With the advent of the new season these tips will ensure your first drive goes off with a bang. The right sort of bang. The Field's pheasant shooting tips are the best advice on pheasant shooting you will find

Pheasant shooting tips are essential for the experienced hand and new gun alike. The thrill as the season starts doesn’t want to be tainted by sloppy shots and lack of preparation. So take a couple of moments to read through our pheasant shooting tips. From behaviour on the peg to what load to use, these 11 pheasant shooting tips will provide the perfect checklist for the serious shot.

Side-by-side shotgun

And if your pheasant shooting proves fruitful – it should if you heed our pheasant shooting tips – then we have a wealth of delicious ideas. From the perfect roast pheasant recipe to barbecuing your bird: spatchcocked pheasant with lemon and herbs we have all the pheasant recipes you need to keep you eating game all season.

And if you are thinking about investing in a new gun…our covetable list of the 10 most expensive guns in the world makes interesting reading. Which would you choose to take with you to the peg?

11 PHEASANT SHOOTING TIPS for the best season’s shooting

  1. When you arrive at your peg, mark carefully your neighbours’ positions and select the slice of sky that will legitimately hold your birds. Stick to that zone unless it’s to dispatch wounded birds. Shooting birds that another gun has already missed with both barrels – known as “wiping his eye” – is commonplace among friends but do not overdo it with strangers.
  2. Always use a second barrel if the bird is not killed outright with the first. Don’t select another bird until the first is dead.
  3. Another pheasant shooting tip is don’t take a pheasant that’s too low unless it’s on a back-end, clear-up day. You will either miss, which is embarrassing, or hit, which is worse, as you may smash the bird.
  4. Don’t try and shoot birds that are out of range for your equipment or level of skill. For most people 45 yards is the limit.
  5. Pheasants become harder to despatch cleanly as the season progresses. Many guns switch from 30gm No 6 to 32gm No 5 after Christmas. And make sure your guns fit  – the heaviest loads are ineffective if they are in the wrong place.
  6. Unless they are very high, try and take the birds in front, somewhere between 45-70 degrees. The birds are more likely to be hit in the head and neck and there is more time for a controlled second shot.
  7. If they are steeple-scrapers, consider turning sideways and taking them as an overhead crosser – it can be easier to gauge the necessary lead.
  8. Count your birds down on each drive and mark them carefully, especially any runners. Make sure a gundog handler knows exactly what’s to be gathered.
  9. Be courteous to everyone on the shoot, especially the keepers, beaters and gundog handlers. Without them, we could not have driven shooting.
  10. Always take your brace of pheasants home. The essence of our sport is harvesting food for the table.
  11. The final pheasant shooting tip is simple. Subscribe to The Field for the best in shooting, hunting, fishing and country life.