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Game & Grouse Shooting

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 19 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Game & Grouse Shooting

Grouse shooting is a popular shooting sport in the UK. Most game hunters participate in the rural sport for pleasure but there are other reasons for its continued popularity.

Why is grouse shooting popular?

Grouse shooting is one of the most traditional of the shooting sports in the UK. In the 19th century, it lost some popularity to other types of shooting sports, but has now come back into favour. For those who maintain and run a grouse moor, grouse shooting is the most effective way of controlling it, especially in commercial terms.

Although game and grouse shooting is mostly done for fun, game birds like grouse are also hunted for food, as they can be eaten fresh and are healthy. Grouse is protein-rich food and contains little fat. Being a natural food source, it has no artificial preservatives or chemicals. All game birds that are shot will be gathered together and sold on, usually to a game dealer or butcher, so most of the birds will end up being eaten, regardless of whether that was the initial intention when hunting them.

Because they are relatively rare nowadays, they are placed in high esteem. Hunters who earn money as a direct result of game and grouse shooting aren't legally required to hand over any of their income in taxes. A lot of this extra income is used to buy conservation management and to continue to employ people in remote rural areas.

When shooting parties (often from abroad) come to stay in one of the rural areas in which grouse shooting often takes place, they will probably stay in a local hotel, which boosts their profits. This often extends to other local businesses like restaurants and shops, so grouse shooting can have definite benefits for the local area.

What is involved?

As you've probably gathered, grouse shooting involves shooting game birds. This is mostly done for fun. The birds are driven above the shooters by beaters, so that they can be easily targeted by the guns, which are located in butts ( a shooting hide that is hidden behind a turf or stone wall). Alternatively, grouse shooting can also involve the birds being 'flushed' by dogs. See our article on 'Gundogs and Hunting Dogs' for more information on this.

Grouse can fly at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, which makes them challenging to shoot.

Grouse shooting season

The season officially starts on August 12th of every year. It lasts until November 30th in Northern Ireland, and December 10th in England, Scotland and Wales. During the season, it's common for shooters to make for the Scottish and Northern Irish moors. Many make the trip from across the world, as the grouse in these areas are found in their natural habitat and haven't been reared artificially. Red grouse usually attract the most attention, and they are only found in the UK.

Etiquette

Strong etiquette rules prevail in grouse shooting. These are designed to encourage safe and responsible shooting. Most of these are common-sense ground rules that apply to shooting of any type. Grouse shooters should already be aware of these, as game hunting is one of the most complex shooting sports.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Keith48 - Your Question:
A party of rough shooters entered the grounds of an equestrian centre and moved into fields with grazing horses. My Daughter had a horse in one of those fields. Surely this is totally unacceptable behaviour and should be reported to the police???

Our Response:
Rough shooting is not appropriate for fields where animals graze or where people are potentially rounding up horses to ride. Yes report to the police.
RuralSports - 20-Nov-17 @ 3:46 PM
A party of rough shooters entered the grounds of an equestrian centre and moved into fields with grazing horses. My Daughter had a horse in one of those fields. Surely this is totally unacceptable behaviour and should be reported to the police???
Keith48 - 19-Nov-17 @ 9:29 PM
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Latest Comments
  • RuralSports
    Re: Game & Grouse Shooting
    Keith48 - Your Question:A party of rough shooters entered the grounds of an equestrian centre and moved into fields with grazing…
    20 November 2017
  • Keith48
    Re: Game & Grouse Shooting
    A party of rough shooters entered the grounds of an equestrian centre and moved into fields with grazing horses. My Daughter had a…
    19 November 2017
  • Iknowmorethanyou
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    i disagree fully. the animal suffers. end of
    15 September 2017
  • T H
    Re: Shooting Seasons
    rita , if you don't agree with country life and its sport , then why move there in the first place , I f he didn't shout and control what is about…
    7 September 2017
  • mrschips
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    Why do you use 'bagged foxes' then? Why do some Hunts breed their own foxes in order to hunt them? Why do some Hunts breed foxes in order…
    20 July 2017
  • RedInToothAndClaw
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    From the strictly ethical environmental point of view there is no problem compared to the factory farming of animals, fox hunting is no…
    4 July 2017
  • Smokey
    Re: Target Shooting
    I would like some details regarding Target Shooting with Air Rifles, given the name Air Rifle it gives the impression that this is a fairly…
    22 June 2017
  • Drew
    Re: Arguments Against Hunting
    Anyone who hunts a fox should be hunted down
    10 June 2017
  • FRECKLESFIEND
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    Higher.. . No fox us is chased for 5 hours! So Ignorant ! The whole day lasts 5 hours but any one fox will only be chased for max 20…
    5 June 2017
  • astroflash
    Re: Arguments Against Hunting
    Yet another fox killed by a pack of dogs as posted on facebook. Naturally the huntsman say it was an accident, Correct me if I'm wrong…
    5 March 2017
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