Wearing plus-fours for shooting

Why plus-fours add that little extra to shooting attire

Plus-fours catch the eye A few seasons ago, heading home following a day’s shooting, I stopped off for a coffee at South Mimms services on the M1. Before I had even got to the front of the queue at Costa, I’d been approached twice by complete strangers who had spotted…

English roe review 2020

English roe review 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on both professional and amateur hunters alike has been extraordinary. It is interesting that, despite the pandemic, we still evaluated 1,014 heads of all species last year compared with the 1,200 that we looked at in 2019. The courier business became an enabler for both hunters…

Scottish roe review 2020

Despite COVID-19, figures for the Scottish 2020 list are impressive. From more than 260 roe heads presented, 232 were awarded CIC medals — 61 golds, 65 silvers and 106 bronzes. An astounding 19 heads achieved a score in excess of 150 CIC points, the level considered to be the benchmark…

When looking around a prospective new shoot, take a friend or fellow Gun to bounce ideas off and check details when you return home

What to look out for before taking a lease on some new land

I know of several local self-run shoots that have decided not to start up again this year. The catalyst for the decision for two of them was the reduced number of days they shot in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The keepering team realised that the number of hours they…

deer fighting

Do deer kill each other?

Last October I saw for the first time a battle between two big fallow bucks. The violence astonished me and makes me wonder how often they are killed?

Shooter with gundog

Partridge-like and high crossers

The pigeon have abandoned my favourite pigeon roost shooting wood of 10 years. Looking back through my records, 40 to 60 birds on an evening outing was not unusual. And one memorable afternoon, in what were perfect wind conditions, several trips were needed to ferry 93 back to the car.…

clayshooting ground

Why you should learn to visualise your shots

Visualise your shots I want to explore the concept of learning to ‘visualise your shots’ and replicate the ‘picture’ we see at the moment the shot is taken and how our mind’s-eye view is better than trying to estimate any given lead value in feet and inches. How far? How…

rabbit management around solar farms

How to control rabbits in and around solar farms

Rabbit management on solar farms Over the years, solar farms have popped up all over the country in a bid to utilise renewable energy. The sites vary in size, along with the amount of energy they generate, but rabbits often favour them, though they clash with the smooth running of…

A trailblazer for wheelchair shooters

Jean-Paul Gaudin, or JP, is a force of nature. He has a lust for life and a passion for game shooting. He follows his passions. A motorcycle accident in 1988, when he was in his twenties, resulted in devastating spinal injuries – he was dragged behind a horse box for…

Waiting on the peg

How to avoid 2021’s corvid control trap

With the season all but over, my mind as usual turns to planning for the next. In just a few weeks, the pheasants will be setting up their territories, strutting their stuff and doing everything they can to keep their harems together. The corvids will be getting frolicsome too. Rooks…

Flying pheasant

What do you do with birds leftover at the season’s end?

With the ever-tightening COVID-19 restrictions in operation in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there is little hope for those of us longing for a return to driven shooting. It seems pretty certain that most of us will have more leftover pheasants on the ground at the end of this…

When the king shot thousands of rabbits

No other animal in the British countryside has played both hero and villain like the rabbit. The great warrens of the sandy Brecks in East Anglia were constructed to serve the fur and felt industry and cheap, plentiful meat was a bonus. The free-draining soil of Breckland was perfect for…

shoot management

Conservation projects to carry out during lockdown

If you are involved in shoot management in any way, do consider the following. Is there still a decent shrub layer, or has canopy closure started to starve out the sunlight that is so essential to woodland floor habitat? Aside from a few very early starters such as ravens and…

deer stalking

Cull before the storm

‘‘For at least 20 years, deer stalking has been one of the brightest stars in the shooting firmament. Its rise has tracked the steady growth in the range and population of our six native or naturalised deer species and has effectively resulted in the establishment of a new fieldsport. Until…

browning a covey

How top Shots minimise misses

Looking out of my window at a big cock bird picking his way down a hedge, just beyond my garden, it strikes me that I shot fewer days this season than in any other since childhood. In truth, it showed. Rather than getting into my stride, I frequently found myself…

pheasant shooting

How to tackle January pheasants

Many of the best Shots whose opinions I most respect won’t shoot a pheasant in October. For the very lucky, August and September are for grouse, October is for partridges and only in November do they start thinking about pheasants. By the time January comes round, it is supposed that…

night time shooter with dog

It’s not the classic time for pigeon roosting but …

’Many of you reading this will be thinking, why is there a pigeon roosting article at this time of year? Has Shooting Times bucked the usual trend of pigeon shooting specials in February, the classic pigeon month when traditionally we can use all three methods of pigeon management — roosting,…

Shooting etiquette during COVID

Shooting etiquette during COVID

Shoot day etiquette has been the cornerstone of a day in the field ever since we have been shooting game, both driven and walked-up. What with COVID-19 restrictions and the ability to buy a peg for the day, it does no harm to take a fresh look of the important…

walking Gun

Why the best Shots start out as rough shooters

Very often you will see a person’s true character when you drive game over them on a peg. It’s difficult for anyone to hide it. If you are greedy, lack respect for your quarry or have a tendency to moan, it’s likely to show. We can learn a lot about…