fish during thunderstorms

Are fish affected by thunderstorms?

Absolutely, particularly if the water temperature is high. Like us, fish require oxygen to survive. They get this oxygen from the water, which is absorbed across the gill filaments. The amount of oxygen a body of water can hold fluctuates depending on water temperature and air pressure. The higher the…

How to use your new gun safely

I forgot to tell the police about my new gun in time. Now what?

Q: I recently bought a new gun and forgot to inform the police within the required seven-day gun notification period to add it to my licence. I have now sent the police the required paperwork but it is six weeks since I bought the gun. Should I call the police…

Deer stalking

How to be a deer stalker

I have just passed my DSC Level 1 and want to progress and learn more about deer. Would it help if I joined one of the specialist groups and, if so, which should it be – the British Deer Society or the St. Hubert Club?

gun mount

Manual or automatic clay pigeon trap. Which should you choose?

So you’ve got a piece of land and you’re wanting to break some clays. You’ve got a sensible budget. You’re not going completely wild but you’ve set aside £1,500. What do you need to know and which clay target thrower is best for you? First, you need to make sure…

Ampleforth College Shoot

Will coated cartridges make you a better Shot?

It is the latest trend in cartridge production for both clay and game shooting. Coated cartridges — or, to be more accurate, lead shotgun pellets that have been coated with copper or nickel — are today headlining the cartridge manufacturers’ billboards. Are coated cartridges new? Well, no; as far back…

Fox Control

Is a deadly rabbit virus affecting fox numbers?

Q: Four years or so ago the local rabbit population crashed. We have had myxomatosis previously but the population always seemed to recover to some extent — this time it has not. Could rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) be causing this? Since foxes that prey on rabbits also seem fewer…

Beaters, loaders and pickers-up

Do beaters, loaders and pickers-up get paid fairly?

It is a pretty fair assumption that there are few people for whom beating, picking-up or even loading is their main source of income throughout the season. Though the money is welcome, it by no means replaces a regular salary 
— particularly since earnings on 
a shoot now have to…

recipe for humble pie

A recipe for humble pie by Tim Maddams

Recipe for humble pie Ingredients For the filling: 1 large onion, very finely chopped A good sprig of fresh thyme 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 4 fresh bay leaves ¼ pint of good dark beer One small roe liver (approximately 350g), sliced, larger tubes removed Two kidneys (tough…

Stalking muntjac

Stalking muntjac – a real sporting challenge

The diminutive muntjac deer arrived in Britain in 1900 as a plaything of the 11th Duke of Bedford who added it to his deer park at Woburn Abbey.  Rumour has it that the Duke was so fond of this little species that he engineered a series of clandestine releases, driving…

Man shooting by lake

Can’t stop stopping my gun

Q: How do I stop myself stopping the gun when I shoot? A: Tony says: Stopping the gun as you shoot can be down to a number of factors. Let’s assume that the gun fits, as an incorrectly fitted gun can cause all sorts of problems – especially to your…

hearing loss in dogs

Hearing loss in dogs

Have you ever heard of a gundog going deaf because of the noise of gun shots?

heatstroke in dogs

How to treat heatstroke in dogs

Dogs do not sweat like humans; they don’t have sweat glands, except for a few on the foot pads and on their noses. When they become warm dogs pant, exhaling overheated air, breathing in fresh, cool air and lowering their core body temperature. When a dog is confined to a…

shooting stance

Footwork and how it affects your success when shooting

Most Guns don’t understand how footwork helps them, and when asked will probably answer along the lines of killing the bird wherever your front foot is, or something to that effect. Here’s why  good shooting footwork is essential Your shooting stance gives you the platform from which to mount your…

sprocker puppy

What happens when you bring a sprocker puppy home for the first time

It is 12 years since my springer Rowan was a puppy but as she was home-bred she had her mother for company, who not only provides companionship but also discipline. My previous two springers were also home-bred, so it has been many years since a young puppy, recently separated from…

FAC rated air rifles

Air rifles – does more power mean greater range?

When set up properly, legal-limit air rifles are extremely accurate tools, and that precision can more than compensate for their modest power when coupled with a sound knowledge of fieldcraft. Get in close and shoot with precision, and delivering a lethal strike to the small kill zones presented by typical…

golden retriever

Why aren’t golden retrievers more popular in the field?

One of the mysteries of the gundog world is why golden retrievers are a comparative rarity in the shooting field, especially compared with the ubiquitous Labrador. Fashion probably has a great deal to do with this, because a well-trained golden is every bit a match for even the best of Labradors. Golden retrievers – relaxed, easy to…

eye dominance

Are your eye dominance issues really the problem with your shooting?

Most people have a dominant 
eye, meaning that their brain has 
a neurological preference for the visual input from a particular eye. 
For right-handers it is usually the 
right eye and for left-handers the 
left, though not always. In some cases the brain has no preference — this is cross-dominance.…