Call Bob Glynn On 07795214934

Golden Plover Shooting UK

The Golden Plover is a name that can refer to several species of plovers, but the two most commonly known are the European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) and the American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica).

European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)


  • Size: Around 26-29 cm in length.
  • Plumage: During breeding season, they have a distinctive black belly and face contrasted with a white border and a golden-brown back with black speckles. Non-breeding plumage is more muted with a white belly.
  • Legs: Short and dark.
  • Bill: Short and slightly curved.


  • Breeding: They breed in the tundra and moorlands across northern Europe and Asia.
  • Wintering: During the winter, they migrate south to warmer areas, ranging from southern Europe to North Africa.


  • Diet: Primarily feeds on insects, worms, and other invertebrates, often found by probing the ground with their bills.
  • Nesting: They nest on the ground, creating a scrape and lining it with vegetation.
  • Call: A distinctive, mournful whistle.


 Migratory Bird

Golden Plovers have been the subjects of various studies, especially pertaining to their impressive migratory behaviours. Remarkably, the bird can travel 8000 miles during its migration as it flies south for winter.

The migratory birds are often spotted flying in a familiar V pattern southwards and are eligible to hunt in the UK from September to January each year.

Yes, the Golden Plover is one of the few wading birds that can be legally hunted in the UK, and the best hunting is found on our Isle of Man shooting locations.


Considerations Shooting Golden Plover

When you join our syndicate, you will have access to rough shooting land where Golden Plover frequents. We will communicate any information about hunting the bird at the location, and please pay attention to any specific information land owners pass on before you start the shoot.

  • Seasons and Bag Limits: Ensure you're aware of the open season for Golden Plovers and any bag limits that might be in place.
  • Licenses: Make sure you have the necessary licenses and permissions to hunt.
  • Ethical Hunting: Ensure you are hunting ethically. This means practising quick and humane methods, not wasting the bird, and respecting the environment and other wildlife.
  • Conservation: Consider the population health and conservation status of the bird in the region you're hunting.
  • Hunting Techniques: It's often recommended to use a dog to help locate and retrieve shot birds. This helps in reducing wounding and wastage.
  • Education: Educate yourself about the species' habits, habitats, and behaviours to ensure a successful and ethical hunt. This can also enhance the experience by deepening your connection and understanding of the animal.

While hunting can be a traditional activity and can be conducted sustainably, it's crucial to approach it with respect and understanding. Always aim to minimise any adverse impacts on the environment and animal populations.


Golden Plover Hunting Tips

If you are considering hunting the Golden Plover or any game bird, there are a few shooting tips that can increase your chances of a humane, efficient shot. Please remember always to hunt responsibly and within the constraints of local laws and regulations.

  • Know Your Gun: Before you go out in the field, make sure you're familiar with your firearm. Practice with it and understand its range, pattern, and recoil.
  • Choose the Right Ammunition: For wading birds like the Golden Plover, smaller shot sizes, typically between #6 and #8, are generally suitable.
  • Camouflage and Concealment: Plovers have sharp eyesight. Wear camouflaged clothing and consider using a blind, especially if you're in an area frequented by the birds.
  • Steady Your Shot: Whenever possible, use your body's natural supports to stabilise your gun. This means locking your elbows and using your knees as a pivot point when swinging through a shot.
  • Lead the Bird: Aim ahead of a flying bird, ensuring you "lead" it, taking into consideration its speed and direction. This is often referred to as "swing-through" or "maintained lead" shooting. The exact lead depends on the bird's speed, its angle relative to the shooter, and the distance.
  • Watch the Bird's Behaviour: Plovers often fly in groups. Observe their patterns, speed, and altitude. They can change direction quickly, so be prepared.
  • Practice: Clay pigeon shooting is a popular way to hone your skills. It can help you get better at estimating leads and improve your reaction times.
  • Safety First: Always ensure you are wearing protective gear, such as ear protection and safety glasses. Never shoot at low-flying birds where shots can ricochet off the ground. Always be aware of where other hunters are positioned and never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot.
  • Respect the Bird: Always aim for a clean, humane shot. If you wound a bird, prioritize finding it. Using a trained hunting dog can significantly reduce the chance of losing wounded birds.


Access Land for Golden Plover Shooting

Hunting Golden Plover can be very challenging but also highly rewarding. Our syndicate locations based all over the UK will provide the chance to hunt the bird from peg or rough shooting. If you want to try your hand at bagging a Golden Plover, give us a call on  07795214934 and join our shooting syndicate.


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