Do I need to buy a new gun or extra kit to go wildfowling, and is it expensive?

No not at all. It really depends on where you are going and the quarry. 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 with only 23/4” chambers, use Bismuth or Tungsten in the appropriate shot size for the quarry you seek. If you are using the BASC permit scheme, a friendly 'fowler may lend you a more suitable gun for the flight. There is definitely equipment that will make you more comfortable when wildfowling. Take a look at our What to Wear when Wildfowling blog to find out more.

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How do after-market chokes work?

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.

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What cartridges should I use? I haven’t used steel before and have heard conflicting advice?

Ammunition choice will depend on the gun you are using and the quarry. Some guns are not suitable for steel ammunition be it through age, material or choke restriction. Bismuth or Tungsten would be the best recommendation. Standard steel ammunition may be shot through a non-steel proofed gun but there are only a few standard steel loads available. Click here to read guidance and fact sheets from BASC's firearms team. High performance steel ammunition can be shot through steel proof shotguns. You can find this by looking for the "fleur-de-lys" proof marks or its barrel markings that state 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 two to allow for the pellet density difference between steel and lead. You should always pick the cartridge to suit the quarry i.e. shot size three or four for duck and three, two, or one BB for geese. Wherever possible always choose a biodegradable wad.

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How do I do an online bag return?

This is a really easy process. Follow the steps below: 1. Search for “BASC Green Shoots Mapping” in your chosen search engine or click here to go directly to the page. 2. Click on Go Mapping. 3. Log In to the page using you BASC member ID and password. 4. Go to the Bagged It option. 5. Click on Visits. This will automatically take you to your club's 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 Save and return to my visits. At the end of the season remember to submit your return to your club's returns officer for review. If you’re ever unsure or having issues, drop us a line on 01244 573 019.

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Who are my Wildfowling Liaison Committee (WLC) representatives and how can I speak to them?

The WLC members are hand-selected by the chairman of the WLC. The chair is appointed by BASC Council and they 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 WLC members can be found here, together with the latest meeting reports: https://basc.org.uk/wildfowling/club-advice-and-information/wildfowl-liaison-committee/ WLC members can be contacted by email on wlc@basc.org.uk or you can liaise with them directly at club meetings or events throughout the year.

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How do I know if a severe weather ban has been brought into place for wildfowling in my area?

If you have any concerns regarding severe weather, please refer to the BASC website. This will be updated daily during periods of adverse weather. After seven days, BASC will be calling for voluntary restraint based on the projected forecast. Our recommendations are there to help inform your decision to shoot or not. At 14 days there will be a national suspension. This information will be communicated through daily updates on the BASC website, through BASC Fast Tracks emails, social media accounts and press releases. Further information regarding the suspension of shooting wildfowl can be found here.

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Can I shoot Canada Geese outside of the season?

Shooting out of season can take place but only under the relevant General Licences. Depending on which country you are in (excluding Northern Ireland) determines the General Licence you can use. Although legally you do not have to have a copy with you, you must ensure that you have read and understood the General Licence and that your actions comply with the terms. Links to the licences can be found on the BASC website: - England                       https://basc.org.uk/gl/england Wales                          https://basc.org.uk/gl/wales Scotland is                  https://basc.org.uk/gl/scotland Northern Ireland          You cannot shoot Canada geese outside the shooting season which is 1 Sept – 31 Jan. Make sure you are working to the current General Licence rules and remember they get renewed annually.

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How can I get into wildfowling?

Starting out isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. Wildfowling is a Marmite sport. You’ll either love it or hate it, but it is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. The beautiful sunrises and the myriad waterfowl make up for the small bag sizes. The BASC Wildfowling Permit Scheme booklet is produced every year and has details from clubs across the country who joined an 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 runs Introduction to Wildfowling Days with a few clubs around the country. Check out the BASC wildfowling page for more details, or give the department a call to register your interest on 01244 573 011.

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