Gundogs gearing up for Crufts 2014
Last year’s winner Dawn Hall and flatcoated retriever CH Blacktoft Stray Cat Strut with Ghilgrange, aka "Keeper."

Gundogs gearing up for Crufts 2014

Gamekeepers, beaters and pickers-up from across the UK are getting ready for one of the highlights of the gundog calendar – Crufts 2014. The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), will host the gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts. Gamekeepers, owners of working gundogs, gundog teams and young handlers will compete in the classes. They will be held on Gundog Day, Sunday 9th March 2014 in Hall 5 at the NEC in Birmingham. The BASC gamekeepers’ classes are unique at Crufts. Each dog in the gamekeepers’ classes is a genuine working dog and Crufts gives handlers an opportunity to show their gundogs in their prime. The top individual gundogs owned by gamekeepers will go head-to-head in the main arena for the Best in Gamekeeping class title, competing for the Northesk Memorial Trophy. BASC will once again hold the popular demonstration scurry, where dogs undertake retrieves against the clock. The demonstration will start at 12:30pm. Glynn Evans, BASC's head of game and gamekeeping, said: "The gamekeeper classes at Crufts put working gundogs in front of a global audience at the biggest dog show in the world.” The BASC gundog programme is sponsored by Chudleys.  

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BASC welcomes watchdog scrutiny of regulations

A report from the independent Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC), which examines proposed regulation for sound supporting evidence, proper process and ultimate impact, has been welcomed by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

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“Scaring pigeons” proposal threatens crop protection

The protection of growing crops from the UK’s number one agricultural pest – the woodpigeon – would be severely damaged by a proposal put forward by Natural England according to the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

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Producers of new game-rearing system sponsor the BASC Gamekeepers’ fair

GM Brooders Ltd, the designer and manufacturer of a new energy-efficient rearing system for game birds has been announced as the main sponsor of the BASC Gamekeepers’ Fair 2014. The rearing system will be on show at the event held at Catton Park, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire on the 12th and 13th April. BASC Central director and former gamekeeper Steve Bloomfield said: “Every now and then a new innovation enters the market which has the potential to improve game management. I have seen this system in operation and am very impressed with its energy and cost efficiencies whilst producing good quality poults. This will be an excellent opportunity for game managers and shoot owners to see the product and learn about the design and technical features.” BASC is offering its gamekeeper members a free pass for two adults. Visitors to the fair can also enjoy entertaining arena demonstrations, see working gundogs in action in the BASC & Chudleys Scurry League competition, shop at more than 200 quality trade stands, browse the craft and antique marquees and sample some wonderful food. The fair will be open from 9am until 5pm on both days and experts from BASC will be on hand to answer questions on all aspects of shooting and conservation. For a full list of activities and attractions, click here. To apply for your gamekeeper member ticket please contact Mandy Short on 01244 573027 or email mandy.short@basc.org.uk.  

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Top clay shot Amber Hill showcases her success at Stormont
Left to right: Tommy Mayne, Amber Hill and First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson

Top clay shot Amber Hill showcases her success at Stormont

Amber Hill, a 16-year-old medal-winning clay target shot and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2013, met the Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and the Assembly’s All-Party Group on Country Sports (APG) on 25th February. Amber started shooting when she was 10 years old and her successes include winning the gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in 2013. Amber’s achievements highlight the inequality between Northern Ireland, where the minimum age at which a young person can use a shotgun under supervision without a certificate is 18, and the rest of the UK where no lower age limit exists. Supervised access to shooting is essential for young people wanting to learn the safety, discipline and responsibility involved in shooting sports. Amber Hill said: “Being taught to shoot from a young age was the foundation of my success and I believe young people in Northern Ireland deserve the same opportunity. I fully support the campaign to have the age of supervised shooting reduced to 10.” Danny Kinahan said: “I welcome the lowering of the minimum age for supervised shooting in Northern Ireland which will allow our young people to train and compete at the highest level.” Tommy Mayne, director of BASC NI said: “BASC NI has been working on this issue with partner organisations the Countryside Alliance Ireland, the Gun Trade Guild NI and the Northern Ireland Firearms Dealers’ Association and we welcome the fact that Justice Minister David Ford MLA has agreed to reduce the age at which a young person can use a shotgun or airgun under supervision.” The details of the change have yet to be finalised, however BASC and partner organisations believe that 10 years, the age of criminal responsibility in Northern Ireland, is an appropriate minimum age. Tommy Mayne added: “Young people are the lifeblood of our sport and Amber Hill is a prime example of the success and benefits shooting can provide. It is important that Northern Ireland firearms legislation is changed to allow young people to be taught safety, responsibility and respect for firearms at an early age.”    

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BASC announces new dates for deer stalking on the Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran Deer Management scheme, organised by the UK's largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has new dates available for 2014/15 season. The scheme is designed to provide practical follow-on experience for BASC members who have completed the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (DSC1). It is suited to stalkers of all abilities and will give participants the opportunity to stalk red deer across extensive areas of land on the south of the island. Alan McCormick BASC's head of deer management said: “Following a highly successful winter on Arran, the BASC deer department is delighted to announce the dates for the 2014/15 season. The Isle of Arran Deer Management scheme is always popular with BASC members as it offers the chance to stalk in a wide-ranging, challenging environment.” Available dates for the scheme are as follows: Stags Week 1, 29th September – 3rd October 2014 Week 2, 6th – 10th October 2014 Week 3, 13th – 17th October 2014 Hinds Week 1, 3rd – 7th November 2014 Week 2, 24th – 28th November 2014 Week 3, 19th – 23rd January 2015 Week 4, 2nd – 6th February 2015 Stag weeks will cost £400 and the Hind weeks £250 per person. Applicants must have their own deer rifle, hold DSC1 and be registered for DSC2. For further information please contact the BASC deer department on 01244 573 047 or click here

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BASC increases members’ personal accident insurance cover

BASC members’ personal accident cover will increase for current and new members from 1st March 2014. BASC’s personal insurance cover is tailored to ensure members are covered for accidental injury when taking part in any lawful recreational shooting or conservation activity. The improved policy will provide members with an enhanced level of protection of up to £50,000 for personal injury, increased from its current level of £35,000. David Ilsley, BASC’s head of marketing and membership services, said: “Accidents in shooting are rare but it is always comforting to know that the cover is there to protect you. Insurance is a major reason why people join BASC and although it is only one of many benefits that we offer, for our members it is a very important advantage and one which we will continue to improve.” For more information on the increase in personal accident cover contact David Ilsley on 01244 573021 or email david.ilsley@basc.org.uk.  

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