The game close season gives keen game shots the chance to set their sights on other forms of target shooting to keep their eye in. Here are some great shooting activities to try:
1. Clay pigeon shooting
Spring and summer are ideal for clay pigeon shooting. While it is a respected sport in its own right, it can also be a good means of shotgun training to keep your skills sharp in the off-season. Plus, it’s a great way to socialise.
There are three forms of clay-pigeon shooting: skeet, trap and sporting. Skeet and trap are useful for improving technique and for trying out new guns. But overall, sporting is the most common form of clay pigeon shooting. It was developed as a method of shooting practice in Victorian shooting schools and can teach technique such as forward allowance.
2. Rabbit hunting
It’s open season for rabbits all year round, as they are considered agricultural pests. If you are going to go rabbit hunting, you will need the landowners’ permission. It’s also advisable to let the police know when and where you are shooting ahead of time, especially if you are close to a public right of way. There are various ways to hunt rabbits including falconry, ferreting, shooting and more.
3. Hare shooting
You can shoot brown hares in England and Wales all year round. However, in Scotland, the season runs from 1 October – 31 January and in Northern Ireland from 12 August – 31 January. Hare coursing is now illegal, but hunting hares with guns is still allowed.
4. Woodpigeon shooting
Woodpigeons are considered a major agricultural pest, and as such it is open season all year round for shooting these common birds. During the seeding season, pigeons descend onto arable fields and they especially love brassicas, such as kale, cauliflower and sprouts. To be able to shoot wood pigeons you are required to have the permission of the farmer or landowner.
5. Pistol shooting
Image credit: Shooting UK
During the off-season why not try something new like pistol shooting? Some shooting ranges now have a wide variety of guns for you to try out. At Field Sport UK you can have a go with a 10-shot Smith & Wesson C02 pistol revolver and use it to shoot some hanging targets. This is perfect for anyone who has ever secretly dreamed of being James Bond!
Shooting will always carry a risk, so make sure you protect yourself and your equipment with shooting insurance from Gunplan.