All you've got to do is practice hitting them!

.17HMR moderators

Ten of the best .17HMR moderators

Silence is golden where pest control is concerned, so after testing full-bore and .22 rimfire moderators Bruce Potts turns his attention to the increasingly popular .17HMR calibre

hen pheasant

How to look after birds left at the season’s end

Regardless of the number of birds you shot on your last day, it is probable that you saw or flushed three or four times as many. What happens to the birds that survive the shooting season, and how they are looked after when it has finished, is important. It would be morally wrong for us…

father and son shooters

When boys become Guns

The first steps into the shooting world are often some of the most difficult to take. For young people in particular the prospect can seem as daunting as it is exciting, but it is essential that they are welcomed in to the sport if gameshooting is to flourish and thrive.…

man holding shotgun

One gun fits all

The telephone at shooting schools invariably starts to ring more frequently once the first pheasant shoots of the season are behind us. Right now mine is busy with shooters trying to find answers as to why their early outings have not met with the success they had expected. I’ve asked…

Grouse moor management

Grouse shooting: why moorland managers are conservation heroes

If the critics are to be believed then the picturesque patchwork of heather glens and valleys that comprise our nation’s grouse moors is a battlefield between gamekeepers and wildlife. Some groups and individuals who call themselves conservationists believe that the faults and failings of driven grouse shooting are so systemic…

Five of the most popular clayshooting grounds in Scotland

Five of the most popular clayshooting grounds in Scotland

Gleneagles Shooting School The name of Gleneagles is celebrated. Based on 850 acres of Perthshire countryside, Gleneagles is a world-renowned five-star estate and hotel. The estate is a dream destination for the countrysports enthusiast,  offering fieldsports including falconry, fishing, gundog training and clayshooting (which is run by the Gleneagles Shooting…

Gun standing by peg

Etiquette: How to get invited back to shoot

Receiving an invitation to go shooting of one of the sport’s great pleasures. Hopefully you’ll receive several during the season. But have you never noticed a falling-off in the offers you receive. Or wondering why they have stopped altogether? What is the problem? Could you be doing something wrong? We…

pheasants in Land Rover

Learning to shoot and cook game in Somerset

My experience of clay pigeon shooting has largely been limited to team-building days. And I found them immensely frustrating. For whilst some of my colleagues picked up their shotguns and were away, hitting clays with just about every shot, I was a complete amateur and a quick 10 minute lesson…

deer stalking

How to avoid being seen, smelled or heard when stalking deer

Lately I was asked: “What do you consider the most important technique that should be put into practice while deerstalking?” I have to say the question found me a little off guard. At the time I was giving a DSC1 lecture on roe deer and it wasn’t the question I was expecting.…

White Swan Inn Pickering

White Swan Inn Pickering review

Generally speaking, a close proximity to the shoot, gun storage, drying room, kennels, good fare and a comfortable bed are the first things I look for when reviewing sporting hotels. I’d now like to throw another one into the ring: the ability to remain undisturbed. There’s nothing sinister in that…

gamekeeper on horse

Meet Dragon – the last horse on the beating line?

A horse moving with a line of beaters isn’t a sight you’re going to see much these days. In fact Frank Shellard says he is probably the last person riding on the beating line in the UK. (If you know anybody else, please get in touch.) I asked him what…