Shooting Times 3 August 2022

  With the Tory party membership currently considering their options as to who, between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom, in this week’s Shooting Times we consider the final two candidates more closely as it pertains to their commitment to fieldsports.…

Woodpigeon breast wraps

This particular recipe for woodpigeon breast is so simple, I actually feel a tad guilty publishing it, but it’s so good that it cannot be discounted as a perfect lunchtime snack. You can easily knock up a quick sauce, or simply buy a good-quality hoisin to speed up the process…

Sabatti Rover Shooter

Sabatti Rover Shooter .308

It’s been a while since I tested a Sabatti rifle; it was the Mercury model in 2009 and I remember being impressed with this Italian manufacturer’s attention to detail. The new model, the Sabatti Rover shooter, is a typical bolt-action hunting rifle that continues Sabatti’s reputation for high quality while…

duck salad

A recipe for duck salad

Pot roasted duck salad For the confit: 2 mallard, oven ready 4 tbsp duck fat 1 star anise, crushed in a pestle and mortar zest of one lemon ½ tsp ground black pepper pinch of cinnamon ½ tSP sea salt For the dressing: 3 eggs 2 tbsp large capers 2…

100 years of keepering – workwear through history

I wonder what the replies would be if I asked a room full of the younger end of the gamekeeping profession — or indeed anyone in the countryside these days — what they associated with the terms ‘kip’ and ‘horsehide’? The first would almost certainly be sleep; the second, perhaps…

eye contact with dogs

14 checks for your dog’s health

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of routinely checking your dog’s health. Try following the schedule that I describe here, at least initially. Then, once you are used to regularly examining your dog, you can modify it to better suit your circumstances. (Read our list of the…

Beretta BRX1 field test – Chris Dalton’s stalks red stag

We are into July and with it comes the opening of the red stag season. It’s strange, though, that this date seems to drift past with little interest when compared with the buzz surrounding 1 April and the start of the roebucks. However, I have always eagerly looked forward to…

Northern Irish firearms licensing teams struggle to manage backlog of applications

PSNI Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson and Dr Jonathan Howarth, Head of PSNI Firearms and Explosives Branch announced that the situation had become critical at a meeting with members of the Northern Ireland Firearms Representative Group (NIFRG). During the meeting at PSNI headquarters in Belfast, the PSNI admitted that 3000 applications…

Where will the next PM stand on fieldsports?

MPs’ favourite Rishi Sunak represents the North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond and is a public and prominent opponent of efforts to ban grouse shooting. Speaking against a ban on grouse shooting in 2016 Sunak showed a depth of understanding of the role of Shooting in the countryside, saying: “The real…

Fallow deer

Fallow deer: an historic feature of the countryside

Unlike those deer species that arrived on these islands as hitch-hikers in the wake of Britain’s 19th-century trading empire, the fallow deer (Dama dama) has a much more complex history. (Read more on stalking fallow deer here.) Present in prehistoric Britain until the onset of the last ice age, when…

Using thermal spotters for stalking

Are thermal spotters a necessity or a luxury?

An outing with thermal spotters It was a cooler blip in that series of headlining scorchers. As I passed the yard at first light, the combine stood grey and bulky on the brushed concrete, ready to grunt into life and tackle the first of the barley after months in hibernation.…

Why shoots will weather the current storm

When the shooting world is rocked by some cataclysm, the first thing that happens is a mass of speculation online and outlandish headlines in the media. The 2022-23 season is following this formula; ever since the outbreak of war in Ukraine there has been discussion as to what impact the…

labrador in snowy weather

Why we shouldn’t complain about the weather

A bad worker blames his tools. A bad fisher or shooter blames the weather. It is said that the British speak about the weather so often because we have so much of it. Our weather is famously variable compared with the more stable conditions experienced by continental countries. Yet, when…

Are expensive optics worth it? Mat Manning considers the options

The question of how much to spend on a telescopic sight to pair with a rifle is a tricky one to answer as it hinges on so many different factors. Broadly speaking, and with a few exceptions, most modern telescopic sights are worth what they cost, and my usual advice…

Are hen pheasants poor mothers? Mike Swan says no

“Hen pheasants are useless mothers” — I have often heard those words, but are they true? This view certainly has a long history, and way back in 1895, the Rev HA Macpherson said they were “careless, clumsy mothers” in the Fur, Feather and Fin Series: Pheasants. A similar view was…

The challenge of midsummer muntjac stalking

Religiously every day, I will take my two spaniels for a half-an-hour walk in a loop from my house. We set off down the track through a wide belt of woodland, reaching a duck pond after 15 minutes, where we make a turn for home and head back across two…

wildfires

Extreme dry conditions pose huge threat to countryside

Extreme dry conditions have cereal crops being harvested in the dark to reduce the risk of fire. However, farmers also found themselves tackling fire hazards resulting from public behaviour. As well as the usual perils, farmers have also had to tackle the threat from sky lanterns. Farmer Martin Stone, from…