How to place rotary decoys

To spin or not to spin – that is the question. Of all the questions that I get asked when I run BASCs pigeon courses, the one that crops up most frequently is: “Do rotary decoys work any more, and if so, where should I place them in the pattern?”…

Big hand for Olympic shooters

By Peter Wilson The World Class Programme (WCP) is one of the best-kept secrets of shooting. There seems to be reluctance on behalf of UK Sport and British Shooting, the governing body that it funds via the national lottery, to advertise the help that is available to eligible athletes, despite…

How to make a complaint about a shoot

How to make a complaint about a shoot

Our sport is possibly one of the most evocative of any pastime, and good memories from the season linger throughout the summer, sometimes enduring for years when a chance reminder brings the moment back to life again. On the whole, we are very positive about our sport, and the casual,…

gamekeeper's apprenticeship

The gamekeeper’s apprentice

The countryside is a wonderful place to work, and the men and women who toil away at forestry, farming and gamekeeping play a vital role in its upkeep and the diversity of wildlife that lives in it. Countryside-based jobs are thought to give you greater satisfaction and feelings of well-being…

keepering abroad

Shooting job opportunities abroad

Last summer I was discussing the releasing of duck in Hungarian. Speaking through a translator, my host asked me whether we in England reared and released duck for shooting. I confirmed that we did indeed, and went on to explain that on the college shoot that my students run we…

Best shooting instructors in the UK

Best shooting instructors in the UK

Whether based at West London Shooting School, E.J. Churchill, Royal Berkshire Shooting Ground or Barbury Shooting School, the UK is home to some of the world’s best shooting instructors. Many of the top 10 shooting instructors listed below have been at the top of their game for almost as long…

Getting the pheasant pen ready

Neil Baldock is a gamekeeper working on a low-ground shoot in Wiltshire. The farm comprises of 600 acres of mixed arable and small woodlands that were planted specifically for shooting. There is a large duck pond and the topography can only be described as rolling. The shoot has been running for…

buzzards

Our sport has a reputation to uphold

The line in the email subject box said: “Watch this, NOW!” The sender was a shooting colleague and he’d sent me a link to a YouTube clip. Curiosity got the better of me so I opened the link. I wish I hadn’t! No, it wasn’t a computer virus — it…

spot tb in deer

How to spot TB in deer

The first recorded instance of tuberculosis having been transferred from a cat to a human was reported recently. I wonder if this surprised any of us whose work involves animals. I have to say, it didn’t surprise me. TB, or to be exact, bovine TB, is what is classed as…

harris tweed

Harris Tweed

“It’s not all old. Brand new in 1970,” Donald John Mackay replied when I asked him whether his loom is an old one. “This’ll be it for me. I bought it in 1984, but I won’t need another.” Coincidentally, 1970 is when Donald started weaving. “My aunty set me up…

Changing attitudes to firearms

“A great deal, of late, has been said and has been written against shooting. It has been denounced as unnatural, cruel, useless, and absurd.” I like that, but the words are not mine. They were written in 1876 by Wildfowler, the nom de plume of Lewis Clement, who was to…

Avocet

Gamekeepers’ conservation evidence is valid

When the "conservation" community dismisses the evidence of those with direct experience of the natural world, it is, effectively masking the truth, writes Lindsay Waddell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation

fieldsports scotland

What Scottish independence means for fieldsports

I can honestly say not one person has asked me about independence,” says Robert Rattray, hand dramatically over his heart. As the head of CKD Galbraith’s sporting lets agency in Perth, Robert is someone you’d expect to be asked about the future for Scotland’s £360million fieldsports industry, should the nation…

boar led

Old-school, slower bullets contaminate less meat

Research has shown that though deer shot with lead-cored jacketed bullets do show increased levels of lead, even as far away as the haunches, though it is still less than is found in farmed domestic meat and less than in mussels and other seafood. But there is a way to…