pest species in garden

Can I shoot pest species in my inner-city garden?

A: Always be very circumspect about shooting pests in your own back garden. You do not want armed police attending because some nosy neighbour has called to report that there is someone firing a gun out of the window. In most gardens, it is only safe to use an air rifle. However, larger gardens may be suitable for…

Ferrets

How to start ferreting

Ferreting is one of those activities that can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. For a newcomer it can seem quite daunting when you consider all the bits and bobs that are collected by those experienced in the art. However, you can still start ferreting and catch rabbits with a minimal amount…

rimfire

Is a rimfire safer?

A: The conventional hollow point lead bullet fired by the .22 rifle has stood the test of time and is still immensely popular. However, it is known to have a tendency to ricochet if it hits a flint or stone. The .17 HMR, on the other hand, fires a lighter, polycarbonate-tipped bullet at a considerably higher velocity.…

rodenticide

New law on using rodenticide

Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are reminded that from Saturday, 1 October, they will not be able to buy professional rodenticide packs for use outdoors without first showing an approved certificate of competence or proof of membership of an approved farm assurance scheme. Dr Alan Buckle, chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, said that the way…

shooting rabbits

Tips for shooting rabbits

Rabbits seem to have exploded in volume this year. The early wet weather but milder winter has seen an ever-increasing population boom in the home counties and the torrential rain followed by long, hot days has turned sparse fields into verdant scenes from Land of the Giants where I shoot. This is good for herbivorous rabbits, providing them with…

setting a mole trap

How to get rid of moles

The mole has been trapped and managed for generations. There are still professional mole trappers practising across our land, turning fields of molehills back into rich pastures. In this article I will be talking you through how I trap moles and the equipment I use. Mole trapping is another one of those highly contentious pest control jobs where every…

cage traps

How to set cage traps for rabbits

A reader asked a question regarding rabbit traps: I have been given some cage traps by a farmer friend, but the only things I have caught have been birds and hedgehogs (all of which were released unharmed). How and what is the best way to set this type of trap? Professional…

best rifle scopes

Five of the best rifle scopes

Bruce Potts rounds up the five best rifle scopes on the market at the moment ranging from a budget friendly £549.99 to a more high end price at £2,740. Kahles Helia 5 2.4-12x56mm Kahles, established in 1898, is the oldest scope manufacturer in the world. Its new range carries the…

Fox Control

It’s time for fox control

No matter how hard you try, and no matter how many foxes you kill, litters of cubs will always appear — usually where you least expect them. Keeping fox numbers down now is vital. Once the cover is up and they start living on top, it is much harder to…

Magpies

How to control magpies without Larsen traps

Question: I am not able to operate Larsen traps on my shoot as I can’t check them daily, so I do my best to control the magpies by shooting birds flushed from nests. Do both sexes incubate the eggs, or am I only culling the females? David Tomlinson, highly regarded writer…

Lamping with a lurcher

Video: Lamping with a lurcher

With a fit dog and obliging weather, there is nothing better than pitting all-round canine athleticism against the survival instincts of a rabbit. However, these days I am more dependent on a ferreting dog. My circumstances and priorities have changed, so running my dogs down the beam has become less…

How to make a mirador

How to make a mirador

If you have been lucky enough to travel overseas to shoot driven wild boar, you may well have waited in what is known in Europe as a mirador, a tower with an open shooting platform that provides the shooter with a 360° field of fire. There is usually a bench seat, but…

Brown rat

Cartridges for vermin

The game season might be finished but now’s the time to mount an onslaught against those birds and beasties which, given half a chance will steal game bird eggs and kill sitting hens come the nesting season

Lamping with lurchers

Lamping with lurchers

A lurcher by definition is a crossbred creature, one created by a number of breeds with the intention to retain attributes from each ingredient of the mixture. Such cocktails have been created for centuries – long before it was trendy to cross one breed to another. Some say a lurcher is…

Trapping and shooting squirrels

How to use trapping and shooting techniques to control squirrels

Now is the time to get on top of all those pest control jobs. With much greater access to the woodland areas we can now make a serious dint in the squirrel population before the ground-nesting birds start to lay. As a pest controller, I get some of the strangest of phone…

Crow shooting with a Shotkam

Crow shooting with a Shotkam

Back in March I caught up with my good friend, Jack Depledge who is also a contributor of Sporting Gun, who writes about college life for young keepers. Jack and I have been pals for a number of years and I always like a catch up where possible – and what…

crow shooting

The right rifle for crow control

Crow shooting is no longer solely for shotgunners. Bruce Potts investigates the relative merits of centrefi res and rimfires for a safe and humane despatch

Rifle Scopes

Five rifle scopes for under £600

Every month there seems to be a new addition to the long line of optics available to the rifle shooter. Be it vermin, foxes, or deer, every aspect, style, model and technological gizmo for rifle scopes has made its way into gunshops to entice shooters. I love scopes — well, anything optical really, but…

Anschutz 1416

Anschutz 1416

Anschutz rifles are that bit more pricey than other rimfires. That’s because the quality of the barrel and triggers has always been superb and stem from a pure target pedigree, and that’s what you are buying. The Anschutz 1416 DG Classic, with a short barrel and a sound moderator and…

Browning Maxus

Browning Maxus

It seems unlikely we’ll ever see the day they become an acceptable sight on the peg, if Browning continues to create products like this one they may become a far more familiar sight for our other sporting activities. For a gamekeeper, especially those with a firearms licence, they are an extremely flexible…