Air pistols

Can I set up an air pistol target range in my garden?

Would an air pistol target range at home be legal? Q: I would like to set up a simple air pistol target range in my garage. It is a secure brick garage adjoining my house but it is only a few feet up my drive from the public road and…

Beretta Outlander Semi-Auto

Beretta Outlander semi-auto

Our verdict on the Beretta Outlander semi-auto I spend most of my working day teaching driven shooting and sporting clays so an opportunity to shoot a semi-auto is always a welcome change. The Beretta A300 appeared to be a good-looking gun when it was delivered and I was already dreaming…

Hatsan Escort 
.22LR rifle

Should I get an air rifle or a rimfire?

Air rifle or a rimfire Q: I am thinking of buying an FAC-rated air rifle for pest control. Would this be better than a .22 rimfire? A: I like FAC-rated air rifles for certain pest control duties. They offer a significantly higher energy rating over the legal standard 12ft/lb energy.…

English summer truffles

How to forage for English summer truffles

Way back in the 1980s, the British Mycological Society held a series of summer forays devoted entirely to finding English Summer Truffles. I had previously come across a rather nibbled English Summer Truffle, already unearthed by a squirrel, so, hoping for more, I went on four of these trips at…

Recipe for poached rabbit

Recipe for poached rabbit ham with sweetened peas

This recipe for poached rabbit ham is simply a gamey twist on a traditional favourite. In this case, if you think ‘ham and peas’ you will not go far wrong at all. In the days when ham was cured at home by placing pork into a 
brine or dry cure,…

springer puppy

Drones suspected in springer puppy snatch

An Irish gundog enthusiast who has 
been the victim of a horrific crime has 
spoken exclusively about the experience 
to Shooting Times. Rachel Doyle, 
from Enniscorthy in County Wexford, 
found that her springer spaniel bitch, 
Daisy, had been snatched from a 
locked kennel along with her litter of 
seven-week-old pups.…

Social media and fieldsports

In times of fairly recent 
memory, the mainstream media (MSM) talked about the goings-on in the countryside in a markedly different way to what we see today. Phil Drabble appeared weekly on our screens, twinkling on about sheep and dogs, fell hounds and uplands. Jack Hargreaves sat in his shed…

grouse shooting

Top tips for a Glorious season

As a game shooter living in deepest partridge country, I consider any time spent on a grouse moor as 
a treasured experience. The chance to shoot grouse in that landscape is a privilege, though one available to us all. But how do we make the most of our chances when…

recipe for grouse carpaccio

Recipe for grouse carpaccio

I must admit although I thoroughly enjoy eating and cooking grouse I have never had the privilege to shoot one (here in the UK anyway) on a traditional driven grouse shoot. The only time I have ever shot grouse was actually in Finland, However it was not red grouse but…

Sauer 404 
Synchro XT

Sauer 404 
Synchro XT £3,648

Our Verdict The Sauer 404 Synchro XT is everything you’d expect from a brand with a reputation for elegant, highly accurate, ultra-smooth-operating bolt-action hunting rifles. The modular system on the 404 series allows shooters to change a stock or barrel in seconds. Calibres from .222 Rem to the mighty .375…

dog in sun

How to keep gundogs cool in hot weather

Q: With a young dog in training this summer, have you some advice on the best ways to keep dogs cool in hot weather? A: The advice on how to keep dogs cool in hot weather is 
so important. Here’s what to do. Keep dogs cool by providing a cool…

Pheasant poult in release pen

The skill of caring for pheasant poults successfully

My pheasant poults came yesterday, so by the time you read this they will have been here for a few weeks. The birds look good, all well-feathered and around seven weeks old. They are caught the night before from the rearing sheds and are delivered to me at around 4am,…

choose a stalking rifle

Choosing the right stalking rifle

Perhaps you have already done a bit of stalking, possibly as a guest using the estate rifle, and now you have been truly bitten by the deer bug. It’s time to choose a stalking rifle – but where to start? Your biggest decision, and one you need to make even…

how to make an antler walking stick

How to make an antler stick

The stick. The fact that you’re reading this suggests you probably have one — quite possibly several — and for hundreds of years a stout wooden pole has been the quintessential companion of those who venture into rural parts. Delving yet further into our species’ history, the simple stick has…

English springer spaniel

The history of spaniels

If you want to wind up your cocker spaniel-owning friends, just tell them that their dogs are springers. They may argue otherwise but, technically, it’s true. History of the spaniel All spaniels are springers, as the term was originally used to separate those dogs that set game (setters) from those…

Braised lentils ingredients

Braised lentils with duck 
and venison

My mother was a cook ahead of her time. I must have been a teenager, some 40 years ago, when she made a dish of French Puy lentils for lunch. I had never eaten a lentil in my life and was not even keen on beans and peas, so I…

protecting your dog's ears from grass seeds

How can I protect my dog’s ears from grass seeds?

Grass seeds can easily become lodged in a dog’s ears or paws. Grass seeds are a particular problem for spaniels As the hay fever season fades away, 
so the grass-seed season takes over. The first affects me (though not as much as it used to), while the second is a…

Country tweed

Why tweed is the original performance clothing

Ten years ago, I was invited by a Scandinavian clothing brand to cover the launch of a new range of shooting clothing. The grand unveiling would take place at a sporting lodge in Sweden, and there would be an opportunity to trial the clothing during a day’s driven wild boar…

European roe deer

How to hunt down a stalking permission

Some poor souls seem to labour in vain to locate even the smallest and least productive area where 
they might indulge their passion 
for deer stalking. Others, more fortunate, appear to find their permissions almost by accident. Is this no more than pure luck? In some cases, possibly, but with…