gamekeepingGamekeepers and their profession are the unsung guardians of the countryside who ensure that the shooting industry and the British countryside thrive. The job has become more and more technical over the last century as gamekeepers now have to understand agricultural practices, veterinary medicines and annual budgets as well as interpret changing government policy.

There are plenty of useful resources and articles on Shooting UK that highlight the importance of gamekeeping but also can help guide and offer advice to those in the profession.

If there is anything you would like to see on the site e mail

Game shooting| Deer stalking| Gundog training| Gun reviews| Pest control | Current affairs

how to call a fox

How to keep predators out of your pheasant pen

Wise keepers make life as difficult as possible for those pheasant pen predators intent on finding a tasty meal. Birds are usually lost in two ways: Mass kills of poults caught together on the ground (usually within the pen) by the predator A gradual loss, as one or two birds…

DIY shoot

How to start up your own DIY shoot

Starting a little DIY shoot can be great fun and very rewarding. In fact, it is the DIY shoot that is bringing some ‘fresh air’ to shooting. Why start a DIY shoot? Basically you and your shooting companions should get moderate driven shooting at a reasonable cost. Of course, while…

pheasants in flight

The rules you must follow when rearing gamebirds

Before you take any steps to start on rearing gamebirds yourself you need to be aware of the key factors involved. Rule 1: Think of it as a business You need to think seriously about rearing gamebirds right from the beginning and consider it as a business, whether you’re rearing…

pheasants in countryside

How to hatch and rear your own pheasants

Many DIY shoots are looking at ways of reducing costs, and one way of achieving that is rearing pheasants yourself. There are plenty of benefits. You know where your birds have come from The birds will be the age and strain you want You will be aware of any pheasant…

Suffolk shoot on an autumn day

Shoots press ahead despite uncertainty over COVID-19

The likely effect of COVID-19 on shooting in the UK is becoming clearer as the initial panic starts to subside and more shoots decide how they will approach the coming season. The majority of shoot operators who spoke to Shooting Times said they intended to go ahead with shooting this…

Gamekeeper on moor

Support gamekeeping during these difficult times and you could win a knife worth £500

The National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO) exists for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to support gamekeepers who have fallen on difficult times. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many shoots are facing an uncertain future and some estates have already cancelled next year’s shooting season. Support gamekeepers…

shooters going to peg

COVID-19 makes shooting season ‘a huge gamble’

Shoots around the country have been wrestling with decisions about how many birds to put down, how many days to offer and whether to shoot at all. One gamekeeper told Shooting Times: “It is an enormous gamble. Potentially we are paying thousands of pounds to buy birds, then paying thousands…

trapping pests

New laws on trapping – keepers must tread carefully

It will soon be illegal to use 
a Fenn trap to catch a stoat, but where are we in our quest for its replacement? The list of traps we now have at our disposal is on the Government website for all to see. These traps have been through rigorous testing…

Eco Charger quad bike

Eco Charger Eliminator 2 quad bike on test

As someone who has admired Elon Musk’s Tesla cars from afar, I was delighted and a little excited to be offered the use of the new fully electric Eco Charger quad bike for a week to field test for Shooting Times. Things are moving on as far as the use…

Pheasant poult in release pen

Wild Justice moves to BLOCK gamebird releases

Today lawyers acting on behalf of Wild Justice have written to DEFRA challenging the legality of releases of gamebirds on Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) sites and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Wild Justice says that in September 2019 DEFRA admitted that gamebird releases needed to be assessed properly and “promised…


Staggering ignorance

Deer management, 
an activity undertaken quietly and in solitude, enjoyed — or perhaps more accurately endured — a brief moment of national attention here in Ireland. An incident in Kerry raised questions regarding the management of red deer in the county. In late October a red stag was observed by…

choosing rifles for pest control

Rifles for pest control

I have been spending money this
 month and invested in two rifles for pest control. 
A gamekeeper’s work is never done and in the constant battle against pests and predators, I need all the tools that I can muster. New guns To this end, I managed to pick up a…

Chris Warren

Should gamekeepers be tipped … or be paid properly in the first place?

Once, after a rather informal 
and very enjoyable day’s shooting, I attempted to give the gamekeeper a tip, but botched the handover. My fingers were numb and, as a consequence, a rather wet, slippery and solitary banknote flopped 
to the ground. Instantly, my purported friend said, for all to hear:…

hen harrier female

General licences restricted on Leadhills Estate following wildlife crime

In the past week Scottish Natural Heritage has announced that it is restricting the use of general licences on the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire after evidence of wildlife crime against birds was provided by Police Scotland. Nick Halfhide, SNH’s Director of Sustainable Growth, explained: “There is clear evidence that…

pheasant shooter in corn field

Maximising shoot returns

It is all very well saying that shooting is about the day and the size of the bag is almost an irrelevance. I agree that the number of birds in the bag is rarely related directly to how much pleasure we get from being out with our friends. But at…

joining a picking-up team

Reading University bans pheasant shooting

Following an internal review, the University of Reading has decided to stop organised game shooting on its land. It will also no longer allow university farmland to be used to raise pheasants or partridges for shooting “once an existing agreement with an external group that uses University farmland comes to…

pest control traps

What traps will you use when the Fenn is no longer legal?

Keepers who have not already started changing are now giving serious consideration as to what trap they are to use next year when the Fenn 
is no longer legal. It is fair to say they are far from happy with the process that to date has left them with the…