Roguish poacher

Modern poachers are not the affable rogues of old

Thirty-odd years ago, poachers were still poaching game for their own pot, or flogging it at the backdoors of country pubs and hotels, where it would get converted into tasty game, or more accurately, poacher’s pies. There was still an element of “old country romanticism” involved. The culprits were roguish but…

floods in north

Flooding hits shoots up north

Shooting estates have faced dangerous conditions and outright cancellations this season, following sustained poor, wet weather and heavy flooding across the UK. This latest period of bad weather in the north of England follows heavy rain during summer last year, which led to a lack of wild broods on some shoots. Chris…

Browning A-Bolt 3 Composite Stalker .243 rifle

Browning A-Bolt 3 Composite Stalker .243 rifle

I have always liked the Browning A-Bolt rifle, because it is such a competent and well-built rifle deserving of more popularity in this country. Now with an increased verve to produce rifles for the shooter with a limited budget for a rifle, scope and sound moderator, the A-Bolt may well have its day. Designed to compete with…

Remington Fieldmaster Pump .22R

Remington Fieldmaster Pump .22LR

The Remington Fieldmaster dates back to 1954 and has been a successful series of pump-action rimfire rifles from Remington. It is relatively short at 40in long, and is nice and light at 5.75lb. However, it has the great ability to shoot not only .22LR (long rifle) cartridges but also .22 long and .22 short ammunition. This makes it…

pan seared venison loin

Pan-seared venison loin

Ingredients For the venison loin 200g venison loin per person 25g butter Salt and pepper For fondant potato 4 potatoes weighing 200 to 300g 225g unsalted butter 150ml chicken stock sprig thyme sprig rosemary For the braised red cabbage 75g butter, plus extra to serve 1 red onion, finely chopped…

Gun standing by peg

Etiquette: How to get invited back to shoot

Receiving an invitation to go shooting of one of the sport’s great pleasures. Hopefully you’ll receive several during the season. But have you never noticed a falling-off in the offers you receive. Or wondering why they have stopped altogether? What is the problem? Could you be doing something wrong? We…

How to shoot over your dog

Over the past couple of months we have looked at taking your gundog into the beating line or being part of a picking-up team, but the ultimate for any gundog handler has to be shooting over your dog. It isn’t easy and not for the faint-hearted, but these guidelines should help.…

shooter with spaniel

What’s coming up in 2016 for the shooting and countryside community?

Lindsay Waddell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation If the past is any sort of indicator of the future, 2016 will be a busy year for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO). The list of major issues that might alter how we go about our jobs grows ever longer by the day.…

beaters dogs

Why beaters’ dogs have it best

Half a century of observing the British shooting field has led me to the conclusion that on a typical driven shoot, the people who have the most fun are the beaters. The pickers-up enjoy themselves, too, but their job comes with a great deal of responsibility. The Guns all pretend they are…

mallards in flight

Shooting groups unite to condemn law-breaking shoots

Countryside organisations have condemned inland shoots that are breaking the law by using lead shot for wildfowl, and have appealed to DEFRA to help identify and prosecute those responsible. Representatives from eight groups, including BASC and the Countryside Alliance, signed a letter to DEFRA secretary of state Elizabeth Truss MP. Some inland…

George Butler

Meet George Butler the springer specialist

To describe George Butler as the best-known picker-up in Sussex is something of an understatement. George is not only famous throughout the county for his team of English springers — invariably working at least half a dozen at a time — but also for the annual shoot evening that he started on behalf  of what was the Game Conservancy and…

Akkar Triple Crown

Akkar Triple Crown

I have always been enthusiastic about unusual firearms, some of which, in their day, proved to be less than practical or were simply overtaken by rapid technical development. The firearms I find most fascinating are those with more than two barrels. I have been fortunate enough to use a four-barrelled Lancaster and, though the “at three” or side-by-side-by-side has…

Gun you shouldn't have sold

The gun you shouldn’t have sold

Most of us, I’m sure, will have experienced that sinking feeling at some time or other — the one when we realise that we should never have sold that gun. A rifle or shotgun is rarely just a tool — it becomes a treasured possession. But, for whatever reason, be it monetary necessity or the lure of a…

Ruger .22LR American rifle

Ruger .22LR American rifle

Ruger has a knack of producing rifles that “real” shooters want, in an innovative way, at a good price. The rimfire market is swamped with bolt actions, pumps, semis and lever-action rifles, and you might think there is no space for another one, but Ruger has managed to fill a niche for a practical, accurate yet cheap rimfire alternative.…

Dunlin

Endangered birds thriving on Scottish grouse moors

There are 81 species of bird — many red-listed as being of conservation concern — thriving on Scottish grouse moors, according to a new report, published last month by the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association. Many species of bird faring better on managed moors The study conducted wildlife audits on three “key”…

NCG Stalker

NCG Stalker

When is a Parker Hale Lightweight not a Parker Hale Lightweight? When it’s a Norman Clark Gunsmiths Stalker rifle. When Parker Hale ceased trading in 2000, Norman Clark Gunsmiths in Rugby bought the remaining stock, and now supplies the spares for most of the models in its range. Norman even has Bill Smallwood, a former Parker Hale gunsmith…

Venison terrine

Partridge, pear and venison terrine with spiced pear chutney

Chutney ingredients 3 pears 1 banana 35g sultanas 1 garlic clove 35g caster sugar 100ml white wine vinegar Pinch turmeric Pinch ginger powder Terrine ingredients 500g venison sausage meat * 12 partridge breasts 1 pear 50g caster sugar 500g streaky bacon * Alternatively, you can flavour your own minced venison…

roast game

Shooters dismiss claims eating game lowers IQ

Countryside organisations have hit back at claims that eating game meat can lower a child’s IQ level. The claims relating to the negative impact of lead consumption on human health were made in a recently published report detailing the findings of last year’s Oxford Lead Symposium. The section, Risks of health…

in field with gundogs

Beating the black dog

You may remember me, or rather you may dimly recall the monthly pieces that I wrote for Shooting Times, about fishing (occasionally) and shooting (mostly) and (in particular) running my own small shoot at High Park in Cumbria. I did this for around 10 years and then, three or four years ago, there was suddenly…

Titan 16 straight-pull rifle

Titan 16 straight-pull rifle

The Titan range of well-made, well priced rifles has been available in Britain for some time through various distributors; now Country Sports Wholesale has taken over the dealership. The rifles come from Rosler, a small family-run business, based in Austria since 1996. The firm offers a traditional bolt-action designed rifle, Titan 3 or 6 dependent on action length,…