Launched on 12 November, BASC’s Top Shots Photography Competition has proved to be hugely popular in its first year, attracting over 1,500 entries before the closing date of 1 February.

A stunning array of images were submitted to each of the four competition categories: Wildlife; In the field; Field to fork and Working dogs.

Indeed, the judges – a select panel of BASC staff – had their work cut out shortlisting and then choosing the overall winners of each category – so much so that they were left with no option but to compile a list of highly commended entries, which you can see in the March/April issue of Shooting and Conservation (pages 34-35).

And so, to the eagerly anticipated results…

In the field

Winner: Nigel Gidney

Judges’ comments: A beautiful, well-composed photograph that manages to capture that age-old tradition of passing on the passion for shooting – and everything that goes with it – to the next generation. The subtle outline provided by the light adds atmosphere. You can almost sense the anticipation of the young shot as they wait for a bird to head their way.

Nigel wins a Schoffel Country Ptarmigan Tweed range bundle.


Winner: David Scott

Judges’ comments: For a brief moment, what really makes this photo, is lost in a frame of plumage. But then you see it… The judges agreed that to capture this moment would have required an element of fieldcraft and patience. The result is a unique and clever photograph that shows the early days of a young grouse’s journey, tucked away safely under mother’s wing.

David wins a pair of Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 binoculars.

Working dogs

Winner: Celine Peniston-Bird

Judges’ comments: Technically, this photograph is excellent. The Labrador is perfectly in focus and the red-leg partridge is sufficiently out of focus to draw the viewers’ eyes to the dog. The photographer has done very well to capture a moment when the dog is in ‘mid-flight’, all eyes on the prize – a rare action shot not often encountered.

Celine wins 25 bags of Skinner’s Field & Trial dog food.

Field to fork

Winner: Steve Mutum

Judges’ comments: Good food plays a key part on a day’s shooting. Many of us can relate to the joy of elevenses on a shoot day, whether we’re shooting, beating or picking-up! This photograph represents game that has gone the full circle – it was harvested in the field and is now being served as scotch eggs, pies and sausage rolls. And look at that smile!

Steve wins a Flint & Flame 20-piece Classic knife set.

On Friday 13 March we will be asking our followers on Facebook (@BASCuk) to decide on their overall winner, chosen from the four category winning images. The poll will be open from 13 to 16 March. Don’t forget to join us and vote for your favourite image.

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