winter wood pigeon airgunning

Airgunning in the cold

A lot of airgunners are fair-weather shooters; they take to the fields and the woods when the temperature is warm and the days are long, then pack their rifles away as soon as the chill of autumn sets in. As lovely as it is to enjoy our sport when the…

Industrial Ferreting on an ancient hedgerow

Ferreting on an ancient hedgerow

The Jolly boys tackled a hedgerow planted in the 1800s, which was housing rabbits doing a lot of damage – this was industrial ferreting. Knowing your quarry’s behaviour always brings home more bunnies, and the stop-nets through the ancient hedgerow between warrens caught out every rabbit that tried to escape.…

rookery

Is shooting rooks a crime?

When reader Ian Taylor emailed to say he was being charged with shooting corvids, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Corvids such as rooks are on the general licence and may be shot for crop protection, protecting wild birds and a number of other reasons. The licences specify the methods which…

Ruger 10/22 stainless synthetic carbine

Ruger 10/22 stainless synthetic carbine

The Ruger 10/22 rimfire semi-automatic rifle, produced more than 50 years ago in 1964, has to be the most widely made and distributed .22 rimfire rifle in existence. It led to a whole genre of aftermarket paraphernalia to upgrade the basic rifle. Ruger makes a variety of off-the-shelf 10/22s, including standard wood-stocked, take-down, target and tactical models. Probably the…

Anschutz 1727F

Anschutz 1727F

Anschutz has made my day, as their new 1727F model blends a sporter .17 HMR rifle with the super-slick and precise straight-pull action. The action is actually a redesigned (or up-scaled) action from a similar Anschutz biathlon 1827 model, both of which are made by the firm System Fortner, acting under licence for Anschutz. What you end…

CZ 455 rifle

CZ 455

CZ 455 .17 HMR review: Bruce Potts tests a great-value rimfire rifle that offers switch-barrel convenience and accuracy, too.

High Court overrules Natural England in gamekeeper buzzard licence battle

Today, Friday 13th November 2015, has been a lucky day for gamekeeper Ricky McMorn. The Judicial Review at the High Court has quashed Natural England’s refusal to grant him a licence to control buzzards, a battle that has been going on for four long years. Giving his judgement today Mr Justice…

Ferreting in Norfolk

The Jolly Boys return for more ferreting in Norfolk

I was addressing a burgeoning rabbit problem in North Norfolk and I was keen to make an immediate impact, but to do so, I realised I would require some extra hands. It was time to reassemble the troops. The Jolly boys — Ian “Torchie” Clayton, Richard Edwards, Steve Taylor, Paul…

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…