What airgunning kit do you really need – and how much should you spend on it?

Airgun shooting is enjoying a huge surge in popularity and newcomers are spoilt for choice when it comes to accurate and reliable air rifle accessories. Unfortunately, though, too many air rifle shooters are failing to get the best from their equipment by overlooking a few basic points. Many of these…

best airguns

We pick out some of the best airguns around

On the hunt for something new. Looking at air rifles? We’ve rounded up some of the best airguns around . Weihrauch HW100 K, HW100 TK Length: 96cm Weight: 3.3kg with moderator What it offers: A beautifully finished pre-charged air rifle that is rugged in build but with a refined performance.…

grilled venison on skewers recipe

Grilled venison on skewers – a healthy and light recipe

I have recently discovered a new ingredient, pul biber, which has the perfect balance of chilli and spice. Originating in Turkey, along with the kebab, it has a fruity, rich perfume and makes an ideal seasoning for venison. Also known as Aleppo pepper or piment d’Alept, it is available from…

Albion England full zip gun slip in canvas and leather

Want to import a gun from the EU? Here’s what you need to know

Q: I am considering buying 
a shotgun from a friend 
who is based in France. I hold 
a European firearms pass and understand the process of travelling with a shotgun but don’t understand the process of buying one from the EU. What I want to know is what I have…

cocker spaniel with pheasant

We’re all cocker hoop

If you were planning to buy a puppy to train as a rough-shooting and beating dog, which would you get, a springer or cocker? It’s a question I was asked recently by a reader. My correspondent added that he had never owned a dog before and that it would be…

Shooting on beaters day

Beaters’ day – time to get back to basics

Top tips to do yourself proud on beaters’ day Get your shooting kit ready the night before Practise mounting in the mirror 10 times Count 10 breaths in and out before the drive starts Point your leading foot where you’re going to shoot the bird Don’t lift your head off…

smoked pheasant recipe

A recipe for smoked pheasant

I like the combination of the smoky pheasant breast with the sweet and tangy roasted squash, while the pickled cabbage lifts it up and the green sauce stops it being too rich or flat. The magic of this smoked pheasant recipe is curing and smoking the pheasant breast to produce…

Beretta 694

Beretta 694 – for competitions and high birds

Normally when a new product is going to hit the market you get the pre-launch ‘coming soon’ marketing. There’s no such approach with the new Beretta 694 — it’s as if Beretta has been running a black ops mission to design a new clay gun. The new gun is aimed…


Staggering ignorance

Deer management, 
an activity undertaken quietly and in solitude, enjoyed — or perhaps more accurately endured — a brief moment of national attention here in Ireland. An incident in Kerry raised questions regarding the management of red deer in the county. In late October a red stag was observed by…

duck breeds

Can you id that duck?

Identifying different duck breeds The question “What’s that one then?” should never be heard from the person who shot a bird, so knowing what the odd unusual duck looks and sounds like is a real benefit at flight. So, too, is knowing what to expect, so you don’t pass up…

Using a pheasant crowner

Why every shooter needs a pheasant crowner

The very simple designs 
are often the best ones 
and this applies to a new game processor. I went 
to meet Dougie Bell, who invented 
the pheasant crowner, and John 
Relph of T. W. Relph and Sons Ltd, which markets it in conjunction with Solway Feeders. The shining machine, fixed…

dogs love an AGA

Why dogs love an AGA

Until recently I knew little about the extraordinary cast-iron cooker known as an AGA, but for the past three months I’ve lived in houses with AGA kitchens, so I’m now something of an expert. The AGA was invented in Sweden but since 1957 has been produced exclusively in the UK.…

cocker spaniel

Should there be random DNA tests for cocker spaniels?

You may recall sprockergate, the scandal that shook the cocker trialling world a couple of years ago. What brought the story into the tabloids was the accusation that HM The Queen owned a dog, competing in cocker trials, that was allegedly a sprocker (English springer and cocker cross). A sprocker…

shooting with a dog

Steel-proofing for a Spanish side-by-side

  Anyone with even a vague interest in live quarry shooting will be aware that there is an ongoing conversation about the continued 
use of lead shot. The centre of gravity of this debate has recently shifted away from lead’s toxicity when scattered into the wider environment. This is because…

shooting in January

Is January the finest month?

January, for most of the nation, is the cruellest month. From Stornoway to the Scillies people are in credit card debt doldrums, their clothes no longer fit and family relations — after all that lovely time together at Christmas — are invariably fraught. For those like you and me, however,…