Duck Shooting Season UK | What, When and Why

March 24, 2021
Duck Shooting Season UK | What, When and Why

The History of Duck Shooting:

Duck shooting was believed to have been pioneered at Netherby, Cumberland, in 1890, when Sir Richard Graham put mallard eggs under domestic hens, reared duck shooting rapidly became the fashion in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was not unusual for entire days to focus exclusively on ducks, with lunch and shoot parties hosted in lake houses throughout the day. Augmented by wild stock, bags of 1,000–2,000 ducks in a single day were recorded on the few prestigious estates within close proximity to the sea that had sufficient natural water to hold such volumes. Thankfully, numbers are now far more reserved.

Ducks do have advantages from a commercial perspective - ducks are fairly easy to hold, returns at the end of the season are likely to be very high and, amidst testing times for traditional game meat markets, shot ducks have more potential outlets. An added benefit is that regular feeding of a pond or lake is likely to attract other duck and wildfowl species, too. So there are a number of plus points.

dead ducks hanging after driven duck shoot

When does the duck shooting season start and end?

Duck shooting season occurs between the 1st September and 31st January every year, this is classed as the open season. The season only runs for a certain period of the year to allow for game conservation and species management to take place.

Duck shooting season uk start and ends

Duck Shooting:

Most of us, at some point, will have shot a reared duck of some description. A certain percentage of Guns seem to have a problem with shooting reared ducks. I absolutely feel this comes from how they are presented to a team of Guns. Surrounding a relatively small pond, heavily stocked with tame, unfit and overfed birds, to then shoot continuously and indiscriminately until you run out of cartridges, isn’t sport – I’m not sure you can even call it a drive, and this is exactly how duck shooting gets a bad name!

At David Beardsmore Shooting we guarantee ducks are presented only as driven birds over a large selection of challenging drives. This offers clients fantastic shooting at a fraction of the cost of a driven pheasant or partridge day. Clients attending our duck shooting days must use nontoxic shot with bio wads. We recommend a combination of half chokes and the new Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco range of cartridges - They deliver great consistency and very good clean kills at distance.

springer, a gundog on a duck shoot
Gundog on a duck shoot

Typical Duck Shooting Day

On arrival you will be greeted by the shoot host with coffee and tea before the briefing and drawing of pegs. On a typical DB duck shooting day the guns meet for breakfast at 9am.

The shooting party move off shortly after 9.30am in either our gun bus or vehicles depending on requirements . The morning will consist of two drives followed by Elevenses then a further drive before lunch which is severed either in the shoot lodge or in the field.

The day is completed by a further one or two drives to achieve the required bag. At the end of the shoot day the party will return back to the shoot lodge or one of our hospitality venues for a choice of dining options.

professional shooting lesson

Professional Shooting Lessons

Former World Champion David Beardsmore has a wealth of knowledge at his disposal in his shooting lessons. With a calm, patient approach and easy to understand instruction, David helps to improve all abilities, whether you’re a novice or seasoned shooter.

Shooting lessons
game shooting days

Game Shooting Days

Over the past 20 years David Beardsmore alongside Head Keeper Oliver Davies have developed four exclusive game shooting days with ducks, pheasants and partridges located on the Shropshire / Worcestershire borders .

Game Shooting
simulated game days

Simulated Game Shooting

David Beardsmore Shooting offers a selection of simulated game shooting days at several exclusive country estates set in the stunning rolling countryside of Shropshire & Worcestershire.

Simulated game shooting
clay pigeon shooting experience

Clay Pigeon Shooting Experience

David Beardsmore Shooting offers the ultimate clay target shooting experience. Whether it’s corporate hospitality, team building, stag or hen parties or it’s trying clay target shooting for the first time, we are here to make sure your clay shooting experience is second to none.

Clay Pigeon Shooting