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…

DOC trap

DOC trap

The DOC trap was designed by the New Zealand Department Of Conservation (DOC) for trapping non native species such as possums. The traps are available in the UK but have to be purchased with, and fitted into the trap box. The DOC 100 is ideal for smaller ground predators like stoats, squirrels…

Rabbit shooting with an air rifle

Rabbits love a safe environment, with plenty of food, at this time of year — I decided to make a permanent hide in a safe, fenced-off corner of the paddock for a spot of rabbit shooting. It blends into the countryside: an unobtrusive, natural-looking, safe and comfortable hide where I…

Fox control

Fox Shooting with night-vision

Night visionary Essex farmer Robert Bucknell is the doyen of fox shooting. Robert has been using night-vision devices for more than 30 years, long before the 1990-91 Gulf War brought such items to the public attention. Thermal-imaging scope Robert’s farm is peppered with high seats and vantage points of various…

Have you booked your Shooting UK Event?

Shooting UK has now launched three exciting new events for the readers of Sporting Gun, Shooting Times, Shooting Gazette and The Field – and of course, visitors to the Shooting UK website. Whether you want to find out what jobs a gamekeeper has to do throughout the year, how you have a…

Crow shooting

Crow shooting in the north of England

Here in the north of England, winter and spring can be a difficult time crow shooting to build a decent bags of corvids over decoys, as most of the crow population is dispersed during daylight feeding hours and don’t concentrate their efforts in the same area. A common sight is…

bolting bunnies

Bolting rabbits

Why do bolting rabbits appear to possess a mysterious ability to unnerve the safest and most experienced of Guns? Is it because you get no warning of whether it will be a rocket-fuelled bolter or one that shuffles casually out of a hole at a snail’s pace, followed by a…

Ferreting in the Dales

Ferreting Rabbits on the Dales

This trip wasn’t about catching rabbits. Nor was it about admiring the breathtaking scenery. It was all about the people on the warren — namely Bob Merrin and Ian “Torchie” Clayton. As a collective, these exponents of rabbiting have seen momentous changes during their lifetime. It had been a decade…

Ratting in Wiltshire

Ratting with terriers

Our ratting group moved off to the first draw, a hedge just across the road from the yard. We had a pack of six terriers and one golden retriever, which was on its knees in the hedge as Kevin fired up the old chainsaw engine and smoked the first rat…

Mole trapping

VIDEO: Mole trapping with Bob Merrin

There are an estimated 33 to 40 million European moles (talpa europaea) in the UK and they create a lot of damage that requires a great deal of time and money to correct. As a result, mole trapping has become big business. I made the journey to the Georgian harbour…

Fenn trap

Pest Control with Steve Caple: Trapping

Traditional skills of trapping and snaring go unnoticed by most people, but they are in great demand in the modern-day pest control. The trap has become the bread and butter, if not the pension, of many a rural pest controller. This is why I spent a day in the company…

Ferreting in the dales

Ferreting on the Yorkshire Dales

Each year, around the time of the clock change, I find myself, like a moth to the flame, making a pilgrimage, subliminally drawn to the ferreting on those Yorkshire hills — and this year was no exception. Several hundred miles later we concluded our journey by driving through the villages…

Simon working with Millie

Catching and cooking rabbits, the ferreting way

On this particular morning ferreting, the mist obscured the stunning countryside. The sodden ground highlighted the freshness of the morning as I started to lay my nets. Soon every long-net I possess surrounded a hedge I planned to ferret. Virgin ground, this area had never seen a ferret before, so…