woodcock flying with chick

Do woodcock really carry their young?

I recently stumbled upon a woodcock’s nest in the forest above my house. This was a major coup for me and I marvelled at the beautiful eggs in their little cup of moss and pine needles. I had almost given up hope that I would ever see a woodcock’s nest,…

woodcock feathers

A guide to ageing woodcock

Ageing woodcock by examining their wing feathers is a useful skill to learn. It is a way we can help to discover more about the population trends of this migratory bird. (Read more about the elusive woodcock here.) Accuracy in ageing woodcock Features on feathers offer an accurate means for…

woodcock shooting

How we can help nurture our wonderful woodcock

Woodcock have a reputation of being unpredictable in their movements, here today and gone tomorrow. So you could be forgiven for feeling that whether or not you shoot them makes little difference to numbers in the long-term. To the Victorian sportsman, a ‘fall’ was not to be missed. If the…

retrieving woodcock

Why can some gundogs be averse to retrieving woodcock?

Have you ever stuffed your nose into the breast of a freshly killed woodcock? I doubt if you have, but if you did so you would almost certainly find the bird has a distinctive scent, quite unlike that of a pheasant or partridge. Retrieving woodcock It’s a smell that many…

shooting doubles

How to nail shooting doubles

SHOOTING TIPS: Left & rights: Mark from Grimsthorpe Shooting Ground shows you how to tackle those elusive left and rights.

woodcock need a reprieve

Woodcock need a reprieve during cold, say experts

Shooters across Europe have been advised to reduce the number of woodcock they shoot during cold weather. New research suggests that for 
every four consecutive days 
of frozen conditions, the birds need a week to recover — and shooting should be balanced 
to allow the birds to do so. The…

GWCT calls for shooter restraint on declining woodcock

Shooters are being asked to reduce the number of migrant woodcock they shoot due to the species’ poor breeding season. Andrew Hoodless, head of wetland research at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has called for restraint from shooters in the UK after concerns were initially raised by woodcock…


How shooters can protect the woodcock

Sportsmen and women are being asked to refrain from shooting woodcock until 1st December, in new guidelines issued by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). This is due to concern that shooting may be a factor in the decline of home breeding birds. Woodcock has red status The UK…

Crowcombe Court, Woodcock Club

A grand affair: the 33rd annual Woodcock Club dinner

I turned up a little late to the 33rd Shooting Times Woodcock Club dinner on 22 April. But the road that winds its way over the Quantocks to Crowcombe Court in Somerset is not the sort of place that someone with even the vaguest appreciation of landscapes could bear to…

the woodcock

The woodcock – so elusive

As both a challenge of shooting skill and a delicacy for the table, the woodcock is regarded by many shooters as an elusive and highly prized trophy. It is certainly one of the most mysterious birds among our quarry species. Most encounters with this secretive and interesting wader are of the bird on the wing. Disturbed from its…

the woodcock

Can woodcock tell the time?

Fascinated by the woodcock’s punctuality, Leri takes the time to observe and record the accuracy of these birds’ inner clocks


When it’s best not to shoot woodcock

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has published a short guide detailing when and when not to shoot woodcock. The British breeding population of this wading bird is on the red list of birds of conservation concern, with only an estimated 55,000 male woodcock breeding in the UK in 2013 — a 29 per cent decline on…

Late-season driven shooting

Late-season driven shooting – how to get the most from it

Driven shooting in December and January is arguably the cream of a season’s sport. The birds are strong, the cover has died down, there is hopefully some cold weather and, of course, there should still be enough birds about to shoot at. Driven shooting may be at its best at this time of the year and the Guns…

Shooting Times Woodcock Club

Annual Woodcock Club dinner announced for 2017

The magnificent house at Crowcombe Court was built in the 1730s in the English regional baroque style by Thomas Parker and the interior features plasterwork by Grinling Gibbons. It was described by Sir Nikolas Pevsner as: “The finest house of its date in Somerset south of the Bath area”. The…


Now Packham sets sights on woodcock

BBC presenter Chris Packham is misleading the public and threatening the future of woodcock conservation in the UK with his latest attack on shooting, BASC has warned. The Springwatch presenter has accused those who shoot of pushing woodcock on to the red list of endangered species, implying that 17 per cent of…

walked-up woodcock

The right way to walk-up woodcock

For many people in this country, walked-up shooting or roughshooting is how we started. It is the grass roots of our sport and, until driven gameshooting became more accessible, it was the only form of shooting that many Guns would experience. I remember as a Young Shot walking in a line with…


Call for restraint shooting woodcock

In an effort to protect the woodcock population, several countryside organisations, including the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, are following the recommendation of conservationists by asking shoots to schedule any shooting until at least after November’s full moon, which falls on Wednesday 25th November. This will allow the declining resident woodcock population…

Woodcock numbers down

A survey carried out for the GWCT shows a decline in woodcock numbers