Around our shoots

GWSDF Auchnerran Shoot

With the drought-like conditions experienced in Scotland this summer, wild game has experienced a mixed year. Early broods came out strong but dwindled. However, we have noticed several second broods on the farm which is promising and our wild gamebird counts in the autumn will give us a much better understanding of productivity this year. There are two mixed species days booked in for this coming season, which incorporate a significant amount of walking and rough shooting across challenging hill-edge terrain true to Scottish sporting fashion. We have a further 10 rabbit shoot days during the season and these normally start in September and run until February/early March depending on the conditions. Our rabbit days have been a tremendous success so far, and after all, the humble rabbit was where a lot of today’s passionate sportsmen and women honed their childhood fieldcraft.

Allerton Project Shoot, Loddington

Like many shoots we have found this season challenging for growing game covers, making 2018 a great example of why game managers should utilise biennial and perennial cover crops with less reliance on annuals such as maize. The dry weather seems to have also taken a toll on insect productivity and we wait to see the impact on our game and songbirds after the autumn counts. We are in the final stages of getting our new woodland management plan in place and we look forward to resurrecting the shrub layer where it’s lacking, to improve game holding habitat with additional benefits for other species such as migratory warblers. We are kick-starting the season with our young shots’ day which has become a highlight of our season. It’s a day to remember for all involved and plays a crucial part in educating the next generation of country men and women.

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