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…

mallards in flight

Shooting groups unite to condemn law-breaking shoots

Countryside organisations have condemned inland shoots that are breaking the law by using lead shot for wildfowl, and have appealed to DEFRA to help identify and prosecute those responsible. Representatives from eight groups, including BASC and the Countryside Alliance, signed a letter to DEFRA secretary of state Elizabeth Truss MP. Some inland…

Young Shot wins car at The Schools Challenge

Young Shot wins first car at The Schools Challenge

On Saturday 12th December, The Schools Challenge, the nation’s largest young shots organisation, celebrated its 10th anniversary with a clayshooting contest at The Oxford Gun Company. The overall winner Tom Scott, aged just 16, is now the proud owner of his first car, courtesy of Stratstone. Runners up were for…

Rough shooting

A good day’s sport roughshooting in Buckinghamshire

I was feeling pretty fed up as I checked as many weather apps and websites I could find, the forecast ranged from thick fog to dense mist, the worst conditions possible for a walked-up day shooting over the dogs. And just to rub salt into the wound, we were due to visit one of our favourite estates for…

Land Rover cartoon

The imperfect shot

Gun gaffe Leaning a Best London gun against the back of a vehicle is never a good idea. A Gun once did this with an un-sleeved 12-bore on a West Yorkshire grouse moor, so keen was he to get to the mid-morning drink, which had been brought by the vehicle’s driver.…

High Seat

How to use a high seat for deer culling

There are plenty of stalkers who poo-poo the notion of using a high seat: “That’s not stalking,” they say, “you’re not using any fieldcraft.” They do have a point. However, high seats can be one of the most useful tools in culling deer. They give you the chance to observe what is on a patch of ground,…

Dogs hunting rabbits

Roughshooting – point and shoot

Is there ever a good time to try to “squeeze in” a little sport? I suppose it is all dependent on the outcome. If it turns out favourably, then yes. If not, the domestic repercussions can, on occasions, be great! On this particular day, with strong gusting winds on the…

man shooting with dogs

How to be true sporting gents or ladies this season

The knight errant is not a concept one hears discussed much these days, which is a pity in my view, because the idea of a gentleman wandering about the vicinity rescuing maidens, slaying dragons, righting wrongs and generally being something of a good egg to all and sundry is an…

walked-up woodcock

The right way to walk-up woodcock

For many people in this country, walked-up shooting or roughshooting is how we started. It is the grass roots of our sport and, until driven gameshooting became more accessible, it was the only form of shooting that many Guns would experience. I remember as a Young Shot walking in a line with…

Turkey hunting in Michigan

Turkey hunting on Beaver Island

With another quiet chirrup, Al drew the two large turkey toms ever closer. We’d got into position before dawn, in the dark and, having slouched against the tree for a few hours with the shotgun perched on my knee, I watched spellbound as these huge creatures strutted their way towards us. The larger of the two was in range,…

Men deerstalking

Why land reform risks wiping out Scotland’s deer

Scotland’s Parliament has the devolved power to deal with land reform and land ownership, with the path to reform inevitable. But are the current proposals — which include the ending of tax relief for sporting estates and forced sales if owners block economic development — the best way forward for…

Off-road driving tips

Off-road driving: Tips for shooting parties

For a large number of those who go shooting, whether to beat, pick-up or actually point a gun, one of the great joys of our sport is that we get to use our 4x4s for off-road driving, the purpose for which they were designed. For 300 and something days a…