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Wildfowling

What is Wildfowling?

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Wild fowling is the practice of hunting wild birds such as ducks and geese, usually for food. It has been practised since ancient times and continues to this day in many parts of the world. In the UK, wildfowling is now considered a traditional sport with a rich history.

The word "fowl" refers to any bird that is hunted for sport or food, but the term "wildfowl" specifically refers to waterfowl. These birds are typically found in wetland areas, such as marshes, ponds, lakes, estuaries, and rivers. Wildfowling is often done during the bird's migration season, when they are traveling to their wintering grounds, making them more accessible to our hunters.

Wildfowling involves a variety of techniques and equipment, including shotguns, decoys, and dogs. Generally, hunters walk along the shoreline to find a good position to shoot from, but they may also use boats to access the birds.

In the UK, wildfowling is regulated by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and is subject to strict laws and regulations. Hunters must obtain a permit from the relevant landowner or authority before engaging in any hunting activities, and they must also adhere to any bag limits and shooting hours.

Despite its strict regulations, wildfowling remains a popular pastime for many people in the UK. It is often considered a way to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors, while also providing an opportunity to hunt for food. In addition, many hunters enjoy the challenge of tracking and shooting waterfowl, and the camaraderie that often comes with hunting in a group.

Overall, wildfowling is a complex and challenging activity that requires skill, patience, and respect for the environment. It is a traditional sport with a long history in many cultures, and it continues to be enjoyed by many people through our Shooting Syndicate in UK today.

 

Wildfowling offers shooters the opportunity to explore the great wildernesses around the UK. We offer this in various areas from Scotland, Wales and England.

Staying well camouflaged and having the right equipment are vital to the success of your day. 

Wildfowling Best Practices

When wildfowling it is important to practice safe and responsible hunting to ensure the sustainability of the bird population and to minimize the risk of injury or harm to yourself and others.

Here are some best practices for wildfowling:

 

1.    Know the Law: Wildfowling is subject to local laws and regulations, and it is important to understand and adhere to them. Hunters must obtain the necessary permits and licenses before you set out. Our office can advise on everything you need for each location.

2.    Safety First: Safety should always be the top priority when engaging in wildfowling. Hunters should always wear appropriate protective gear, including hearing and eye protection, and should handle firearms with care. It is also important to be aware of one's surroundings and to avoid shooting near other hunters or people.

3.    Respect the Environment: Wildfowling occurs in natural environments, and respecting and protecting them is important. Hunters should avoid damaging the environment, including habitats and waterfowl nesting areas. They should also avoid littering and should properly dispose of any trash or debris.

4.    Be Ethical: Wildfowling should be done ethically and with respect for the birds. Hunters should only shoot what is allowed and avoid shooting rare or endangered species. You should also avoid shooting birds that are nesting or breeding.

 

Recommended Gear

Wildfowling is an outdoor activity that requires proper clothing and gear to ensure safety and comfort in different weather conditions. Here are some recommended clothing and gear for wildfowling:

 

1.    Waterproof Clothing: Wildfowling often occurs in wetland areas and varying weather conditions. It is recommended to wear waterproof clothing to stay dry and comfortable. This includes waterproof jackets, trousers, and boots.

2.    Waders: Waders are an essential piece of gear for wildfowling, as they allow hunters to wade in the water to access birds or to set up decoys. Waders come in different materials and styles, including neoprene and breathable fabrics.

3.    Headwear: Headwear is important for wildfowling, as it protects against the sun and cold weather. A good quality hat or cap can provide protection and warmth while also reducing glare and improving visibility.

4.    Gloves: Gloves are important for protecting hands from cold weather and for grip when handling firearms or other gear. They should be waterproof and have a good grip.

5.    Firearms: Hunters need a good quality firearm for wildfowling, which includes shotguns, ammunition, and cleaning equipment. It is important to choose the right calibre and gauge for the type of bird being hunted.

6.    Decoys: Decoys are an important piece of gear for wildfowling, as they attract birds to a particular area. Decoys come in different materials and designs, and hunters should choose ones that are appropriate for the type of bird being hunted.

7.    Calls: Calls are an important tool for attracting birds and communicating with other hunters. There are different types of calls for different birds, and hunters should practice using them before going on a hunt.

8.    Binoculars: Binoculars are useful for spotting birds from a distance and identifying different species. They should be waterproof and have good magnification and clarity.

9.    First Aid Kit: It is important to bring a first aid kit on any hunting trip, as accidents can happen. The kit should include items such as bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers.

10.    GPS/Compass: A GPS or compass is useful for navigating unfamiliar terrain and finding hunting spots. They can also be used to mark locations of bird sightings or successful hunts.

 

Wildfowling requires proper clothing and gear to ensure safety, comfort, and success in the field. Hunters should choose waterproof, warm, and protective clothing and gear appropriate for the type of bird being hunted.

By using the right clothing and gear and practising safe and ethical hunting practices, hunters can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling experience in the UK wildfowling.

 

Join Our Wildfowling Syndicate

With prices from only £650 to join our shooting syndicate, we provide some of the best areas in the UK for wildfowling. From Scotland's scenic hills and rivers to the sweeping marshes in England, we provide various habitats and environments to develop your wild fowling skill out in the field.

You can even choose to bring your own dog on our wildfowling trips, rough shooting, or using them to drive birds into your path. If you are new to the sport, you will receive all the help and guidance as a new member under our syndicate membership.

As a member, you will be free to access over 210'000 acres of wildfowling land across the country; this is an excellent package at an excellent price. 

 

Benefits of Wild Fowling

Here are some of the many benefits that you get from wildfowling;

  • Experience the thrill of the hunt
  • Meet new people and socialise
  • Good physical exercise
  • Experience attending a sporting event and being part of a group
  • Enjoy the outdoors and nature
  • Feel the satisfcation of providing food for your table
  • De-stress yourself from business or personal life
  • Adventure in the outdoors

Wildfowl Shooting Tips

You will improve your accuracy over time with practice, but it is still important to understand some basic techniques and also to develop your shooting technique. Through experience and learning from fellow hunters, you will increase your shot efficiency and technique.

Wildfowl Weapon of Choice

Shotguns are the weapon of choice when you set out on your wildfowling adventure. Shotguns are very effective for wildfowling because they can kill multiple birds with one shot. This is important because wild birds are often difficult to track and retrieve, especially in wetlands.

There are many different models of shotguns available, and your choice may be a personal preference or dictated by shooting location. 

Once the birds are close enough, the hunter will take aim and fire. The bird or birds will then be retrieved and brought back to camp for food. In some cases, the wildfowl may be used for other purposes, such as taxidermy or trophy hunting.

Positioning

The key to successful wildfowling is to position yourself in an area where you have the best chance of seeing and shooting your target. This often involves finding a good vantage point, such as a blind or hide, or walking along the shoreline to locate a good shooting position.

Concealment

Waterfowl have keen senses and can easily spot hunters, so it is important to blend in with the surroundings as much as possible. Hunters can use natural camouflage, such as reeds and grasses, or can use artificial blinds or decoys to blend in and remain hidden.

Shooting Range

Waterfowl are often in flight or moving quickly on the water, making it important to determine the proper shooting range. Hunters should practice shooting at different ranges to determine the distance at which they are most accurate.

Shooting Stance

Hunters should adopt a comfortable and stable shooting stance to ensure accuracy and reduce recoil. This often involves standing with feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly forward for balance.

Leading the Shot

One of the most challenging aspects of wildfowling is leading the shot, or aiming ahead of the bird to compensate for its movement. This requires practice and skill, as the lead will vary depending on the speed and direction of the bird.

1.    Aiming: It is important to aim carefully and with precision to ensure a clean and humane kill. Hunters should aim for the head or upper body of the bird, avoiding the lower body and wings.

2.    Follow Through: After pulling the trigger, hunters should continue to follow through with the shot, maintaining their position and keeping their eyes on the bird. This ensures accuracy and helps to identify any missed shots.

 

Wildfowl in The UK

This year's animal hunting seasons are finally here! After much anticipation, hunters all across the country can now head out into the great outdoors and pursue their favourite game.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a new hunter, make sure to brush up on the rules and regulations for your state before hitting the trails. Plan ahead with us and be safe out there! Further details of the below hunting seasons can be found here.

Breed

Open Season

Hunt Locations

Pheasant
October 1st 2024 - February 1st 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

Grey Partridge

Learn about Partridge Hunting

September 1st 2024 - February 1st 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

Red-legged Partridge
September 1st 2024 - February 1st 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

Red Grouse
August 12th 2024 - December 10th 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

August 20th 2024 - December 10th 2025

Multiple Locations England

Ptarmigan

Learn about Shooting Ptarmigan

August 12th 2024 - December 10th 2025

Scotland 

Duck & Goose (inland)
September 1st 2024 - January 31st 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

Ducks - July 1 – Mar 31 - Geese**

(**Geese can only be shot under general licence under the Wildlife Act 1990. See the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry)

Duck & Goose (below HWM)
September 1st 2024 - February 20th 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

HWM – High Water Mark of ordinary spring tides England, Wales and Scotland: Any area below the high-water mark of ordinary spring tides Isle of Man: ** Geese can only be shot under general licence under the Wildlife Act 1990. See the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

Common Snipe

Learn about the Common Snipe

August 12th 2024 - January 31st 2025

Multiple Locations England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

Isle of Man

Jack Snipe

Learn about Hunting the Jack Snipe

September 1st 2024 - January 31st 2025

Northern Ireland

 

Woodcock

Learn about Woodcock Sniping

October 1st 2024 - January 31st 2025

Scotland

England

Wales

Golden Plover

Learn about Hunting Golden Plover

September 1st 2024 - January 31st 2025

Isle of Man 

Coot/Moorhen

Learn About Moorhen Hunting

September 1st 2024 - January 31st 2025

Northern Ireland

Isle of Man

Brown Hare
January 1st 2024 - December 31st 2025

Scotland - Open season Oct 1 – Jan 31

Northern Ireland - Aug 12 – Jan 31*

Isle of Man - Brown or common hare - Oct 1 – Jan 31

* The Special Protection Order previously issued to give Irish hare additional protection is no longer in place and therefore the Irish Hare is now subject to an open season as above.

In England and Wales under the Ground Game Act 1880 occupiers of land have an inalienable right to kill and take ground game concurrent with any other person holding such a right. Occupiers or a person authorised by them, acting under the authority of this act may only kill or take ground game on moorland between 1 September and 31 March inclusive. Further under Section 1 (3) and Ground Game Amendment Act 1906 Section 2) Firearms may only be used for such purposes between 11 December and 31 March.

In Scotland, the occupier of the land or persons authorised by them may kill rabbit throughout the year on moorland and unenclosed land (not being arable) by all legal means but only by means of firearms during the period from 1 July to 31 March inclusive (Section 1 (3) of the Ground Game Act 1880 as modified by the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948). Hares are subject to a close season (Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011) (see above).

Moorland and unenclosed land does not include arable land or detached portions of land less than 25 acres which adjoins arable land.

January 1st 2024 - December 31st 2025

Scotland - Jan 1 – Dec 31 - No close season however certain restrictions can apply, see below.

Northern Ireland - Rabbit is classed as a pest and therefore not subject to a close season.

Isle of Man - No close season.

 

* The Special Protection Order previously issued to give Irish hare additional protection is no longer in place and therefore the Irish Hare is now subject to an open season as above.

In England and Wales under the Ground Game Act 1880 occupiers of land have an inalienable right to kill and take ground game concurrent with any other person holding such a right. Occupiers or a person authorised by them, acting under the authority of this act may only kill or take ground game on moorland between 1 September and 31 March inclusive. Further under Section 1 (3) and Ground Game Amendment Act 1906 Section 2) Firearms may only be used for such purposes between 11 December and 31 March.

In Scotland, the occupier of the land or persons authorised by them may kill rabbit throughout the year on moorland and unenclosed land (not being arable) by all legal means but only by means of firearms during the period from 1 July to 31 March inclusive (Section 1 (3) of the Ground Game Act 1880 as modified by the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948). Hares are subject to a close season (Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011) (see above).

 

Moorland and unenclosed land does not include arable land or detached portions of land less than 25 acres which adjoins arable land.

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Rough Shooting Areas

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Northampton, England

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Northampton, England

Pigeon shooting/Duck and geese in season.

Located in different Northampton areas. We have over 4000 acres of great crop land on the banks of the River Teme. You pay a fee per day and claim back 50% from the club.

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Sutherland, Scotland

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Sutherland, Scotland

Wild Fowling Area - Loch Calder - Sutherland - Scotland

Geese and Duck only over loch. (300 acres)

 

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United Kingdom

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United Kingdom

Duck and Geese Areas - UK Wide

Please ensure you are familiar with the respective rules and regulations of each of these wildfowling clubs. We need to ensure good relationships with them and you need to be a BASC-insured member to access most of these areas, we thank BASC for allowing us access. At all times please report back to us and let us know your bag for the day via a 100-word report. Note there may be restrictions on how many duck geese you may take as well as what and where you can shoot and can’t due to tides and weather severity. You may need to be accompanied by a club member.

How it works; you choose where you want your wildfowl experience, we will pick up part of your cost on receipt of proof of payment and we will reimburse you up to a maximum of £40.00 per season only. Unless stated otherwise.

Information on the BASC Wildfowling Scheme

Information on the General licences

 

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Lincs, England

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Lincs, England

Rough Shooting Area - The Wash East Lincs

Wildfowling on various marshes around the Wash.

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Norfolk Marshes, England

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Norfolk Marshes, England

Rough Shooting Area - Norfolk Marshes

Enjoy a day shooting for Wildfowl in the Norfolk Marshes.

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Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

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Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Red and Roe Deer hunting from various farms, 23 in total over covering 20000 acres in total. The Stalking here is 1st class and a must for any Deer stalking enthusiast.

Some farm areas also allow for pigeon shooting over crops and Geese shooting in season; contact us for more details.

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