cocker spaniels in cold weather

When it’s best for your gundog to wrap up a shoot day early

One of the attractions of shooting is that it takes more than a bit of rain or a coveering of snow to put us off. It is extremely rare for a shoot to be cancelled because of the weather. But looking back on a long shooting carer I can recall…

Tikka T3X Cerakote

Tikka T3X Cerakote

The Tikka T3X has to be one of the most widely accepted stalking rifles in Britain today. It comes from the old firm of Tikkakoski, Finnish for ‘woodpecker’, hence the two back-to-back stylised woodpeckers in its logo, and this version has a super-tough and practical Cerakote finish. Rather than the…

Stag antlers

How many antler points can a stag grow? And what are they called?

Q: How many points can a red stag in the wild be expected to grow when they are at their best in this country? And what is the definition of a ‘Royal’ and an ‘Imperial’.  There are many variables which impact on the number of points on stag antlers (or tines),…

Christmas presents for working dogs

Christmas presents for working dogs

A dog is for life not just for Christmas is a saying that will be familiar to most of us. But I’ve never met a working gundog that was a Christmas present. For most of us the acquisition of a working gundog puppy is carefully planned rather than a surprise…

Limber tail syndrome in dogs

What is this ‘limber tail’ my dog is suffering from?

Q: My 19-month-old undocked Hungarian vizsla developed limber tail after attending a working test. The condition came on very quickly and caused him considerable pain. We gave him Metacam and he recovered in about three days. Though he did swim in the working test, it was 
in relatively warm water.…

English springer spaniel

Why you should consider taking on an English springer spaniel

Throughout the 20th century  English springer spaniels were the most popular shooting dog in Britain. Whether it remains so today is debatable. In recent years I’ve been on a number of shoots where there wasn’t a springer to be seen, something that would have been unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago.…

Port Loughan shooting in Ireland

Shooting Times visits the Port Loughan shoot and reports back

Somewhere in front of us, across the Irish Sea, I was told there was an extraordinary view, but torrential rain and a biting, squally wind had reduced visibility to no more than 100 yards. David Sandford was not pleased. He is a man who quite rightly is tremendously proud of…

Chris Warren

Should gamekeepers be tipped … or be paid properly in the first place?

Once, after a rather informal 
and very enjoyable day’s shooting, I attempted to give the gamekeeper a tip, but botched the handover. My fingers were numb and, as a consequence, a rather wet, slippery and solitary banknote flopped 
to the ground. Instantly, my purported friend said, for all to hear:…

Every day’s a school day

We were huddled together in an old Dumfriesshire farmhouse kitchen, with rain bouncing off the windows. “Whether we hit 10 birds today or 100 matters not,” announced 14-year-old Charlie Hattam, who was standing at the front with a broken arm, “but what does matter is safety.” Dotted round the room,…

Braced up pheasants

How to make sure your game arrives on the plate in perfect condition

Keeping game in perfect condition Game as a meat is no different from any other product — if you want 
to increase its value and demand for it, it needs to be a quality product to start with. Small, damaged and poorly handled birds — the bane of game dealers’…

New Beretta Silver Pigeon 1

The new Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 reviewed by Shooting Times

The Beretta brand is not short of choice — with the 69 series alone we have models covering both field and competition options. These include the 691, 692, 693, the new 694 and the 695, covering a wide range of price points. As a consequence I was starting to think…

slip leads for spaniels

How to buy the right length slip lead for a spaniel

Coming back from a weekend with friends, I discovered that I had left the dogs’ slip leads behind. New ones were needed, anyway, so I went online. I like the natural rope slip leads made by the Devon-based company KJK, so went to the Dog Lead Shop to order my…

pheasant shooter in corn field

Maximising shoot returns

It is all very well saying that shooting is about the day and the size of the bag is almost an irrelevance. I agree that the number of birds in the bag is rarely related directly to how much pleasure we get from being out with our friends. But at…

Wildfowler

Following in the footsteps of famous wildfowlers

You might not have heard of him but if you’re a member of BASC — and by my reckoning you ought to be — you owe a great deal to a railway engineer called Stanley Duncan. In 1907 Old Man Duncan, as he came to be known, moved to Hull…

VW Amarok Highline

VW Amarok Highline reviewed by Shooting Times magazine

Renowned for hot hatches and hip camper vans, VW is one of the most recent manufacturers to add a pickup to its commercial range. Refreshingly, no badge swaps were involved in the making of this vehicle, which is novel in this day and age. First impressions are very smart; almost…

Cocker spaniel

How to keep your dog safe around fast-flowing rivers

Q: I will be picking-up this season on a new shoot, where there is a fast-flowing river. On two drives it can be necessary to put dogs over the river. I know that dogs have drowned in this river in the past, and while my dogs are good swimmers I…

Should I tell the police about my gun?

Q: My shotgun has to go back for some work under warranty. The registered firearms dealer (RFD) I bought 
it from is sending a courier to my house to pick it up. Do I have to tell the police that the gun won’t be in my possession for a bit?…

old black Labrador

Why you should never give dogs ibuprofen

Stiff legs in the morning Q: I notice that our Labrador, as he gets older, is starting to have difficulty getting up on his legs first thing in the morning. This was especially noticeable after he had been for a long walk the previous day and we are now limiting…

pest control traps

What traps will you use when the Fenn is no longer legal?

Keepers who have not already started changing are now giving serious consideration as to what trap they are to use next year when the Fenn 
is no longer legal. It is fair to say they are far from happy with the process that to date has left them with the…