Ambassadors for shooting

A game shooter walking with three gundogs

On the opening day of the pheasant season, BASC is compelling everyone to play their part in protecting the future of shooting.

Shooting is under more scrutiny than ever, so it is essential that we all maintain high standards as we go about our work, and help to educate and inspire others when it comes to the sport we love.

The countryside currently faces a multitude of threats. From the Welsh government and Defra’s attempts to change the licensing regime for the release of gamebirds in Wales and certain areas of England respectively, to the de-banking of businesses and individuals linked to shooting, we will continue to fight every day for shooting on behalf of our 150,000 members.

What has become more apparent than ever over the last 12 months is how important you all are in the continued fight. Individual responses to consultations and continual lobbying of politicians has proved vital in making our collective voice heard.

Following best practice

The need to follow best practice is essential for the future of shooting, and so too as we continue to face the threat of avian influenza. Everyone must be aware of their own level of responsibility and follow best-practice biosecurity measures, which you can find here.

“We all need to be ambassadors for shooting,” said BASC’s Glynn Evans.

“There are many ways to be an advocate, simple steps such as letting people living close-by know of planned shoot dates in advance. This helps to build good relationships on the ground and can nip any minor issues in the bud.”

Glynn raised the point of educating the public, too, saying: “Let’s be clear, shooting is a perfectly normal and legitimate activity. However, what is the first impression of a family out for a stroll on a Saturday, or a group of ramblers on a footpath when they come across a load of people with flags, dogs and guns? A cheery wave or friendly hello and taking the time to explain what is happening will shape their views of shooting and it’s people, possibly forever.”

The Code of Good Shooting Practice is available for everyone to download for free. It’s an essential read for anyone involved in shooting and reminds us that respect for quarry and care for our surroundings must be at the heart of everything we do. 

Whatever your role on your shoot this year, have a safe, successful, and enjoyable season.