Despite the shooting industry trying to put on a confident front that it will be unaffected by a global pandemic touching, heavily touching, every other aspect of human life, it seems that the reality is very different.
Pheasant and partridge shooting are currently particularly affected because of their dependence on massive imports of eggs and chicks from abroad which would be happening right now, and supplies of poults later in the season now seem very uncertain. But the demand side is crumbling too – paying clients are wondering how long movement restrictions will last and also whether their pockets will be full enough after an economic slump to allow spending on an expensive luxury.
It doesn’t look as if there will be much of a game shooting season. Some estates are abandoning this season because they can’t get the poults and others are only running small shoots with the birds left from last season. There are only one or two shoots gambling on getting the birds in after the lockdown and getting cover crops planted. If they are successful they will make a “killing”. However, the further gamble will be whether the virus mutates and returns in the colder months then we will all be in lockdown again and no shooting will take place!A shooting industry insider
Grouse shooting has been hit by an early cessation of heather burning which will affect productivity. And although grouse shooting has no reliance on captive breeding of live targets the fact that the shooting season starts six weeks earlier than Pheasant shooting, on the Inglorious 12th August, and the costs of participating are much higher, result in the demand for shooting days being weaker than ever before.
Game shooting is a hobby of little economic importance to the nation.