Whatever you level of expertise, Scotland can provide great shooting holidays. Whether you’re a learner wanting to improve your skills, an experienced gun ready to take on the challenge of driven grouse or an all-rounder yearning to achieve a Macnab, The Red House can help you organise your sport.
You can shoot in Scotland all year round. Whether it’s a rough shoot over farmland for rabbit or pigeon or a smart day at a big estate, there really is something for everyone, 365 days a year. Winter is the big time for shoots of course, with October to February being open season for many species.
The Glorious Twelfth
12th August sees the start of the red grouse season on moors all over the country. It is also the beginning of the black grouse and ptarmigan season; all three seasons end on 10th December. Ptarmigan live on the mountains, above 700 metres and are only shot when numbers are sufficiently high, usually by individuals or very small parties of guns.
Red grouse and the rarer black grouse (also known as black game or blackcock) fly low and fast and are considered by most people to be the most challenging game birds, whether driven to butts or walked up.
Pheasants are the major game birds for most shooters, and a plethora of places around Perthshire and Angus offer pheasant shooting days from 1st October to 1st February: everything from the big estates with thousands of acres to local farms with a few hundred, with prices to match.
Partridge shooting is becoming more common in Scotland, with a slightly longer season than for pheasant: 1st September to 1st February. Most birds are of the red-legged “French” variety, though you may be lucky enough to see some greys. Partridge are reared on many shoots, sometimes on heather moorland to provide an extra challenge.
Wildfowling and inland shooting for duck and geese runs from 1st September to 31st January (20th February on the foreshore). Greylag, pink-foot and Canada geese may all legally be shot in Scotland, along with a wide variety of duck species, though the most common ones are mallard, teal and wigeon . Sometimes driven game shoots offer mallard as an added quarry. However, wildfowling is not permitted on Sundays (game shooting doesn’t normally happen on Sundays, either, but there is no law against it).
Common snipe shooting starts the same day as red grouse – 12th August – and finishes on 31st January. Snipe pose a real challenge for shooters, with their small size and sharp changes of direction in flight, as well as the boggy areas they live in.
Rabbit can be shot from 1st July to 31st March on moorland and unenclosed land. On farmland there is no close season. Brown hare may be shot from 1st October to 31st January and mountain hare between 1st August and 28/29th February. Both varieties of hare are low in numbers and many estates ask that they aren’t shot.
Deer shooting requires the fitness of a hill walker and the ability to crawl on your front through peat hags all day in the rain, with a cloud of midges round your head, while contriving not to disturb the animals and having total control of your gun when the time comes to pull the trigger. Despite this, people come from all over the world to enjoy deer shooting holidays in Scotland!
Red deer stags have a very short season: 1st July to 20th October. The hind season follows immediately after, finishing on 15th February. The same seasons apply to sika and red-sika hybrids. For fallow deer bucks the season runs from 1st August to 30th April, and the season for the does is the same as that for red does.
Roe deer are the most commonly seen species in lowland Scotland. The buck-shooting season is the longest – 1st April to 20th October – with the doe season following straight on and continuing until 31st March. (There is no statutory closed season for muntjac or Chinese water deer, but they are both uncommon in Scotland.)
Whatever type of game you’re after you can find it in Perthshire, Angus and the surrounding counties. We know the owners and managers of many of the local estates and can help you organise your shooting (and fishing) holiday from scratch.
We can also supply you with packed lunches and fill your hip flask, if required. And you won’t find a better way to end your day than dinner in the conservatory restaurant followed by a few drams at the bar and a good night’s sleep.
Your technique is up to you; for everything else, there’s The Red House. Call us today and let us help make your Scottish shooting holiday wishes come true.