Legend 2 MX8

What to look for when buying a gun

It always amazes me how people will buy a gun based on its looks, even before they’ve looked at how well it’s built and how it handles. Perhaps some manufacturers do that deliberately; if they can churn out well-figured stocks and laser up some pretty engraving, then for some customers it…

Unwanted guns, wheat export ban and wildfire risks – this week in shooting

Amnesty for unwanted guns A firearm surrender programme run by all the UK’s police forces is under way. The scheme, which began on 12 May and runs until 29 May, allows anyone to hand over a gun at a police station without fear of prosecution. Superintendent Graham Barnett, from Surrey…

countryside

Gamekeeper tells court of how he caught police officer’s killer

A video shown in court recorded the moment that gamekeeper Gavin Tucker challenged 22 year-old Callum Wheeler after finding him behaving suspiciously on private land near where the body of Julia James had been found just 24 hours earlier. The interaction between Tucker and Wheeler, who was carrying a holdall…

red stags

Countryside citizens express anger over mass trespass

Justifying the event, author and land reform campaigner Guy Shrubsole told The Big Issue: “Regular access to nature is vital to people’s physical and mental health, yet so much of England’s countryside is shut off behind fences and intimidating signs.” The organisers of the ‘Right to Roam’ protest claim that…

lead ammunition

HSE announces plan to effectively ban lead ammunition

The sweeping restrictions have been proposed in a ‘restriction dossier’ from the agency. Announcing the proposal, the agency said: “An unacceptable risk has been identified for both hunting with lead shot and from sports shooting.” They also said: “There are no realistic ways to limit the amount of lead entering…

Hare coursing

Ed Coles’s hare coursing law changes pass final hurdle

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill received Royal Assent on the 28th of April and now is law. The Act amends some existing legislation by increasing the maximum penalty for the historic crime of ‘trespassing in pursuit of game’ under the Game Act 1831 and the Night Poaching Act…

French bird flu outbreak

Bird flu outbreak tails off, but challenges still remain

New cases are still being reported in France, however the rate of increase in the crucial Pays de la Loire region has continued to slow. Only three new cases were reported between the 19th and 26th of April in the Vendée department and only one new case was reported in…

Rat

Over the counter rodenticides posing threat to Britain’s wild birds

Brodifacoum and Bromadiolone are types of poison called second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGARs). These poisons were introduced in the late 1970s as rats and mice evolved resistance to existing poisons such as Warfarin. Brodifacoum and other SGARs work by blocking the action of vitamin K and by weakening capillaries. Together…

Study showing falling hare numbers disputed

A study funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species found fewer hares on grouse moors in the Peak District than on areas managed for conservation. The authors then went on to openly speculate without any evidence that culling of hares was the cause. The authors wrote: “We reflect that…

French bird flu outbreak

Bird flu outbreak slows in certain areas, but grows in others

Meanwhile, shortages of pheasant eggs and chicks are beginning to affect British shoots. The outbreak is focused on the Vendée department in North West France; this department and the neighbouring Loire Atlantique are vital to the supply of game bird chicks and eggs to the UK. Weekly data published by…

flatcoated retriever

What’s happened to the flatcoat retriever?

What is it about the flatcoat retriever that makes it so successful at Crufts? It’s a question lots of showing enthusiasts have been asking themselves after Norwegian-owned flatcoat retriever Almanza Backseat Driver, or Baxer, took the coveted Best in Show title at the show in March 2022. This puts the…

bird flu infrared

Bird flu update – how hard is it hitting British farms?

Data released by the French agriculture ministry showed that in the last week of March, cases in the main gamebird rearing areas of Vendée and Loire Atlantique continued to increase, though the rate of increase appears to be slowing. Shooting Times understands that these figures are likely to go on…

Curlews

National Resources Wales approve change to general licences

The Board of Natural Resources Wales has voted to approve a set of changes to the Welsh general licences which will prevent their use to control magpies, jackdaws and jays for conservation purposes and will impose a limited time window to control carrion crows for conservation. The proposals, which were…

bird flu warning

French game farms not sending eggs to UK due to bird flu outbreak

L’envol de Retz and Gibovendee have told customers to plan for the delay in response to the worsening bird flu situation in the Pays de la Loire region of France where they are based. The decision will cause huge disruption to the shooting season, effectively delaying its start for many…

Major avian influenza outbreak hits French game farms

The possibility of disruption to the supply of birds from farms was highlighted last week by Shooting Times. The west of France and particularly the departments of Vendée and Loire Atlantique are crucial to the supply of chicks and eggs to the UK game production industry. An outbreak began with…

Wild Justice’s victory claim incorrect

The campaign group announced earlier that it would challenge the inclusion of gamebirds as livestock for the purposes of using the general licence to protect them from predation. The group appear to have hoped that by preventing the control of corvids to protect gamebirds they could disrupt shooting activities. However…

Mossberg Maverick 88 pump-action

Move to ban pump-action shotguns fails

Labour MP Luke Pollard introduced a private members bill in an attempt to restrict pump-action shotguns after the tragic shootings in his Plymouth constituency last year. The bill was debated as a ‘ten minute rule’ bill which strictly limits the amount of parliamentary time allotted to a proposed law. Introducing…

female capercaillie

Capercaillie could be extinct in Scotland in 20 years, says report

Scottish Capercaillie at risk The report commissioned by Nature Scot looked at the causes of the decline in the numbers of the birds and at how the decline could be addressed. In recent years, a number of very large estates in the bird’s core range in Badenoch and Strathspey have…

golden eagle

Gamekeepers struggle to save the life of eagle

The drama began when a gamekeeper, working on a Scottish Highlands estate, spotted an eagle struggling in distress while he was out on the hill. He called for assistance and other members of the estate’s gamekeeping team joined the mission to help the bird. The estate’s head keeper who has…