what guns really want

What do Guns really want?

In a West Country inn on a crisp autumnal evening, Tim Maddams, whom regular readers will recognise from our cookery pages, tells me that he thinks we need to kick the habit. “One thing I’m really trying hard with is to sell my days on an experience, rather than on…

deer seen with night vision

Why thermal-imaging binoculars will change stalking forever

From time to time in the stalking world there comes along some advance or technical development that is a game changer. Usually it is roundly disapproved of until it becomes clear that it brings real advantage to the stalker, at which point everybody starts using it. When rifle scopes started…

what is lamping

So what is lamping?

Lamping is a simple procedure of shining a light around an area until a rabbit (or rat) is spotted, and the dog is then sent to get it. Lamping with a dog is best done on foot, as it causes minimal disturbance and damage, and often allows a good chance…

waterproof shooting jackets

Six of the best waterproof shooting jackets

The warmest days of the year are now behind us. When you’re heading out into the field you’re going to need something that protects you from the wet weather and the chill in the air. If it’s pouring out then any of these coats below will keep you dry.  Tweed might…

Greylag geese

Ducks and geese – not such a fine romance

Have you noticed how often ducks coming to a flight pond come in twos, especially later in the season? It’s no accident — by this time of year the breeding pairs have mostly formed. If you are a sentimental old fool like me, you could be distressed about this, and…

Ed Wills after a Macnab

Going for a Macnab

Better luck next time,” the stalker said to me, patting my shoulder, as I watched the winded stags gallop away over the hill. That had been my second attempt at bagging a Macnab and I had failed. The previous occasion had seen me catch a fish before breakfast, grass 
a…

shooting socks

12 of the best socks for shooting, beating and picking-up

Best socks for shooting – some tips Whilst all the socks below are washable, make sure you look at the washing instructions carefully. If you wash and dry them too hot, they could well end up shrunken, tight and unwearable. When you’re buying socks, look for those which have a…

lamping foxes

5 tips for lamping foxes

1. What’s the right time to go out lamping foxes? Foxes are generally nocturnal and see excellently at night. Wait until it is properly dark outside before setting off. During the night foxes will sleep for a while – usually from around midnight until 3am. 2. Know the ground Night…

night vision versus the lamp

Night vision versus the lamp

With nightvision shooting equipment becoming ever more popular, Ian Valentine asks the experts to weigh the latest green-tinted scopes against more traditional plug-in lamps

wildfowling seasons

Wind, wigeon and heritage

At last, the wildfowling season has begun. My jacket steams in the shed, waders are caked in mud, a faint odour of samphire and salt lingers over the computer as I type. Best of all, truly wild birds hang in the garage. The wait has ended. Rain has arrived. A…

tweed shooting coats

Seven of the best tweed shooting coats

Top tips for buying tweed shooting coats Tweed is naturally water repellent due to its lanolin content and it is also hard wearing. A good quality tweed shooting coat will last you years without getting shabby. But despite being water repellent, no tweed is fully waterproof in a deluge. The…

shoot briefing

How to make sure a shoot day goes well

Whether it’s your first shoot day or the first one of the season, how can you best prepare for it and get the most out of the day? Shoot location Where the shoot is will give you a clue as to how the birds will be presented. Is it in…