The Game Shooting Census by GunsOnPegs and Lycetts reveals some interesting facts about the world of game shooting – the community’s motivations, opinions and feelings. In 2018, the study revealed that 8 out of 9 guns go shooting to have fun with their friends, with the quantity of birds shot and the hospitality on the day taking on a supporting role in their enjoyment of the day.
The 2019 study, which surveyed 8,900 people, has revealed some similarly interesting things about the fieldsports community. The changing attitudes of guns towards bag size is underlined by the fact that 17% of guns said that they intend to shoot smaller days in 2019.
The 2019 Census confirms that game shooters are conservationists at heart; 75% of guns said that if a shoot had a conservation policy it would influence their decision to purchase a day there. On a similar note, 82% of guns said that if a shoot is a member of an assurance scheme or is very forthcoming about their conservation management practices, it would make them feel more comfortable purchasing a day there.
Guns also want to know that the game that they shoot is going to good use, not only that, but most of them are prepared to pay to ensure that this happens. More than two thirds (68%) of guns reported that they would be happy to pay a 50p per bird levy to ensure the ethical distribution of game into the food chain. They also say that they’d like to see shoots make the consumption of game more accessible by providing dressed game at the end of the day – either whole dressed birds, breast fillets, or even prepared game meals.
Chris Horne, Managing Director of Guns on Pegs added: “Shoots need to recognise their role within the supply chain as food producers, and do whatever they can to increase the consumption of game. I feel that if a shoot is letting days, a minimum standard should be to provide dressed birds at the end of the day, but what I would really like to see is keepers taking the time to show people how to prepare game at the end of the day.”
The Game Shooting Census by GunsOnPegs & Lycetts, in association with BASC, GWCT and Countryside Alliance.