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Sporting Gun January 2021

Sporting Gun is the leading monthly magazine for clay, game and rough shooters. With editorial offices in the Lincolnshire countryside, it can justifiably claim to be at the heart of the shooting community. Monthly features range from gundog training to pigeon shooting, game shooting to wildfowling – along with sound, practical, advice on equipment and techniques to help the beginner, intermediate or experienced shot get more enjoyment from their sport. Sporting Gun is a must for anyone who invests time in and money on their shooting.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
bird up

Shorter days and a less plentiful supply of food can make woodpigeon elusive at this time of year. The answer, as ever, is good reconnaissance – and patience – if you are to make the most of the birds available this winter. Driving around the area to check the fields for crop damage, Google Earth and a good pair of binoculars can all be added to your armoury, says Geoff Garrod, so no opportunity is missed. You might be surprised just how big the bag is at the end of the day. So, head out with hide to seek those elusive woodies.…

2 min
new general licences unveiled

Defra has announced new general licences for the control of wild birds. The three licences will come into force on 1 January 2021 and are the result of a long-standing review by the Department for Environment that involved extensive consultation with interested parties and a review of the scientific evidence. The new licences (GL40, GL41, GL42) will replace (GL34, GL35 and GL36), which expire on 31 December 2020. The new licences are: • GL40 – the licence to kill or take for conservation purposes; • GL41 – the licence to kill or take for public health or safety; • GL42 – the licence to kill or take to prevent serious damage. The announcement ends 18 months of uncertainty, following a legal challenge in April last year by Wild Justice, which said the licences were not…

1 min
‘why we shoot’ is at the heart of a campaign we are running over the next few issues.

It is designed to highlight the good that comes from shooting both for the environment and the individual. Over recent years our sport has weathered expertly co-ordinated attacks and we (the Future shooting titles) think it’s time to dispel any untruths. We want to let people see that shooting is a force for good in the countryside by highlighting the conservation work that goes hand-in-hand with game shooting. At an individual level, shooting means so much to us and is good for our mental as well as physical health. I love our sport because it is so accessible. Wealth may indicate what type of shooting you do and how often you go, but there are disciplines to suit every pocket. And as our article on page 26, A Gun to inspire, demonstrates that…

1 min
defra concludes gamebird release review

A review into the release of gamebirds in or around protected sites has been concluded by Defra. It found that negative effects tended to be localised and that there are minimal or no effects beyond 500 metres from the point of release. The review was conducted in response to a pre-action protocol letter from Wild Justice in July last year. Following this, Defra accepted that, in principle, the annual release of non-native gamebirds on, or affecting, Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) is capable of constituting a “plan or project” requiring appropriate assessment within the meaning of the (EU) Habitats Directive. However, Defra did not accept Wild Justice’s assertion that existing laws did not provide for such assessment. Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Our review highlighted a need to…

1 min
home office tightens law regarding antique firearms

New measures have been introduced by the Government to tighten the law around the ownership of antique firearms. The Home Office has announced that seven ammunition types will no longer be classified as an antique firearm. The move is intended to thwart the criminal use of such firearms, and will criminalise 26,000 guns unless the owners have a licence. The changes come under the Antique Firearms Regulations 2020, implemented by the Home Secretary under powers conferred by the Firearms Act 1968. David Frost, Sporting Gun’s legal expert, said: “Existing owners will be able to hold their guns on a firearm certificate without having to show good reason or having to obtain a Section 5 authority from the Home Office. Twenty-three centrefire calibres, all bar one of them rifles, will be added to the…

1 min
news in brief

Bird flu alert in west of England A strain of bird flu has been detected in a small number of wild birds in the west of England. Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, said: “An H5N8 strain of avian influenza has been confirmed in wild geese in Gloucestershire, swans in Devon and a wild goose in Dorset.” Birds tested posthumously were found to have been infected with the strain of avian influenza virus that is currently circulating in wild birds in Europe. There have been a number of confirmed reports of avian influenza in wild birds, including geese and swans, in the Netherlands and northern Germany in recent weeks. A clean break at Churchill’s Shooters who want to clean their gun out of the sun, wind or rain can avail themselves of…