When you can shoot game

You can shoot Rabbit and Pigeon all year round - known as an 'open-season'. However, for other species, you are only permitted to shoot in certain months. This is known as 'close-season' when it is illegal to shoot game or deer. These controls are essential to allow the populations to flourish, breed and move to different areas to feed and overwinter. 

Our quick reference guide to shooting seasons is below:

Game birds

  • Grouse - England, Scotland, Wales - 12th Aug-10th Dec
  • Partridge - UK - 1st Sep-1st Feb
  • Pheasant - England, Scotland and Wales - 1st Oct-1st Feb
  • Snipe - common England, Scotland, Wales - 12th Aug-31st Jan
  • Woodcock - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - 1st Oct-31st Jan
  • Coot - UK - 1st Sept-31st Jan
  • Duck & Goose - Foreshore England, Scotland, Wales - 1st Sep-20th Feb
  • Golden Plover - UK - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • Moorhen - UK - 1st Sep-31st Jan

Deer

  • Fallow buck - UK - 1st Aug-30th Apr
  • Fallow doe - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - 1st Nov-28th Feb
  • Fallow doe - Scotland - 21st Oct-15th Feb
  • Red deer stags - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - 1st Aug-30th Apr
  • Red deer stags - Scotland - 1st Jul-20th Oct
  • Red deer hinds - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - 1st Nov-28th Feb
  • Red deer hinds - Scotland - 21st Oct-15th Feb
  • Roe buck - England, Wales - 1st Apr-31st Oct
  • Roe buck - Scotland - 1st Apr-20th Oct
  • Roe doe - England, Wales - 1st Nov-28th Feb
  • Roe doe - Scotland - 21st Oct-31st Mar

It's also worth noting that the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) wis urging restraint in shooting woodcock due to a poor breeding season for the migratory birds. 

Gavin Lockhart-Mirams