Types of Game – Shooting in the UK

As part of our education on shooting (whole new world!), and having been embarrassed by mixing up pheasant and partridge, we thought we’d look at the four main types of game shooting there is in the UK.


Because they’re so easy to rear (!) and naturalise, pheasant shoots are the the most usual type of shoot in the UK. They’re usually part of a driven shoot, rather than rough, or walked up, and are an ideal beginner’s bird because of their high flight and long swoop. They can be tricky if they don’t get the height though, and you may lose the shot if the bird flies a foot above a lurking beater. The quality or challenge in the sport of pheasant shooting lies more with the skill of the gamekeeper than with the bird itself – if driven correctly the birds will fly high.


Much harder to shoot than pheasant, mostly because they’re ‘covey birds’ (which essentially means they flock). They come up from the ground in a bunch, so it’s more difficult to pick a target and see the shot through (unlike pheasant, which come through in singles, and give you time to figure out the flight path and swing to track). They also flap like mad to get to the next covert, burst unexpectedly from a low hedge, have excellent hearing (so will disappear if they hear you taking your peg) and don’t present a steady target.


The one used for shoots is Red Grouse (which isn’t actually very red at all), and not Black Grouse (which is protected). Red Grouse can be driven and walked-up, and is a tricky bird to shoot as it flies fast without much swooping. Grouse live on managed moorland, mostly in the North of England and Scotland.

Duck Flighting

Difficult to do as part of big, planned Country House Weekend, as the ducks are wild, and don’t keep to a particular schedule.  They also don’t really do flight patterns, so appear from behind you, to the side or straight out of the setting sun… very tricky, and make you glad you’re not shooting with ten other Guns. The other tricky thing about ducks is you’ve got to hide, rather than stand on a peg with your gun poised ready on your shoulder (which you can get away with with pheasants). 


We’ve quite a few houses and estates on the Landed Houses’ portfolio that offers the type of game listed above. For details of packages, group accommodation, country house weekends and more, please email us at help@landedhouses.co.uk

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