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

Keepering kit in the 1960s

How keepering kit has improved

In rural pubs across the country — the ones that are still open at least — you’ll always find some old boy who’ll tell you life was much better in years gone by. Old keepers often express similar sentiments. I’m not sure, though. I think keepering kit has vastly improved.…

fox drive

How to stop a fox in its tracks

Now is a good time to organise a fox drive to reduce numbers. Foxes eat more pheasant and partridge poults than all the other predators put together. You don’t always see what they kill and eat, but they are continually chipping away at them; now, when the hen birds are…

Type 41 gas heater

What gas brooder do I need for rearing young chicks?

To determine what kind of brooder is best firstly determine how many birds you will be rearing. Secondly decide what brooder housing will be used. A brooder house doesn’t have to be all singing and dancing or purpose built. But the conditions inside the building are vital. What is the…

gamekeeping

Gamekeeping: how it can protect its future

When I left college, I was full of hope for the future of gamekeeping and my own place within the industry. I’ve become slightly jaded since then, but I do still have hope for the future of the gamekeeper in Britain, though our jobs may end up looking a wee…

coppicing in action

How to create an ideal pheasant drive

Tree planting is one of the Government’s key measures to achieve carbon net zero in the UK by 2030. This sounds as if it is great news for the pheasant. Our most popular gamebird is, after all, a creature of the woods. (Read more about the different types of pheasant…

The problem with political intervention in wildlife management

Politicians should really keep well away from matters when it comes to wildlife management, for the simple reason that very few, if any of them, know enough about it to make the correct decisions. To compound matters, when a ruling party has to rely on another party with only a…

Land Rover Defender 110

More bad news for shoots as feed and fuel prices continue to rise

Wheat, the key feed for gamebirds, has continued to rise in price as the war in Ukraine enters a new phase.  Feed typically makes up just under a quarter of the cost of each bird and is the second most important cost per bird after the cost of buying the…

Micheldever tires

Gamekeepers get the grip with General Tire

One of the less obvious skills associated with gamekeeping is the ability to drive all kinds of vehicles to complete the day-to-day tasks of the job. It is therefore not uncommon for them to be expected to operate 4x4s, pick-up trucks or ATVs when working on estates.  The work of…

Releaes pen

Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust: why it’s a vital lifeline

The decision that the awarded legal costs, following Wild Justice’s failed attempt to take forward a judicial review of English heather-burning regulations, should be donated to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust (GWT), was a multilayered master stroke. Raising awareness of the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust Superficially, the news gave brief, if admittedly…

Red fox stalking pheasant

Using traps and snares: how to do it legally and effectively

Traps and snares play a vital role in gamekeeping. If you are looking to establish new ground for a shoot or simply increase the amount of wild game in your area, knowing how and when to trap is essential. Whether you’re using cages or tunnels to reduce predation, Larsen trapping…

gamekeeper on moorland

Why gamekeepers are the best sustainable farmers

The word ‘sustainability’ is buzzing like a swarm of bees. But what does it mean for fieldsports? The simplest definition of sustainability is this: doing something today in a way that doesn’t detract from it being done in the future. So if I sell some of my sheep for meat,…

Gamekeepers

Gamekeeping and wildlife management certificate dropped from education syllabus

Currently around 1,000 students are studying the Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate, Diploma and Extended Diploma in Land and Wildlife Management. The Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate is now no longer open to new entrants and it was expected that a similar qualification would be included in the Government’s new…

Young Shots

Young Shots: six tips for getting started

How should young Shots get started in the field and on the clay ground? I started shooting at the age of eight. I’m lucky to come from a farming background, so there were opportunities to be involved in and around shooting from an early age. I followed my father’s lead…

Gamekeepers

How Guns can earn a gamekeeper’s respect

Over the years I have read a number of articles on the topic of what constitutes a good beater, a good shoot and a good picker-up. But I don’t recall any pieces on how a Gun can earn a gamekeeper’s respect. (Read our piece on whether beaters and pickers-up get…

poults

How to keep your poults happy

Poults start to wander three to four weeks after release. Not very far initially but, as they grow more confident, they wander further and further from their pen. It isn’t the same as the September and October wanderings of almost mature birds, but more the naive exploring of adolescents that…

dogging-in

Is this the best way of “dogging-in?”

Dogging-in means using a dog to push straying pheasants from the boundaries of a shoot back into the middle. It’s a major job for keepers during October and can sometimes seem infuriating. Time-consuming and impossible without a dog. My favourite breed for dogging-in may surprise you but it’s a decision…

Guns on a shoot

What guests really want on a shoot day. Nine things that matter

I have been shooting since I was 11, but it is only since August 2019, when I began working as editor of Guns on Pegs, that I’ve really started to get a feel for how the shooting community actually thinks. I’ve had some of my assumptions challenged and I’m often…

Releasing gamebird

The new GL43 general licence – here’s what you need to know

Defra has published its new and long-awaited general licence (GL43), to cover the releasing of gamebirds on European protected sites. These protected sites are Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Ramsar wetlands and potential SPAs and SACs or proposed Ramsar wetlands. The potential or proposed sites are…