While shooting is a popular field sport for many, it is often difficult to know what species can be shot legally, as well as when the best time to shoot is. Across the UK, there are an extensive variety of game birds, waterfowl and other bird species that can be shot during certain seasons; at different times of the year, it becomes illegal to shoot them. This lawful block on shooting enables many bird species to recuperate, breed, and move to and from nesting or wintering grounds before the season starts once again.
To ensure you are following the legal requirements when it comes to what species you are shooting and when you can shoot, we have created a brief list of the most popular bird quarry species and seasons:
Perhaps the most famous gamebird of all, pheasants can be shot in England and Wales and Scotland between October 1st and February 1st. In Northern Island and the Isle of Man, pheasant shooting season runs from October 1st until January 31st. Find out more about pheasants in our animal fact file.
Scientifically known as ‘Perdix perdix’, the grey partridge is a species within the pheasant family and can be shot in England and Wales between September 1st and February 1st. In Northern Island, the partridge season is slightly shorter running from September 1st until January 31st, but on the Isle of Man, these birds are protected and thus shooting them is strictly banned.
A relative of the grey partridge, the red-legged partridge is identifiable by… you guessed it; it’s red legs! In England and Wales, these small birds can be shot between September 1st and February 1st, and from September 1st until January 31st in Scotland. On the Isle of Man, red-legged grouse shooting season runs from August 25th until October 31st.
Another renowned gamebird, red grouse – also known as moorcock or moorfowl – can be shot in England, and Wales and Scotland between August 12th and December 10th. In Northern Island, red grouse shooting season is slightly shorter, running from August 12th to November 30th, and shorter again on the Isle of Man between August 25th and October 31st.
In England and Wales, black grouse can be shot between September 1st and December 10th, while in Scotland, the season runs from August 20th until December 10th. Unfortunately for guns in Northern Island and the Isle of Man, black grouse shooting is banned.
Duck & Goose (Inland)
Popular for waterfowlers, duck and goose can be shot inland in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island from September 1st through to January 31st. On the Isle of Man, ducks can be shot between September 1st and January 31st while goose season runs from July 1st to March 31st.
For more information on these game birds, waterfowl and other bird species and shooting seasons, please take a look at our helpful infographic below. Otherwise, why not treat yourself to a stylish gun slip from our extensive range today?