shooting rats

Shooting rats in broad daylight

The vast majority of my winter rat shooting is done during the hours of darkness. My usual routine is to arrive an hour or so before dusk so I can set up in time to catch the early action and shoot on into the night until activity tails off. Going…

Airgun shooters

Why airgunning is the most noble of shooting sports

Setting up airgunning as the noblest of shooting sports probably sounds like a tall order to many — it certainly does to me. Airgun shooters wear funny clothes, we get excited about shooting rats and grey squirrels and we don’t like to pay for our sport. More to airgun shooters…

Canada goose

Golf club criticised by locals following decision to cull Canada Geese pests

West Essex Golf Club has instructed pest control experts to shoot increasing numbers of geese found on the greens. However this decision has drawn a furious response from local residents and some club members. Members have been told that marksmen will mount an “aggressive campaign and try to shoot 3…


BASC confronts West Sussex council over snare ban

BASC has criticised West Sussex County Council’s decision to introduce a snaring ban without holding a consultation first and accused it of breaching the Regulators’ Code. The council introduced a prohibition on the use of snares by tenants on all of its land following the tabling of a motion by…

Pulsar Phantom NV sight 4x60mm

What’s a good night-vision sight for under £1750?

Q: I wish to buy a night-vision sight for my .22 Anschutz rimfire that I can also use on my .22-250 Sako for foxes up to 150 yards. Can you recommend one 
for under £1,750? A: As the daylight hours dwindle, 
night vision and thermal imagers will tend to replace standard optical…

Ratting with terriers

What better way to clear a farm of rats?

The first rats came fizzing 
out before anyone was ready. Even Jay, the very model of lurcher sharpness, 
was taken by surprise as the rodents fled their burrows and made for safety. The terriers, tied to a gate post outside, burst into a frantic chorus of yelps and whines as…

Learn how to zero your own rifle

This is the start of the ratting season for airgunners

Most farming units harbour 
a few resident rats throughout the year — especially if pigs or poultry are present — but numbers usually increase as autumn arrives. Many of these incoming rodents will have spent the warmer months in open countryside, foraging a relatively natural diet. But things start to…

How deep is the average rabbit burrow?

How deep is the average burrow and what's the deepest set you've ever come across? Also, how high above the ground should you set the noose on a rabbit snare?

damage on shoot in badger cull zone

Owners shocked to see wanton damage to family shoot in badger cull zone

I would like to make other shoots aware of what may happen if they are in a badger cull zone after what has happened to 
our small shoot. Wandering poults Last Sunday, my four-year-old daughter and I went down to our shoot, which has been run by our family for…

Sealyham terrier

Ratting with a Sealyham Terrier

The phone rang, “Hello Nick, it’s Harry Parsons, what you doing next Tuesday?” A quick check of the diary and it looked all clear. “Fancy coming out for a day’s ratting?” As much as I hate rats, especially their scaly tails, I do enjoy a day’s ratting with the Working…


How bad are rooks for game birds?

Do rooks do as much harm to nesting game birds as carrion crows and magpies. If so, what's the best method of control?

Ratting terrier

Ratting with terriers

I’ve been to a meet or two 
in my time: beagle packs on village greens; minkhounds 
on crumbling stone bridges that look as old as the river which winds beneath them; and foxhounds in the courtyards of austere country houses. But this was a little different. Bleary eyed, smelly, and…


Clear-up time for foxes and rabbits

One of the consequences of shooting foxes is that if there’s any increase in, say, the rabbit population, you’ll get the blame from the farmer whether it’s justified or not. As a result, one of the things that goes hand in hand with vulpine control is keeping a lid on the numbers of other pests in the vicinity. If…

Tom Sykes goes crow shooting

I always try to keep my farmers happy and control their vermin to the best of my ability. Doing this can pay off in numerous ways – other than job satisfaction another major perk can be gathering more ground through word-of-mouth. Crow problem Such a thing happened to me last…

Plummer terriers

A useful day out with some Plummer terriers

By their very name, terriers are dogs of the earth. In the past, before certain legislation was implemented, this varied and extremely valiant family of dogs did exactly that, going to ground in pursuit of their prey. Everything from badgers to otters was pursued by the smooth, the rough, the white, the coloured, the…

red squirrels

Volunteers needed to save red squirrels – and cull greys

“In most of the UK there are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels,” said Dr Cathleen Thomas, programme manager of Red Squirrels United, a conservation partnership started in 2015. “Without help, experts predict this beautiful and treasured creature could be extinct within as little as 35 years.” Volunteers…