Glossary of shooting terms

AirgunGun discharged by compressed air or gas.
Artificial TargetClay or card target used for shooting competitions or practice.
AntlersPair of bony outgrowths on the head of a male deer.
BagTotal number of birds or animals shot in one day/session.
BeaterPerson who flushes wild game.
BulletSingle projectile fired out of a rifle.
CartridgeMetal (rifle) or plastic (shotgun) casing containing propellant charge and projectile.
Clay pigeon/clayDisc of pitch and chalk thrown into the air as a target for shotgun competitions or practice.
Close seasonDates during which a quarry species is protected by law and may not be shot.
Code of practiceSet of rules by which the shooting industry regulates behaviour.
Country SportsSports carried out in the countryside, such as shooting and fishing.
CullTo kill selectively (especially old and weak) animals, to maintain the health of the herd.
DecoyA dummy designed to lure birds, especially woodpigeon, within shooting range. Also refers to a pond used for trapping ducks.
Deer StalkerPerson who approaches deer without being noticed in order to shoot selected animals.
Driven (shoot)Form of sport in which game birds are flushed over the standing Guns.
EstateLand over which farming, forestry and shooting activities take place.
EstuaryTidal area where a river reaches the sea.
FieldsportsSee Country Sports.
FlightMovement of pigeon or wildfowl at dawn and dusk between resting and feeding areas.
FlightlinePaths in the sky routinely taken by birds to move between roosting and feeding areas.
Flight pondArea of water into which wildfowl drop to feed and roost.
FlushTo rouse game.
GameSpecies of wild animals and birds designated in law and hunted for sport and food.
GamekeeperPerson who rears game birds for release into the wild and manages their habitat.
GhillieA hunting guide, particularly in Scotland, who accompanies shooters or fishermen.
GundogSpecially bred and trained dog for locating, flushing and retrieving game.
GunA firearm or, when Gun is spelt with a capital G, the person using a shotgun.
HangingTo suspend meat so that the flavour matures.
Head (of game)Number shot.
HidePlace of concealment blending into the natural environment.
HuntingThe pursuit and killing of a selected wild bird or animal for food, sport or management.
Inter-tidalArea covered by water only at high tide.
LampingNight shooting of pests and predators using a powerful spot lamp.
Open seasonDates during which quarry species may be taken legally, also known as the shooting season.
Over-and-underShotgun in which one barrel is on top of the other.
PestAnimal that damages crops or wildlife, or represents a threat to health.
Picker-upPerson who retrieves dead and wounded game with the aid of gundogs.
Plucking The removal of feathers from a bird destined for the table.
PoacherA person who kills or takes game belonging to another person without permission.
PredatorAn animal which hunts for food.
PreyAn animal hunted, or captured, by another for food.
Rearing and releasingThe act of breeding game birds for release into the wild.
RefugeA safe haven for wildlife where human activity is restricted.
Rough shootingA less formal version of walked up shooting (qv) usually involving a small group of Guns opportunistically shooting whatever legal quarry presents itself.
ShotThe lead or steel pellets contained in a shotgun cartridge; may also refer to the person using a gun.
Side-by-sideShotgun in which one barrel is alongside the other.
StalkerSee deer stalker.
Sustainable harvestThe amount which can be shot without detriment to the population as a whole.
SyndicateGroup of people who shoot together, sharing the costs of a day’s or season’s sport.
TrapMechanical device to capture legal pest and predatory species. Also the device which throws clay pigeons.
Trophy (head)Head or full body of an animal or bird preserved for display by taxidermy.
Twelve boreThe bore of a gun is the diameter of its barrel; for shotguns this normally varies between a 28 bore (the smallest) and a four bore (the largest) The most commonly used size for sporting shooting is a twelve bore.
VelvetFurry covering on the newly formed antlers of deer.
VerminSee Pest and Predator.
Walked-upForm of shooting in which the shooter flushes the quarry, usually using a dog, as he walks through cover.
WildfowlerPerson who shoots ducks and geese on the foreshore.

Get the latest updates from BASC

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

* indicates required