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Sporting Rifle March 2021

The first and market-leading rifle shooting mag in the UK, Sporting Rifle covers rifle sports of all kinds, from rimfire rabbits to big game overseas and everything in between. With the very best writers on board, we cover foxing and UK deer stalking extensively in every issue, with tips and tricks as well as stories from the field to help your outings be more successful.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a strong bond

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the instant bond between hunting strangers. This bond crosses international boundaries, politics, religion, and most other causes of prejudice. In the past 30 years or so that I have been pursuing game, whether that’s rabbits or buffalo, the instant camaraderie enjoyed by foreigners who follow the call of Nimrod, has been continuously reinforced. Why this is so really escapes me, but I’m glad that it is the way. Maybe this bond is strengthened because our sport is considered a minority group, by the ignorant in various positions of power that would certainly choose to curtail our sporting pastimes if they could? Or maybe it is much more archaic than that, and it is an inherent admiration, deep in our psyche, a hangover…

1 min
uk avoids latest eu legislations

The free trade agreement between the UK and EU will not bind the UK to European laws that limit the use of lead on and around wetlands. And in more good news, environmental regulations that have been used to attack shooting will come under the full control of the UK Parliament. Under the terms of the free trade agreement, the UK has mirrored the EU REACH framework to regulate the trade in and use of chemicals, but crucially the European version had not been updated with the lead ban when we exited Europe. If it had, then use of any lead shot within 100m of any body of water would have been prohibited, effectively ending its use across the UK. Dr Matt Ellis, head of science at BASC, said: “As the European…

1 min
wild deer threaten british woodland

Unmanaged wild deer herds could soon pose a threat to British habitats because the commercial venison market has collapsed during the lockdown. Conservationists fear too few deer are being culled, to keep the estimated two million strong wild herd – the largest for 1,000 years – at a sustainable size. About 80 per cent of British deer goes to restaurants and the hospitality industry, however demand has fallen off a cliff due to coronavirus restrictions. BASCs head of deer management, Martin Edwards, explained: “If we don’t cull them now, come the spring we will see a massive increase in the population. Also, this is the time of year they will do the most damage to the woodland because there is not a lot of food elsewhere for them.” Wild deer herds grow by up…

1 min
government provide clarity on deer stalking

Rough shooting and deer stalking can continue in England after the government provided greater clarity on the new lockdown measures introduced in response to surging cases of Covid-19. The emergence of a more contagious strain of the coronavirus forced a third lockdown across England and mainland Scotland, and it was feared that this would mean the end of the season for shooters across England. However, the government has now clarified that, if the conditions around travel and social distancing are met, stalking can continue in England as well. BASC spokesman Gary Doolan said: “It is to be welcomed that people can now get out and shoot in some form. Shooting’s importance for physical and mental wellbeing is well documented.” However, some in the shooting community believe that a reprieve may lead to negative…

1 min
fsa clarifies game guidance

Rumours that new laws will prevent the local supply of fresh game to pubs and restaurants have been denied by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The supply of small quantities of game from shoots and individuals direct to end users has been a long-standing feature of rural areas and is protected by special exemptions to the normal food hygiene regulations. However, it has come under fire in recent years, with larger game dealers attacking what they describe as ‘Fred in a shed’ operations, which they say are out of date and unprofessional. A spokesman for the agency said: “The FSA is updating the wild game guidance to clarify existing requirements for traceability which help to protect the consumer. The new guidance does not change the regulations and will not prevent the supply of…

1 min
deer film scoops double award

A film on deer management in the Scottish Highlands has won its second prestigious award. The Cull, which explores the tensions between traditional deer management and rewilding in Scotland, has now won ‘Best Film’ in the mountain environment and natural history category at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and ‘Best Environmental Film’ at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival. The film is the directorial debut of filmmaker Ted Simpson, who said: “Speaking to professional deerstalkers was an important part of our approach when making The Cull — the film is designed to allow many different sides of the debate surrounding deer and land management to speak and be heard. “When filming, we were struck by the high level of knowledge and care the stalkers we spoke to had of their craft and the…