Hare shoots are often organised in areas where hare numbers are high and crop damage is a serious risk. These are normally carried out in February, avoiding the main breeding season and following the close of the game bird shooting season. Some organised hare shoots cover a large area of surrounding farmland.
Only holders of the sporting rights can reasonably expect to organise hare drives. Occupiers (tenant farmers), due to the limitations of their rights to authorise others to use firearms, could only do this with consent from the landowner or sporting tenant who has the right to take hares.
Those who organise a hare shoot should comply with the Code of Good Shooting Practice. The organiser should fully brief all those present on the plans for the day; this should include a briefing on strict safety measures that must be observed at all times. If a shoot has five or more employees at any one time it is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy. The Code of Good Shooting Practice and advice on completing a health and safety policy are available on the BASC website.
A hare shoot may involve beaters, or shooters carrying guns, that drive the hares towards a strategically placed line of Guns i.e. shooters with shotguns.
Hare shoots should not take place after the end of February other than in exceptional circumstances.
Hares are a valuable source of high-quality food for the table and should be handled and processed to ensure they can be enjoyed as such. Organisers of hare shoots must not sell dead hares from 1 March to 31 July (Hares Preservation Act 1892). Standards for game meat handling are covered by training, and advice on this can be found on the BASC website.
For those operating on their own, outside of organised hare shoots, a rifle is often the preferred method for control of hares. Only stationary hares should be shot to minimise the risk of wounding