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…

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…

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…

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…

fox in field

Keeping livestock safe

On a Friday in February, I waited at my burger van for Tony Jones to arrive from Yorkshire for what would hopefully be another enjoyable weekend of foxing. As usual, the weather was absolutely rotten: cold and raining, with high winds. I usually finish work at 1pm but, with the…

Crow decoys

How to use crow decoys for corvid control

The problem with decoys at the end of the season around these parts is finding somewhere to go. The crows haven’t been pressured into feeding anywhere in particular due to the mild wet winter.  Optimising chances Picking a location to shoot was a difficult decision as the estate has a lot…

shooting outbuildings

The advantages of reduced-load .22 rimfire ammunition

With cattle in the barns and grain stored over the winter months, it seems an endless task to keep hungry vermin species at bay. As soon as I have to battle against colder and wetter weather, most of my vermin control heads indoors — in and around the barns and outbuildings now…

Marocchi XTR

Marocchi XTR

It is odd how ideas and values influence fashion, or are influenced by fashion. Take the semi-automatic shotgun: not so long ago it was welcome in shooting company as a dog with mange. Even otherwise enthusiastic firearms historians were wont to look askance at the semi-auto or self-loading shotgun. Technically,…

Webley and Scott

Webley & Scott .410 and 9mm Bolt-Action Shotguns

The turn-bolt would not seem to be the obvious sort of action on which to build a shotgun. It rings to mind something clumsy and awkward such as the Belgian conversions of old military rifles. It was, however, a choice of action sometimes favoured for budget shotguns built around the smaller vermin control cartridges. The most popular,…