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 shootinguk@ti-media.com

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

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…

stags

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…

Snipe shooting

Want to increase snipe numbers? These habitat improvements make a significant difference

Craigenputtock House has been sitting in the rural splendour of upland Dumfriesshire since the 11th century. Once the home of Thomas Carlyle, one of Scotland’s most influential authors, it has borne witness to much change. Over the years, the landscape has been transformed by afforestation, and continual drainage and tillage,…

land management of grouse moor

Land management is hampered by officials with little knowledge

When a senior member 
of Natural England asks 
a grouse keeper how many birds he releases and it’s not 1 April, you have a right 
to worry. It is not the only example 
of government employees showing 
a serious lack of working knowledge. The licensing debacle has left the management…

lamping foxes

5 tips for lamping foxes

1. What’s the right time to go out lamping foxes? Foxes are generally nocturnal and see excellently at night. Wait until it is properly dark outside before setting off. During the night foxes will sleep for a while – usually from around midnight until 3am. 2. Know the ground Night…

eco-friendly shooting picking up cartridges

How to be an eco-friendly shooter

  Eco-friendly shooting There is always something shoots can do to improve things and help reduce any negative effects we might be having on the environment, however small. In and around release pens A release pen should look pretty much the same when 
the birds are released after three or…

young gamekeeping apprentice

What happens when a gamekeeper loses his job?

I would hazard a guess that many 
a captain of industry who also runs a shoot listens as carefully to his gamekeeper as he does to his finance director. Not that he pays them the same. Gamekeepers are an iconic species. An ancient and highly respected profession, keepering is small…

Holland & Holland bursary

New £10,000 bursary scheme available for young keepers and stalkers

A generous new bursary scheme which supports young keepers or stalkers in the first five years of their career has been announced by Holland & Holland. The company is keen to support natural resource management and to this end will give £10,000 to a successful applicant showing the desired credentials…