The British Association for Shooting and Conservation expects the new shooting season to get off to a good start despite the recession and the impact of a wet summer.
August 12 sees the traditional start of the grouse shooting season. The Grouse, which is a totally wild bird, lives on heather moorland which is managed to encourage breeding. Discussion with gamekeepers, sporting agents and landowners indicates that while some early broods may have been affected by wet weather in June, later broods have more than made up for any shortfall.
Phil Pugh, BASC Northern regional director, said: “The recession may be hitting the high street but we’re seeing very little impact on shooting. I’ve spoken to moor owners, shooting syndicates, gamekeepers and many others. All are expecting a good start to the new season.”
In Scotland after a number of years of inconsistent grouse numbers the approaching 2009 season should be one of widespread success.
BASC director for Scotland, Colin Shedden, said: "Moorland keepers and owners are quietly confident that all their hard work in recent years, including muirburn (heather management), predator control and tick management, complemented with ideal weather conditions over the early summer, have raised productivity. They now expect to see good numbers of grouse over the guns in both August and September. The recession does not appear to have affected the willingness of sportsmen and women to seek out and pay for what is regarded as the finest shotgun shooting available.”