Frequently Asked Questions

BASC Car Benefits

If you are unsure, speak to us. However, we are confident our established dealers will apply the correct discount.

No, these are dealer-fitted options… but you should always try to negotiate!

No, it’s new vehicles only. Used vehicles are owned by the dealers and not subject to manufacturer support.

Usually ex-VAT, so the benefit is worth even more if you can’t reclaim VAT.

No. We can currently offer superb discounts on family cars from Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Volvo and Lexus – and we hope to have more models in future.

This is always between you, your accountant and HMRC – it’s not really our business!

This is handled by the participating dealers during the quotation. BASC is not a licensed credit broker and cannot advise on finance schemes.

Possibly yes. To prevent trading, manufacturers are generally restricting members to one vehicle per year. However, this can be waived if we are satisfied that any extra vehicle is for the member’s personal, business or family use.

No. All payments are made to participating dealers. BASC’s role in all cases is simply to verify that the individual is eligible to access the scheme.

Yes as long as you are an owner, partner in or director of your company.

Not always. We have to follow the rules laid down by each manufacturer and these can vary. Please visit the web page for each car manufacturer to find out how to access the deals or, if you have any queries, simply give us a call. We have tried to ensure the widest possible dealer coverage and are confident that all members, wherever they live in the UK, can access the schemes.

Most of our participating manufacturers insist that information on the exact discounts is only made available to verified BASC members. We have therefore only made these accessible via the secure membership log-in feature on the web page for each car manufacturer. We can also discuss the deals over the phone after we verify your membership.

Our schemes are based on fleet level discounts. Before we add new makes or models, we aim to ensure that our terms are significantly better than the maximum retail discount available to the car dealers. An added bonus is that these terms are fixed in advance so there is no need to negotiate.

Any current BASC member with more than 12 months membership history at the time of delivery is eligible. This is because the car companies insist we restrict the schemes to genuine members and not those joining BASC simply to get a discount.

Crufts

No, dogs entered in Gamekeeper classes only do not have to qualify for entry into a breed class.

If your dog was docked either in the UK or in a foreign country before 6 April 2007 then it may enter Crufts. If your dog was docked either in the UK or in a foreign country on or after 6 April 2007 it will not, under the law, be permitted to be shown at Crufts (where public are admitted on a payment of a fee).

Yes. However, it is important to know the times of each of the classes to which you have entered and be aware of any potential clashes.

Deer

The season for roe does in England and Wales was extended by a month to the end of March in 2007 and there has been debate amongst stalkers ever since as to whether they would shoot them or not, due to the risk of shooting heavily pregnant animals.

It really boils down to your own preference and many stalkers simply do not like to do so, while others argue that a doe is pregnant in November: the foetus is just more developed in March so shooting her then is no different from shooting her in November.

Of course, the ideal is to meet your doe cull before March and, that way, you are not faced with the dilemma but we all know that it is not always that easy, particularly if game shooting on the land has perhaps limited your ability to get in to stalk from November to the end of January or bad winter weather has prevented your getting there.

Personally, if I still have some left to shoot to meet my target, I shoot them in March but, with pregnant females of all species, I choose not to examine the foetuses and leave the uterus intact.

Muntjac are widely known to be spreading across the country. Unlike the other deer species in the country, they are prolific breeders and can have multiple young every year. Not only does this lead to a natural expansion in search of food and habitat, but the deer are largely territorial and stay in family units. This means that shortly before the does drop their new fawns, the young from the previous birth are chased out of said group and look to move on. It could be that the deer you saw was a youngster looking to set up its own territory. That being said deer of any species will move from one area to another if they are overly pressured or if the food and cover levels for them get too low. Muntjac have also been known to spread through illegal releases, the general thinking being this is to provide unlawful sport to unscrupulous characters. If you’ve seen one, keep your eyes open as there’s likely to be more!

This is a fairly common occurrence in the wild. As we know, antlers drop off deer every year. Once on the floor they are fair game for any number of critters to gnaw away on! Squirrels, mice and other rodents tend to use them to clean and sharpen their teeth, as well as an easy source of nutrients. Of these calcium and phosphorous are particularly abundant and desirable. Calcium is beneficial for bone and tooth strength and milk production, while phosphorous helps produce protein for growth and repair and also assists with proper organ function and energy storage. This is one of the reasons that antlers are so popular as dog chews (plus they tend to keep them occupied for a good while!) In addition to rodents I have also seen foxes and rabbits chewing antlers and in the highlands red deer are known to chew their own cast antlers to get the much needed minerals.

This all comes down to your personal situations and preferences. I would always recommend the fitting a moderator, if only for the benefit to your hearing. Prolonged shooting without a moderator fitted will cause irreparable damage to your inner ears. Moderators can also reduce the felt recoil and muzzle lift of a rifle, making it easier to stay on target, observe bullet strike and make any follow up shots quicker. Also many stalking leases, syndicates etc. will require a moderator to be fitted to your rifle before you will be allowed to shoot. However, the use of a moderator is not completely necessary. During my time as a gamekeeper in Germany (where moderators are prohibited in many places) I shot many rifles without them, albeit with ear protection. While notably louder and livelier, the handling, weight and balance of the rifles was certainly a bit better and with no moderator fitted, iron sights can be used, which can be popular for driven hunting. If you do not opt to use a moderator, I would advise that a good set of quality ear defenders are essential.

  1. It is likely that the bucks you are seeing are young bucks that have been pushed out of the territories of the older, more dominant bucks in the area. The young bucks tend to “wander” about looking for straggling females and end up congregating in one area. I have heard this called a “coffee bar” as it’s where the youngsters hang out! The older bucks will hold the prime territories with the most females and aggressively defend this against other bucks. Which deer and how many deer you shoot should be based on a solid management plan. Depending on what you aim to achieve, you may decide to focus on culling the younger animals to let the big boys pass on their genes. Alternately you might decide that some of the older bucks are past their best and need to be taken. In this situation the territory he held will likely be divided into several smaller territories held by the younger bucks you are seeing.

Under section 7 of the Deer Act 1991, the so-called “Farmers’ Defence” can be used to control deer out of season in England and Wales.  This enables out of season culling to protect crops on cultivated land and enclosed woodland, but only for the species which have caused or are likely to cause damage to crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber or any other form of property on the land and the belief that any further damage is likely to be serious and that action is necessary to prevent any such damage.

Anyone carrying out the control must have written permission from the holder of the shooting rights and the control must take place where the damage is actually occurring.

Note that it is called a “defence” and seen as a last resort only as, should any out of season control be queried, you must be able to show that you have tried all other methods first, including adequate in-season control, fencing, bangers and have recent evidence of the damage being done.

The DI Best Practice Guide http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/uploads/guides/91.pdf covers this in more detail.

When shooting any animal your first priority must be to ensure a quick and humane kill and in deed a well-placed head shot will do this. The problem is that a deer’s head is a much smaller and more mobile target so it is more difficult to hit in the first place. What is more a poorly placed head shot, such as a jaw shot, will result in a wound that will lead to a long and painful death with very little chance of finding that deer, even with a trained tracking dog.

The chest area of a deer is a much larger target allowing greater room for error and any deer shot in the body area can usually be found and dispatched humanely if required. I have seen far too many experienced stalkers “miss” head shots to think that this a humane alternative except in very specific circumstances.

Green Shoots Mapping

Green Shoots Mapping is hosted on a secure website that you access by logging in with your BASC membership number and password. Only you and BASC can see the information you enter.

From the custom map area of the website you can download maps as PDF files for emailing or printing to share with others. The custom map area shows the boundaries of land that you have added and then allows you to customise them by adding labelling pins, lines and shapes to indicate features useful to you. You can make as many maps as you like.

No, it is for any land to which members have access for any type of shooting. Every piece of land entered and wildlife species recorded creates more information that BASC can use to protect and promote the sport.

Sharing information on wildlife is a powerful mechanism to protect and promote shooting sports. Wildlife data is the lifeblood of conservation; anyone able to provide information on which species are thriving and which are in decline is valued by conservation partners and governments. Shooters have access to two-thirds of the rural land area of the UK, much of it effectively inaccessible to wildlife agencies, and the knowledge they can provide is of exceptionally high value.

Full details are given in the terms and conditions of the website but to make wildlife records useful we need to share what species are found, when they have been seen and the location (to the nearest one-kilometre square on our grid). We will not share any personal details about you or any land boundaries.

There is a UK Species list and a Local Species list. The UK list is primarily quarry species; knowing the status of quarry species is essential. The other species on the UK list are among the Government’s farmland bird indicator species which are used for gauging the health of the countryside. The Local lists are different for each BASC country or region and each has been drawn up in consultation with conservation bodies. Getting information on these species will underline the value of shooting at the country or regional scale.

  1. You have not requested a password from BASC. Use the link on the login page to do this. If you have any difficulty getting a password please telephone our membership hotline on 01244 573030 who will assist you.
  2. Your membership has lapsed. The website is available to any current BASC member. Re-join BASC and your log in will work again and all your information will be there.
  3. If none of the above applies, please call us on 01244 573024 for assistance.

Your first port of call is the BASC’s regional or country team that covers your area. You can also contact the conservation team at head office on 01244 573024. We are only too happy to help and listen to new ideas for what the website could do.

Insurance

No, but separate cover is available for shooting professionals, see the BASC member offers section of the BASC web site

  • Up to £10 million public liability, product liability and employer liability insurance Up to £50,000 personal accident cover

For recreational shooting and conservation activities

  • Up to £250,000 legal expenses cover for firearms appeals (exclusions apply)

All recreational shooting and conservation activities, as well as fishing, falconry and flying hawks, gundog working and training

Yes, if you are a UK resident you are covered for up to 90 days worldwide except for North America and Canada

Yes. Indemnity under the BASC members’ policy includes the activities of members engaging in recreational shooting activities who make a commercial gain from the sale of meat or other small income derived from such recreational shooting activities, provided this is not their primary source of income

If your dog causes a loss, or injury or damage to a third party while you are working or training them, then this liability is covered, but the BASC membership insurance does not cover vet bills if your dog becomes ill or injured. However, you can arrange insurance cover for working dogs and there is more information on the members offers section of the BASC web site

Yes. From 1st July 2016 all full BASC members are covered under their membership insurance for Humane Dispatch under the Liability policy. We can provide you with a confirmation letter if required by emailing insurance@basc.org.uk

There is limited cover if you lend your gun to another member and they damage it. However full cover for your guns and related equipment is available, and there is more information on the members offers section of the BASC web site

Lead

Yes. The representative for the shooting organisations on the LAG is currently Sir Barney White Spunner, the Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance.

The independent Chairman of the LAG is John Swift. He is not employed by BASC and is no longer a member. He does not represent BASC.

No. The LAG’s remit is to advise the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the “key risks to wildlife from lead ammunition, the respective levels of those risks and to explore possible solutions to any significant risks; and possible options for managing the risk to human health from the increased exposure to lead as a result of using lead ammunition”.

Full terms of reference for the group can be found here.

No. BASC’s policy is “no sound evidence, no change.” BASC has rigorously tested all evidence produced against lead ammunition. It has held politicians and regulators to account, demanding that they only act on sound evidence and in accordance with the principles of better regulation.

BASC’s full policy on lead ammunition can be found here.

These emails are expressions of opinion. They represent exchanges of views and do not reflect any formal report. No report has been agreed by LAG, no report has been seen by the members of LAG and no report has been sent to government by LAG.

No. While some antis are campaigning for a ban, government have no proposals to do so and no political party has a policy to ban.

No they do not. Any advice from LAG is not binding on Defra or the FSA.

Yes. Any recommendations that would require a change in the law on lead ammunition will involve discussions in government, consultation with stakeholders including BASC, public consultation and could involve debate in parliament.

No. Defra or the FSA may propose a change to the law but this would have to be agreed by all government departments and be laid before parliament for MPs and Peers to have their say.

Yes. BASC already briefs MPs and Peers on a range of issues affecting shooting such as lead ammunition.

You can support all shooting organisations’ calls for shooters to comply with the law on lead ammunition.

Leaving a legacy

Many people make false assumptions about what will happen to their estate if they do not have a will. Not leaving a will could result in lengthy and expensive complications for your family to sort out.

The sooner the better! If you already have a will you should review it regularly, particularly when your personal circumstances change for example, if you get married or divorced, if you have new children or grandchildren, or you move house.

There are free sites to write your will. However, one tiny error can invalidate the entire will, so we recommend that you employ a solicitor to do the work.

Who should I speak to?

When you decide to make a will, or update it, contact a professional adviser. This be a solicitor or financial adviser. Who will be able to advise you on the correct wording if you decide to leave BASC a legacy in your will.

The following wording can be used to gift a share of your estate to BASC:

I give to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, of Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL (hereinafter called BASC) the residue (or percent share of the residue) of my estate absolutely and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the BASC and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by BASC’s council shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors. *

A fixed sum, or pecuniary legacy, can be left using the following suggested wording:

I give to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, of Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL (hereinafter called BASC) the sum of £_______ and I direct that (i) the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of BASC and (ii) a receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by BASC’s council shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.*

If you want to leave special belongings to BASC such as a firearm, furniture, a painting or even the contents of your house, BASC would be pleased to discuss this with you. Items would then be retained or sold with the proceeds used in accordance with your wishes. We appreciate that personal belongings are very special and any such transactions would be handled with great care and sensitivity.

As with any property we would ask that you get in touch with BASC first to discuss your intentions.

Many people prefer to see donations made to BASC in lieu of floral tributes. If this is stated in your will, the executors can make sure that your wishes are known. The following wording will ensure that your wishes are met:

I request my executor to ensure that instead of flowers at my funeral donations are made to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, of Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL.

As the British Association for Shooting and Conservation Limited is not a registered charity your executors will, if your estate exceeds the threshold for inheritance tax have to pay the due proportion of that tax on the gift. If the gift is not expressed to be free of tax the amount paid to BASC will be reduced by the inheritance tax payable. However, it is possible for you to specify that the full amount of the gift should be paid free of tax itself so that the amount paid to BASC is not reduced and the inheritance tax on the gift (if any) is paid from the residue of your estate.

If you have any concerns about your inheritance tax position you can discuss these with an independent financial adviser. They may be able to make recommendations to mitigate the problem.

Pet Insurance

Yes our policies are designed to include cats as well and when you insure your second and successive animals they will enjoy an on-going multi-pet discount.

The cost of drugs purchased over the Internet can be claimed provided your vet has prescribed the drug to treat your dog.

Out of preference and with agreement from your vet we will pay the practice directly by bank transfer. Alternatively, if you prefer, we can pay you and payment by cheque is also an option.

Some policies in the market charge more if you are unlucky and your dog is ill or injured. BASC Dog Insurance does not penalise members who need to make claims – however large those claims may be.

Your BASC policy will include vets’ fees cover, help to find a lost dog, essential third party liability cover and travel and expenses if your vet refers your dog to a specialist. All the other benefits such as death or loss cover, breeding risks, boarding fees, holiday cancellation and overseas travel are optional, allowing you to choose the protection you need without paying for cover you don’t want.

Many policies in the market will only pay for an illness for 12 months from when it starts or is diagnosed, after which the condition is excluded and further claims will not be paid. Even if you change to a different policy that condition will be treated as pre-existing on the new policy and excluded. The BASC Dog Insurance policy offers on-going cover for on-going conditions – as long as the policy is renewed each year premiums are kept up to date.

As with most things, you get what you pay for and the cheaper the policy the less it’s likely  to cover. Your BASC policy offers lifetime vet’s fees cover ensuring that chronic, on-going conditions can be covered for the life of your dog.

Most policies in the market don’t cover breeding risks at all. BASC Dog Insurance has an optional benefit that can be added when you decide whether you will breed from a bitch. It covers gestation, whelping, puppies’ vet fees pre-sale and even includes Caesarean sections for the vast majority of breeds.

BASC chose the Agria policy specifically with members in mind, congenital and hereditary problems are included as long as they hadn’t been diagnosed or weren’t showing signs before the policy started.

Agria, the providers of BASC Dog Insurance, is happy to provide cover for working dogs and most importantly, cover while they are at shoots and events.

Publications

We would me more than happy to forward your questions to the author – just send them over to a member of the publications team. We can’t share his contact details with you, but if you provide an email or phone number, the author might be willing to get in touch with you.

You can either go through online archives (https://basc.org.uk/media-centre/shooting-and-conservation/) or give us a ring and we will do our best to send you a copy of the issue you’re looking for.

Our books are published by Quiller and a full list of titles is available on the BASC Bookshop: http://www.bascbookshop.org.uk/

Get in touch with the membership or publication team and we will be able to update your records. Have your membership number handy to speed up the process.

Of course! We always look for new images to add to our photo library. Email an example of your work to us and we will let you know whether it would be suitable for us to use.

We do our best to ensure no mistakes get through the proofing system, however, we’re all human and some sneaky errors do creep in from time to time. We always appreciate you letting us know about them. All you need to do is contact one of the members of the team (details on last page of each issue).

Simply turn to the last page, you’ll find contact details to our editor and get in touch, preferably via email. We can’t promise all articles submitted will be used, but we will definitely let you know if your idea has potential.

Training and education

If your course is attendance only, you should receive your certificate within 2 weeks of the course date.  If your course involves assessments and/or examinations, please allow 4 weeks from the date of the course.

Please contact the Training & Education Department on 01244 573018 giving as much notice as possible.  Please refer to our course cancellation policy regarding any refund which may be due.  You may be given the option to transfer to another date/venue, subject to availability.

In the case of shotguns you should hold a valid shotgun certificate. You may also attend with a shotgun loaned to you by another certificate holder under the 72 hour rule.

In respect of rifles. You must hold a valid firearm certificate authorising the possession of the rifle. The conditions on the certificate must authorise the use of the rifle at the training venue for the purpose of the course (either target shooting or live quarry and zeroing – dependent upon the course). If your certificate restricts where you can use your rifle (the closed condition) you will not be able use it on a course.

All courses must be paid for in full when making your booking.

Your confirmation letter will give you the start time of your course but the majority of courses start at 9.30 a.m. with refreshments available from 9 a.m. 

Wild Boar

No. Not as a pack of hounds, but two dogs may be used to track and follow up wounded or injured animals.

No. There are no closed seasons for wild boar.

Yes. There are no restrictions on shooting wild boar at night as wild boar have no specific legal status. However it is important to behave in a humane manner at all times, and to prevent any act of cruelty that may leave you open to prosecution under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 ie do you have procedures and any equipment to follow up and dispatch any wounded animals in the dark

Potentially yes. Wild boar are very large tough animals. Their chest cavity is well protected by a thick plate of cartilage, muscle and fat, which usually requires a deep penetrating bullet to humanely control mature specimens. Wounded animals can become very aggressive and attack the hunter or worse escape and attack people out in the countryside.

Therefore the suggested minimum calibre which is accepted by most police forces is .270 and 130 grain bullet and a minimum muzzle energy of 2600ft/lbs.

This should be regarded as the absolute minimum and larger calibre rifles should be used if possible. The 9.3 calibre rounds are very popular on the continent and are well proven for wild boar. It could be argued that .375 and larger calibres should also be allowed for wild boar.

12 bore or larger shotguns using only a single projectile (rifled slug) can also be suitable for wild boar in certain conditions.

Yes you should get your FAC conditioned by your Firearms Licensing Dept. Although some people may argue that you can shoot wild boar under a vermin or general estate wildlife management authorisation, from a peace of mind it is best to get the authorisation first rather than risk a potential prosecution or difficulty in future renewals of your FAC.

No. If left well alone. The boar will most likely move away from the guns and beaters before the drive starts. They are only likely to attack if cornered or threatened

Yes. Particularly if their sources of natural food are in short supply. Boar feed on a wide variety of food and will readily feed on agricultural crops. Favourite crops include sugar beet, maize, potatoes, oats, wheat and grassland. In England, most of the damage reported has been damage to maize crops and rooting in grassland.

Wild boar will also eat carrion such as dead livestock, and they have been reported to take dead and very weak lambs.

No. As wild boar were formerly a native species they should have a beneficial effect since they are replacing a lost part of the ecosystem. Scientific studies including work done by the University of Sussex suggest that although rooting of the soil can cause damage to carpets of bluebells, this impact is generally localised and short-lived and plants regrow in following years with increased vigour. Rooting also encourages the growth of new plants by uncovering dormant seeds in the soil. However there is some evidence that rooting in species-rich semi-natural grassland can encourage colonisation by invasive weed species.

Neither the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 nor the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) Order 1984 makes any provision to require a licensee to take any action to recover escaped animals.

Under Section 6 of the Act, Local Authorities have the power to seize any animal(s) and retain or destroy them, if any animal is being kept contrary to the Act or any condition of the license under which it is being held. It has not been tested yet whether these powers could potentially be used to recapture escaped animals at the licensee’s expense.

The release of wild animals including non-native species is controlled by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Part 1 section 14 of the Act makes it an offence to release, or allow to escape in to the wild, any animal of a kind which is “Not ordinarily resident in and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state”.

Section 27 then defines a number of terms used in Part 1, but strangely does not give any definition of “ordinarily resident”. There is now a need for guidance on whether wild boar having existed in a feral state for many years could be considered as ordinarily resident.

Wild boar or their hybrid offspring can only be kept under a licence issued in accordance with the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Premises where they are kept are subject to inspection to see that they are secure and that the animals are properly cared for. Licences are obtainable from the relevant Local Authority. The keeping of wild boar for exhibition to the public in wildlife and farm parks is covered by the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

Currently there are no specific provisions giving formal legal protection to wild boar or controlling their management and culling. However animals caught in traps are protected against unnecessary suffering by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Wild boar living freely in the wild are protected against specific acts of cruelty by the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996.

No. Wild boar have no predators in the UK except man.

No. Most of the animals have escaped from animal parks or wild boar farms. These animals have now bred and the population is increasing.

Wild boar used to be native, but they became extinct about 300 years ago due to habitat loss and overhunting.

Wildfowling

Your BASC Wildfowling Team consists of: –

James Green – Head Of Wildfowling

Shane Robinson – Wildfowling Officer

Jo Hughes – Wildfowling Administrator

Dennise Shepherd – Consents Officer

You can contact us on 01244 573 011 or wildfowling@basc.org.uk

Ammunition choice will depend on the gun you are using and the quarry you are after. Some guns are not suitable for steel ammunition be it through age, material or choke restriction. In which case Bismuth or Tungsten would be my recommendation.

Standard Steel ammunition may be shot through a non-steel proofed gun but there are only a few standard steel loads available. Link to website firearms fact sheet.

High performance Steel ammunition can be shot through Steel proof shotguns look for the Fleur de Lys proof marks or barrel markings stating the barrels are steel shot proof.

Steel ammunition has improved massively over the last decade and ballistically it has proved itself more than capable for the job. Remember the rule of thumb about upping the size of the pellets by 2 to allow for the pellet density difference between steel and lead and you won’t be far out.

 I would always pick the cartridge to suit the quarry. ie shot size 3,4 for Duck and 3,2,1,BB for geese. Wherever possible I will also always choose a bio degradable wad as well although at the moment options are limited. There are more in the pipeline!!

The hardest part of the online recording system is the initial set up to gain your password for the member’s area of the BASC website, after that it really isn’t that difficult.

1. You can find it on the BASC website or by searching for “BASC Green shoots mapping” in your chosen search engine.

2. Click on to the Green Shoots Mapping.

3. Click on the Log In.

4. Go to the Bagged it option.

5. Click on Visits

6. This will automatically take you to your clubs information page showing the areas your club has authority to shoot over.

7. Pick the relevant area and click on Add a visit.

8. Simply fill in the relevant details of your trip. Date / Flight time / Hours spent on the shore / Shots taken / Quarry recovered

9. Scroll to the bottom of the page and Click on the Save and return to my visits.

At the end of the season remember to submit your return for your clubs returns officer to review.

If you’re ever unsure or having issues drop us a line!

Starting out isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, of course it is easier if you have a friend or family member who already goes wildfowling that is willing to take you under their wing, but it’s not the only way. The BASC Wildfowling Permit Scheme produced every year is just the ticket, clubs from across the country have signed up to the initiative to get more people out on the foreshore. There are permits available from as little as £10 and a member of the club will accompany you to ensure you have the best possible introduction and most importantly stay safe.

BASC also run Introduction to wildfowling Days with a few of our clubs around the country, check out the BASC wildfowling page on the web for more details or give the department a call and register your interest.

Wildfowling is a marmite sport you’ll either love it or hate but it is something everyone should experience at least once in their life time, the beautiful sunrises and the myriad of waterfowl make up for the small bag sizes.

There are quite a few types of chokes on the market and several ways they work.

The most common after-market chokes work in one of 2 ways. Either

 a) Standard constriction choke

 b) Wad grabbing choke.

Standard constriction works by tightening the pattern of shot in the gun barrel over the last few inches causing the pellets to group together and pattern density to increase.

The more the restriction the tighter the pattern. Loosely speaking the following rules apply.

40,000 of 1”   = Full choke

30,000            =3/4

20,000            =1/2

10,000            =1/4

0                      = Cylinder

Wad grabbers work by either using a mechanical restriction (a ring of studs grab the expanded base of the wad for a fraction of a second allowing shot to leave unhindered by gas or wad) or gas restriction to slow the wads down by a fraction of a second in the shape of channels similar to rifling in a barrel. As the wads reach the required area in the choke. The channels fill with gas and slow the wads allowing again the shot to leave unhindered by gas and wad. This then causes a shorter denser pattern giving greater pattern penetration at greater distance.

Remember pattern test your gun and ensure you shoot with its and your abilities.

The WLC members are hand selected by the Chairman of WLC, the Chair is appointed by BASC council and will always be a serving council member. A good cross section of the wildfowling community is needed for the committee to be truly effective. A full and comprehensive list of all our Wildfowling Liaison Committee Members can be found here, together with the latest meeting reports: – https://basc.org.uk/wildfowling/club-advice-and-information/wildfowl-liaison-committee/

The Wildfowling Liaison Committee Members can be contacted via the following email address wlc@basc.org.uk or you can liaise with them directly at club meetings or events throughout the year.

If you have any concerns regarding severe weather and if you should have stopped shooting or not check the BASC website, it will be updated daily during periods of prolonged frozen weather. After 7 days BASC will be calling for voluntary restraint based on the projected forecast. Our recommendations is to make your decision to shoot or not based on the conditions at your local site even if BASC isn’t calling for voluntary restraint. At 14 days there will be a national suspension, this information will communicated through Daily updates on the BASC website, BASC Fast Tracks emails, social media accounts and press releases to the sporting press. Further information regarding the suspension of shooting wildfowl can be found here

At this moment in time yes but only under the specific terms of the general license GL28 – Licence to kill or take Canada geese during close season to preserve public health and safety. Ensure you have fully read and understood your responsibilities before taking lethal action and keep up to speed with any changes as NE / DEFRA resolve the General Licence fiasco.

No not at all! It really depends on where you are going and what you are going after. There is ammunition out there for all guns and configurations so you won’t need to buy a new gun at least to start with. For those of you out there with only 23/4” chambers id be looking to Bismuth or tungsten in appropriate shot size for the quarry you seek (see cartridge choice FAQ) if you are using the BASC permit scheme a friendly fowler may well lend you a more suitable gun for the flight.

There is definitely equipment that will make you more comfortable, waders, rucksacks, short length camo and water proof fowling jackets etc. but these are purely to make life easier as they are built specifically for the job however a warm water proof jacket, wellies and waterproof over trousers will suffice for lots of situations. Wait until you know the sport is for you before you spend any serious money.

The Wildlife Habitat Trust www.wht.org.uk has three Trusts. There is the Wildlife Habitat Trust that lends money to BASC clubs, syndicates and members to enable land purchase for shooting and conservation purposes. There is then the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp Trust that administers the merchandise and annual stamp programme. The third Trust is the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT) which grants money for conservation projects for the benefit of migratory wildfowl. The WHCT is a charity and is therefore regulated by the Charity Commission.  In granting money the WHCT Trustees will need to be satisfied that the aims and objects of the WHCT are being met especially that of Public Benefit. Any club interested in grant funding can find more information on the WHT website. You may also wish to speak to Paul Williamson BASC’s Head of Land Management and also Secretary to the WHT Trusts.

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