shoot management

Conservation projects to carry out during lockdown

If you are involved in shoot management in any way, do consider the following. Is there still a decent shrub layer, or has canopy closure started to starve out the sunlight that is so essential to woodland floor habitat? Aside from a few very early starters such as ravens and…

deer stalking

Cull before the storm

‘‘For at least 20 years, deer stalking has been one of the brightest stars in the shooting firmament. Its rise has tracked the steady growth in the range and population of our six native or naturalised deer species and has effectively resulted in the establishment of a new fieldsport. Until…

American hunters

How American hunters embrace respect for the quarry

Tom was showing a video to the group of people huddled around his phone screen. Someone in Texas, wearing a camouflage-print shirt and red bandana, was talking with an incomprehensible Southern twang about ‘huntin’ hogs’ and holding a military-looking rifle. The group laughed, either at the Texan’s unsophisticated zeal or…

Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler Night Eagle

The Jeep Wrangler doesn’t need much of an introduction — there’s no mistaking the legendary looks. It has been on the roads and off the beaten track in various guises since 1986. The latest interpretation of Jeep’s classic four-wheel drive combines modern comfort and gadgetry with all-round ruggedness. We’re having…

gamebird leg recipes

Partridge fast food recipe – partridge leg dippers

Looking for gamebird leg recipes? I’m often asked for gamebird leg recipes as people tend to only use the breasts. I also get asked for recipes for elevenses or advice on how game can be used for canapés. Pheasant legs are always a challenge, because the drumsticks have tough sinews…

pheasant Kiev

A recipe for pheasant Kiev

The true history of the chicken Kiev. It is likely that it came into its recognisable form when French chefs were employed by very wealthy Russians in their kitchens in the 18th century. Being a shooting chef, I have ditched the flabby fowl and plumped for hen pheasant breast instead…

Perazzi High Tech S

Perazzi High Tech S

Reviewing the latest gun – the Perazzi High Tech S – from the most successful gunmaker of the 21st century comes with a considerable weight of responsibility. In the shooting world Perazzi means ‘success’ and conjures up images of Olympic gold medals, world championships and, of course, our very own…

dog raw bones

Is it safe to give your dog raw bones to chew?

Is it safe to give my dog raw bones to chew? This is one of those subjects where opinions differ. Some dogs will chew bones their whole lives and never experience a problem. Others will require emergency surgery after being given only one bone. The complications of giving a dog…

Labrador colours

How important is the colour of a gundog’s coat?

As we all know, sound working-bred spaniel puppies are in high demand at the moment, so I was delighted to be able to tip off a friend about a litter I had heard about. She arranged to see them and I was sure she would end up buying one. I…

browning a covey

How top Shots minimise misses

Looking out of my window at a big cock bird picking his way down a hedge, just beyond my garden, it strikes me that I shot fewer days this season than in any other since childhood. In truth, it showed. Rather than getting into my stride, I frequently found myself…

Rifle shooting

Vintage rifles can still be viable

There are historical and legal reasons for the decline in interest in vintage rifles in this country. When I was a child, to have a modest collection of sporting and military rifles was not an uncommon thing for a country gentleman. My father had only a passing interest, but owned…

CZ 455 mini sniper rimfire

CZ 455 Mini Sniper .22 rimfire

Don’t be put off by the name; we think ‘Mini Sniper’ is an allusion to the fact this CZ .22 LR rimfire rifle is highly accurate and precise, and perhaps got lost a bit in translation. What the CZ 455 Mini Sniper does, though, is blend elements from the target…

guard dogs

Guard dogs to guard gundogs

Dog theft is a hot topic at the moment; in particular of gundogs. They are stolen from cars, kennels, houses and gardens. One of the issues is the money these dogs are worth to potential thieves. Another big issue is that the breeds most commonly used as gundogs are inherently…

wildfowling in snow

Why you should never let snow get into your barrels

Dangers of obstructing gun barrels In the countryside, normal life goes on in wintry weather. And that includes shooting, which usually thrives in snowy conditions. A bit of old-fashioned hard weather keeps the birds from straying, while a decent covering of snow adds a winter wonderland aspect to a driven…

English springer puppy

What to look for in a gundog’s pedigree certificate

A reputable gundog breeder should provide the gundog puppy’s pedigree before you make a commitment to buy. This is because the dog’s pedigree is one of the things a professional breeder uses when planning a litter. A wise and well informed gundog buyer will look at the pedigree when deciding…

Land Rovers

Why Land Rovers are hard to beat

During my childhood spent getting in the way at shoots, there was always a race to be the first to jump into the Land Rovers and secure the bumpiest ride to the lodge. We would eschew the comforts of the various Isuzus and Toyotas in favour of the rock-hard benches…

pheasant shooting

How to tackle January pheasants

Many of the best Shots whose opinions I most respect won’t shoot a pheasant in October. For the very lucky, August and September are for grouse, October is for partridges and only in November do they start thinking about pheasants. By the time January comes round, it is supposed that…

perfect Labrador

How can we breed the perfect Labrador?

The Labrador retriever was first recognised by the Kennel Club as a breed in 1903. It was originally known as the St John’s dog or lesser Newfoundland dog. The breed was in Newfoundland in the 1700s and imported to England in the 1800s. When I was researching its origins, I…