Pigeon shooting: The flightline factor

Pigeon shooting: The flightline factor

Like so many pigeon shooters, I have been in pursuit of Britain’s greatest sporting bird for more years than I care to remember. My enthusiasm has not diminished with the passing of time. My first experience of having some birds to decoy, however, was more by accident than design. I was 15 and working on a farm,…

hunter shooting cartridges for vermin

Which are the best cartridges for vermin?

When it comes to vermin cartridges, there is little doubt that the .22LR is at the top of the list. It can be used on all small species and has good accuracy, low noise and recoil, with enough energy to get the job done. The .22LR was later upgraded to…

Hatsan Escort Magnum semi-automatic shotgun

Hatsan Escort Magnum semi-automatic shotgun

Semi-autos are a bit Marmite. You either love them or hate them. There’s no grey area. Turn up with one and you could become the shoot pariah, even if the event if a farmer’s knock-about vermin day. Don’t even start me on a camouflaged gun. In many people’s eyes that…

old ammunition

Rabbit shooting with classic rifles

An early morning start, with a light breeze, is an idyllic start to any day’s stalk. But on this occasion it was not an eligible roebuck that I had in mind; it was a humble rabbit. I love rabbit shooting. It was the way I learned to shoot on my uncle’s…

Ruger M77/17 Hornet

Ruger M77/17 Hornet

After the .17 Hornet round was introduced by Hornady it was not long before a rifle was made by Ruger for this mini marvel of the cartridge world. Ruger had a perfect platform for the .17 Hornet round in its excellent M77/22 model — which was capable of shooting the .22LR, .22WMR and .22 Hornet — and…

Tikka T3 Super Varmint

Tikka T3 Super Varmint

Tikka rifles have always been a popular choice for shooters due to their accuracy. The brand offers a rifle for any eventuality due to the smooth bolt combined with a good choice of calibres. The Tikka T3 Super Varmint model is a heavy-barrelled version of the T3 with a modified…

.17 hmr bolt-action rifle

Which is the best.17 HMR bolt-action rifle?

This review pits the Sako Quad Synthetic, CZ Synthetic Silhouette, Browing T-Bolt Synthetic and Anschutz 1517 Thumbhole against each other to find the best .17 HRM bolt-action rifle

DIY hide

Pigeon Shooting with a DIY straw hide

Last season I had trouble finding camouflage netting in the right configuration, so decided I needed a portable hide that was straw coloured. I bought a cane screen from my local garden centre — it is 2m high and 4m long, just right for a one-man hide. I set it…

The world’s smallest shoot?

Back in the 1970s I made a couple of life-changing decisions. I resigned from a secure job in banking to become a full-time writer, sold my house in suburbia and moved with my wife and four children to live in a remote area of the Shropshire-Welsh border hills. Friends told…

Harvest shooting

Rabbit shooting on stubble

At the start of the harvest I didn’t have to worry about ground compaction, crop damage or sinking into bog holes, so I drove around the stubble in my Steed. This proved pivotal in reducing countless rabbits quickly, but shooting solo from any vehicle has its handicaps. I can only…

What’s the best cartridge for pest control?

What I’m going to do here is highlight the various cartridges available and their usefulness in pest control. It’s impossible to choose a calibre for all the different species of pests – a rabbit and a poult-pinching fox cannot be compared. While many cartridges come close to covering all bases,…

American signal crayfish

Crayfish trapping & cooking

The American signal crayfish has laid waste to the UK’s waterways since its introduction in the 1970s when it was farmed for restaurants. Like the mink, they escaped and found their way into our ecosystem, with devastating effects on our native wildlife and surrounding environment. It carries a plague to…

Pest Cotrol

Pest control on covercrops drillings

After a very early alarm call I was up and on the drillings setting the decoys up, in anticipation about what the morning pest control would bring. Shooting over the drilled crops gives me a rare chance to get stuck into our limited supply of pigeons. However, enticing both pigeons…

pigeon shooting

Peas and pigeon shooting

It has been a very strange — and disappointing — couple of months with regard to pigeon shooting. From the start of the year I was having a pigeon-shooting bonanza, with good numbers being shot over winter rape and birds decoying brilliantly. The trend continued into the spring drillings. I…

Ferreting in summertime

Ferreting in the Summertime

Summer ferreting is a world away from its wintertime cousin. On a day in June, my friend Sooty and I were asked to tackle some land that, until recently, had only a handful of rabbits, but their numbers had since multiplied. Hormonal ferrets behave completely differently from how they do…

airgun bill

Scotland passes airgun bill despite big drop in airgun crime

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was passed last week, despite newly published Government figures showing a 73 per cent drop in Scottish airgun crime since 2006-2007. Anyone who owns an airgun could unwittingly be committing a criminal act should they fail to obtain a licence after April next year.…

grey squirrel

Airguns and summer squirrel shooting

Squirrel control using an air rifle can be a real bind during the summer months. Dense foliage can make it virtually impossible to spot your quarry in the treetops, and the abundance of natural food means it’s difficult to pinpoint them to any specific area. It was so much easier…

Fox predator

How can shoots keep their birds safe from predators?

It would be a mistake to think that shoots that don’t hatch and rear their own birds have nothing to do from early February until mid- July, when their poults turn up. There is plenty for the full-time lads to do — arguably more for those running shoots part-time and…

Crow Shooting

Crow Shooting

Putting it to the test Once again I have been out crow shooting, mopping up those troublesome pests that have started to cost the farmer money with their relentless attacks on the sheep feeders. With the Mark1 hide straight off the production line, I took it down and set it…