Brown rat Pest control can be undertaken for a variety of reasons – to prevent crop damage, protect wild birds and their habitats, keep vermin numbers down.

We have a variety of experts writing on the subject and if you have a query about pest control you’ll find some good advice here.

The wild rabbit


bolting bunnies




fox in field




CZ 455 rifle


best fox control kit

The best fox control kit: Mark Ripley shares the essentials

Early recon pays dividends when tracking Charlie, but reliable kit also makes the job much more effective. Here is the best fox control kit which I use regularly, essential for any foxer trying to protect game or livestock. Fox Pro Inferno £199.95 The Inferno from Fox Pro is an ideal…

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…

foxing on the foreshore

Foxing on the foreshore

In 1999 and 2000, I was fortunate to spend many months in the jungles of Brunei and Belize as part of my Royal Marine training. Both were wonderful environments in which to soldier. For the previous two years, I’d spent most of my time wet and cold — on Dartmoor,…

Feral pigeon control – The Countryman with Mat Manning

Feral pigeon control is a problem for many farmers. These birds love to nest up in the rafters of large barns, especially as there is usually an easy food supply nearby. This prime habitat makes for very comfortable living, and it doesn’t take long for populations to get out of…

Crop protection with Mat Manning

“You should have been here yesterday.” It’s an all-too-familiar phrase which, for anyone with a fondness for shooting and fishing, never loses its sting no matter how often you hear it. The yesterday in question was the day a farmer friend had called me to say a field of recently…

wood pigeon

Why the wood pigeon is so successful

About wood pigeon You may think that you are hearing pigeons heating up for the breeding season in April and May, seeing lots of wing-clapping display flights and hearing lots of their distinctive “don’t scold so, Susie” cooing. However perhaps the first thing about wood pigeon that will surprise you…

Brown rat

Leptospirosis in dogs – what you need to know

Rats are known to carry disease and one of the ones they can transmit is Weil’s disease, also known as leptospirosis. Leptospirosis in dogs and humans can be fatal. It is caused by bacteria spread via the urine of infected rats. It is a zoonotic disease. In 2010 an Olympian…

Grey squirrels – the science behind the impact of the invasive species

I imagine most people reading this will agree that grey squirrels are a wholly unwelcome addition to our national fauna. However, the majority of Britons aren’t rustics or readers of Shooting Times. More than 80% of the UK population lives in towns and cities and for the majority of them…

Shooting permissions – how you can maintain yours

For many people getting shooting permissions is one of the hardest aspects of shooting. And even when you’ve done so it doesn’t stop there. (Want to get a shooting permission? Find out how to go about it here) It is only too easy to lose your access. Sometimes it happens…

Crow shooting kit 3D leaf poncho

Essential crow shooting kit

Crow shooting is a wonderful game of cat and mouse against a rather cunning adversary. The shooting provides excellent sporting opportunities and essential pest management, as crows will cause tremendous damage, both in terms of wildlife and agriculture, if left unchecked. Unfortunately, the ongoing destruction caused by crows makes them…

how to call a fox

Clean kills when foxing – best practice in the field

Top tips for clean kills Never shoot with a rifle that hasn’t been accurately zeroed. If either I, or my shooting partner, Paul, experience a shot that we can’t explain, we’re straight off to the permanent 100-yard range at his house to see what’s going on. (Read how to zero…

Scopes for pest control

Scopes for pest control on test

Digital day and night riflescopes combine the stealth of infrared imaging for after-dark concealment with full-colour viewing for shooting in the daytime. That means they provide a sighting solution for round-the-clock pest control, covering everything from long-range rabbit and fox shooting to farmyard ratting with an airgun. Owing to their…

air rifle for pigeons

How to use an air rifle for pigeons around the farm

Using an air rifle for pigeons It is fair to say that farmyard pest control formed a significant part of my airgunning apprenticeship and that is probably why I still have such a fondness for this type of shooting. My continuing connection with local farms is based on more than…

pigeon shooter

How to get a shooting permission

What is the next step when the local clay shoot or beaters’ day shoot just isn’t enough to satisfy your desire to shoot? If money is no object, you buy a country estate, employ a gamekeeper and throw a load of money at it until you get the shoot you…

grey squirrel

The best kit for grey squirrel control – my go-to list

Grey squirrel control The grey squirrel is a highly successful introduced species that has wreaked havoc since its introduction to the UK more than 100 years ago. Their contribution to the decline of our native red squirrel is well documented, but these tenacious rodents also cause extensive and costly tree…

Could the “pest birds list” return?

Currently the control of pest birds such as magpies, carrion crows and jackdaws is permitted under the general licence which allows control of these birds for certain purposes. The general licence system was introduced in 1992 by Michael Howard who was the Secretary of State for the Environment at the…

shotgun cartridges for pigeon shooting

Testing budget shotgun cartridges for pigeon shooting and corvid control

With the end of the game and wildfowling seasons, some may be putting away their guns. However, pigeons hereabouts are feeding voraciously on rape and the rooks are waiting for the spring drilling to commence. While the grey partridges pair up, the carrion crows and magpies are keeping watch for…

picking best airgun pellets

Airgun shooting permission: here’s how to go about getting it

Airgunning at home in the garden or at an airgun shooting range is one thing, but how do you go about getting an airgun shooting permission locally so that you can carry out some pest control with an air rifle? How should you approach a local landowner? Getting an airgun…