Sporting Rifle

Sporting Rifle March 2020


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


shooting show success

The British Shooting Show is fast approaching once again, and if you haven’t got your tickets for the NEC on 14-16 February then head to the British Shooting Show website, www.shootingshow.co.uk, where there are still some advance tickets available at the time of writing (it will be a fantastic Valentine’s Day present, if you’re struggling for ideas – after all, what could be more romantic than a trip to Birmingham?) I and the Sporting Rifle crew will be there; it’s the premier event in the British shooting industry, and we couldn’t miss it. Personally speaking, I find it a great opportunity to catch up not just on the latest product innovations and equipment releases, but with old friends and longtime readers too. In today’s busy world it’s a rare opportunity to…

werritty report brings uncertainty

A government-led review of grouse moor management stopped short of recommending a ban on driven grouse shooting – but rural groups warn it could still lead to ‘seismic’ change for grouse moors in Scotland. The Werritty Review, which has now published its findings, recommends a ‘barrage of measures that will leave the grouse shooting sector engulfed in legislation and red tape.’ Following the publication of the review group’s report, a joint statement was issued by BASC, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Scottish Association for Country Sports and Scottish Land & Estates. The controversy has largely arisen over the subject of licensing grouse shoots, which the report says should be explored if raptor populations do not show a marked improvement. The field sports groups argue that ‘it would push an important rural…

trophy import and export under review

A trophy hunting consultation by Defra, which includes the option of a full ban on imports and exports of all hunting trophies in and out of the UK, has now closed, and the government is considering the responses. Commenting on ‘option three’ in the poll, which is a total ban, BASC urged all shooters – even those who aren’t interested in trophies – to make it clear that ‘option three is no option’. It could have a devastating effect on the UK’s huntable species and other wildlife if the demand from overseas hunters reduces because they can no longer take home a trophy. With fewer people shooting deer, for example, their populations could increase to unsustainable levels. Of the four options made available, BASC prefer ‘option four’, which protects the status quo. Options…

more stalking recommended in scotland

A new report on Scotland’s deer populations has called for a “hardened” approach to deer stalking, incorporating higher cull targets and more rural stalking jobs. The report comes ahead of an official Scottish Government-commissioned review of deer management, which is due to be published soon. It also calls for an increase in amateur stalking and reduced use of deer fences. Colin Shedden of BASC Scotland summed up the report as “a series of mixed recommendations”. He was broadly supportive of them, but warned that some of them were slightly confused and misinformed. He said: “There are fewer than 26,000 individuals in Scotland with legal access to rifles to cull deer – less than 0.5 per cent of the population. “It takes much in the way of time, dedication and training for individuals to obtain the…

basc bypasses unhelpful gps

BASC has launched a dedicated service to ensure speedy responses for members being let down and delayed by unhelpful GPs during the firearms licensing process. The service, which launched on 6 January, will link applicants with compliant GPs to help secure medical verification and will assist those who are either unhappy with exorbitant fees or facing delays because their GP is refusing to take part in the process. Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “The shooting community is being caught in a catch-22 position, with the GP holding the applicant to ransom and the police not progressing the application. The system is on its knees. BASC’s new service provides a valuable stop-gap for our members until a complete solution can be sought. BASC will continue to work towards ensuring a political…

fightback against packham begins

Rural workers in Scotland staged a demonstration in December, protesting against Chris Packham’s ‘relentless drive’ to ‘wreck’ their livelihoods. Around 150 workers took to the streets in Perth on 17 December, while Packham was giving a talk on nature photography at Perth Concert Hall. The crowd called for the Springwatch presenter to end what they called a ‘relentless campaign of misinformation’. An outspoken critic of field sports, Packham has recently backed two Westminster petitions to end grouse shooting. In addition, as part of the Wild Justice group, he has mounted serious legal challenges to aspects of country sports, including the General Licences and gamebird releasing. The protestors claim that Packham has been waging war against rural workers and their families with ‘unsubstantiated allegations, designed to damage their futures.’ Allan Hodgson, a gamekeeper, commented: “Packham…