The last pheasant may have been bagged but there's no need to lock your gun away just yet. Whether you are practicing your moves, encouraging a youngster or getting an old gun restored, use the summer well with The Field's advice
The season has closed but there’s no need to put your shotgun away quite yet. Spend the summer tidying up your moves, encouraging someone new into the field or restoring a beloved shotgun. Follow The Field’s advice for the best things to do in the off season with your gun.
If you are a gundog trainer, your work is never finished. As the gumboots gather dust, it’s time to replace game with dummies and follow a strict summer training plan for a fault-free season. Follow 7 things to do in the off season with your gundog for The Field’s advice.
THINGS TO DO IN THE OFF SEASON WITH YOUR GUN
There’s no need for the gun cabinet to be closed, locked and remain untouched until the Glorious Twelfth. The season may be over but there’s plenty that needs to be done with your gun. Whether you are tidying up your moves, encouraging a youngster into the field, restoring an old shotgun or taking to the field for some summer shooting, follow The Field’s advice.
Restoring an old shotgun is not the easy business it used to be. There are fewer tradesmen around and costs have risen considerably. Read restoring your old shotgun for help with that tricky question – sentiment aside, is restoration really worth it? And if you’ve decided that it is, read tips for shotgun restoration. If you need your gun looked at but unsure where to take it, we’ve found the best gunsmiths working in Britain today. Read top 10 gunsmiths. Where to take your gun for the best in the trade.
The off-season is the perfect time to tidy up the moves. Simulated shoots are the only way to stay sharp during the summer months. Whether you want to perfect your technique or simply have a jolly day out, you can’t go far wrong with the 11 best simulated shoots in the country. And whether you are a seasoned shot or a complete novice, an expert eye is always helpful. The broad expertise, facilities and reputations of the top 10 shooting schools set them apart from the mass.
And while there are plenty of benefits to spending the summer blasting clays, you can still get out into the field. Pigeon shooting is popular all year round, but the spring months are often best for those seeking sport. The important factor is knowing when to shoot pigeon and over which crops. Our useful pigeon shooting calendar is a handy guide. Multiple world-champion clay shooter George Digweed rates pigeon as the finest gamebird. His ultimate pigeon decoying guide is the only one you should follow.
Rook shooting used to be a traditional part of the country calendar, but four-and-twenty black birds are no longer regularly baked in a pie. Read rook shooting: four-and-twenty black birds to discover whether it is as wonderful as nostalgia would tell us. And bagging bunnies is the perfect use of the long summer evenings. Read rabbit shooting: airgunning for summer rabbits for our top tips on the perfect summer pest control exercise.
ENCOURAGING OTHERS INTO THE FIELD
The future of shooting is in their hands, so use the summer to bring youngsters into the field. But when to start the youngsters shooting is the key question, with no set answer. Shooting schools would tell you twelve years plus, parents may say as young as three. Read what age should youngsters start shooting? for our advice. And women’s shooting clubs are on the increase, as girls with guns are taking their place in the shooting line. Read women’s shooting clubs: our definitive list.
11 THINGS TO DO IN THE OFF SEASON WITH YOUR GUN
Follow our pigeon shooting calendar for summer shooting, bring a youngster into the field or blast some clays to perfect your technique. Follow The Field’s advice with 11 things to do in the off season with your gun.