Autumn newsletter 2017

Welcome to our Autumn 2017 Newsletter. 

Summer seems to have flown by with grouse and partridge shooting both now under way as is deer stalking for several of the six species found here in Britain. Fly fisherman have reported mixed fortunes but in general have had a successful and enjoyable trout and salmon season.

Thanks once again to our field photographic partner Alan Ward of Country Field Images  for another fabulous cover, this time featuring one of Alan’s own handsome working spaniels.

We hope you find the topics in this edition both interesting and helpful in planning your UK sporting breaks. Good shooting and tight lines!

Gary Creighton
September 2017

2017 ADIHEX Exhibition, Abu Dhabi

British Country Sports are once again exhibiting at ADIHEX (Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition from 12-16 September 2017.

ADIHEX is the largest hunting, armaments, equestrian, falconry and canine exhibition held in the Middle East each year.

CEO Gary Creighton will once again be leading the BCS team out there along with our local UAE representative Laren Munchenberg. Gary and Laren are looking forward to catching up with many old friends and making many new acquaintances. 

Please do pass by our stand to discuss and book your UK hunting, shooting and fly fishing holidays with Gary and Laren.  BCS are located in the Hunting Safari Section in Hall 8 Stand J29.

Organisers of the 59th Game Fair are celebrating after almost 120,000 people attended the three-day event which was an 8% increase on the previous year. 

The event was held for the first time at the stately home of Lord and Lady Salisbury, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire - just from 21 miles from London. 

As the world’s largest outdoor fieldsports-themed show, popular attractions included gunmakers row, archery, fly fishing, coarse fishing, falconry, gundog handling, ferreting and of course shooting which 
took place on Europe’s largest shooting line (585 meters).

Fishing competitions and demonstrations took place on purpose-built casting pools and the River Lea, the very picturesque river that runs through Hatfield Estate.

Next year The Game Fair will celebrate its 60th Diamond anniversary and will be held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July. Tickets for The Game Fair 2018 are now on sale at:

Boss & Co: a family of Gunmakers  
In the second of our series on British gunmakers, we focus on the company of Boss & Co.

Boss & Co. is recognized as one of the leading British gunmakers dating back to 1827.

Founder William Boss hailed from Leicestershire and began his gunmaking apprenticeship in 1773 with gun and pistol maker Thomas Ketland in Birmingham around the age of fifteen. 

He subsequently moved to London to work with Joseph Manton, a renowned gunmaker of the time.
William Boss had three sons, who in time would follow in his footsteps and each be apprenticed to their father.    

Under Thomas Boss’s directorship the company moved to London’s more prosperous West End so as to enhance the image of the company and its guns.
As a result, the reputation of Boss did grow requiring the employment of around ten top-class journeymen and two apprentices. 

In 1851, Boss was invited to participate in Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition with other renowned British gunmakers. 

The death of Thomas Boss in 1857 deprived the firm of its gunmaking leadership. 

His wife Amy turned to her nephews Edward and James Paddison to assist her with the running of the company, eventually bequeathing the firm to them upon her death in 1872.

The Paddison brothers had trained with and worked for the firm for many years and so were capable stewards. 

Unfortunately their partnership would not last long as James died within a year. 
Edward continued on for the next seventeen years, concentrating on consistent high quality rather than innovative improvement. In 1890, failing health and personal financial circumstances prompted him to take on John Robertson as a partner.  

Robertson was a first-class gunmaker and was highly regarded as an innovator in gun design and manufacture. His innovations included patents for the Boss single trigger, the Boss ejector and the Boss over and under gun. 

These patents were of such importance in the gun world, that they guaranteed John Robertson a position of considerable esteem, a position in which he is still held today.

After the death of John Robertson, Boss & Co. was left in the very capable hands of his three sons John, Sam and Bob. The 1920s and 30s were a difficult time for gunmakers, but the three brothers would run the firm very efficiently producing the guns developed by their father.
By 1951 the last of the sons had died, but for many years the firm would still include one of John Robertson’s descendants among its ranks in various capacities, right up until 1999 when the last Robertson left.

And so ended the Boss & Co. family connection that had lasted 109 years - throughout a highly significant era in British gun making history. 

In the 21st Century Boss & Co. are still producing premium quality firearms. 

However while other gunmakers have invested in computer numerical control technology to facilitate and expand production, Boss has resisted this change and today its guns are still virtually hand built in the same tradition and same skills practised for over a century.

Text and picture sourced from Wikipedia / Wikimedia.

Shooting seasons update

Grouse (12 August to 10 December)

Due to the generally kind weather experienced on the moors during the nesting and rearing season, the 2017 grouse season kicked off on The Glorious Twelfth (12 August) with high expectation for good numbers of strong flying birds.

And in most regions that proved to be the case with northern England moors probably fairing slightly better than their Scottish counterparts. 

Only on the occasional moor were numbers down below expectations as the season opened. 

In such cases, driven days were often changed to being walked-up days with the bag being lower, but the excitement and enjoyment levels remaining exceptionally high.
Most estates report solid grouse shooting bookings right through to late November. 

As this is written in early September, it is expected that some moors will be able to schedule in more driven days ranging from 50-100 brace and walked-up days of 10-20 brace as the season unfolds.

Contact us on or +44 (0) 203 642 2251 for more details or to make your team’s booking.

Partridge  (1 September to 1 February) 
Pheasant (1 October to 1 February) 

Once again the temperate weather experienced over most of Britain this summer has allowed shooting estates to get their partridges and pheasants to wood in good health and in high numbers.

Booking for teams of 6 -10 Guns for driven partridge days (1 Sep – 1 Feb 2018) and Pheasant seasons (1 Oct – 1 Feb 2018) are still available in the Home Counties close to London and further afield in the West Country down into Devon and Cornwall, Wales and Midlands, right up to scenic Yorkshire.

We are also very pleased to now be able to offer more driven and walked up shooting opportunities in Ireland’s beautiful County Clare.
Contact us on or +44 (0) 203 642 2251 for more details or to make your team’s booking.

Deer Stalking

Stalking in the UK with its six species of deer is increasing in popularity with both British and international hunters.    
Though not the biggest of species inhabiting the UK, there has been some excellent Roe deer taken this season along with quality Muntjac and the occasional Chinese Water Deer.

Red Deer season for stags has commenced in both Scotland and England with hinds commencing in October and November respectively. 
Again herds in most regions appear to be entering the Autumn/Winter seasons in good condition.
Bookings for stalking in various locations throughout England, Scotland and Wales are available.

Fly fishing

Fly fishing or as we like to call it here at BCS, “Fish Hunting with a Fly”, has also had a favourable season on most English and Scottish waterways.

The limited rainfall across most of Britain in summer kept the majority of the main fishing rivers and streams in reasonably good condition. 

Those waterways that did get flooded tended to clear rather quickly without too much long-term interruption to the fishing on them. 

Some good size trout have been netted (and generally then released) across the southwest waterways. 

In recent weeks there have been some exceptional salmon and sea trout taken in the north.
Fly fishing or as we like to call it here at BCS, “Fish Hunting with a Fly”, has also had a favourable season on most English and Scottish waterways.

The limited rainfall across most of Britain in summer kept the majority of the main fishing rivers and streams in reasonably good condition. 

Those waterways that did get flooded tended to clear rather quickly without too much long-term interruption to the fishing on them. 

Some good size trout have been netted (and generally then released) across the southwest waterways. 

In recent weeks there have been some exceptional salmon and sea trout taken in the north.

The Ritz London sporting break, with British Country Sports

The Ritz London and BCS are currently offering a very “quintessential British” sporting break for their guests and clients. 

A 3-nights stay at one of London’s most iconic 5 Star hotels and a 3-day simulated game bird shooting break presents a wonderful opportunity to experience the best of British hospitality and the exhilaration of sporting pursuits.

Click here for more details on how to book this amazing offer. 

Book Review: 'Hot Barrels'

Hobson is a professional freelance writer, author and journalist whose subject matter is generally rural-based, field sports and farming related topics. 

Many readers will be familiar with some if not all of his previous writings: The Shoot Lunch (one of my favourites); Success with Chickens; Sporting Lodges and the very funny, The Imperfect Shot.

Bryn Parry also needs little introduction. He and his wife Emma are the founders of Help for Heroes – the non-profit organisation that supports those with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces. 

Parry says he was always a doodler, developing his cartoon skills while serving
in the army and finally
deciding to turn his hobby
into a living. 
His work will be quite familiar to anyone who shares his passion for the countryside, shooting and misbehaved dogs.

Hot Barrels is possibly best described as a miscellany of topics, facts and “false news” (to coin a term being bandied around of late) relating to modern British shooting and myths from long ago.

Indeed, Hobson has carefully injected extracts from The Keen Countryman’s Miscellany by Peter Holt, other authors and several shooting magazines and newspapers with effect. 

Hobson himself describes the book as dealing with shooting facts, fallacies, myths, superstitions and general quirkiness pertaining to British shooting and in particular, to some of those who partake in this traditional country pursuit.

Intertwined with a litany of details accurately describing modern shooting is the occasional tall tale, 
superstitious habit and hilarious postscript about the random odd individual and the quirky behaviour that are infused throughout the sport and its folklore. 

Hobson’s writing is enhanced substantially by Parry’s humorous cartoons that sufficiently populate the book’s pages to keep the reader interested and entertained, yet adequately few so as not to turn it into a comic book.  The balance is harmonious.

Readers will surely be enlightened by the many examples of interesting historical data contained within the nearly 200 pages of the book such as the explanation of Henry VIII’s Preservation of Grain Act of 1532 drawn up to counter the national food shortage and spread of contagious diseases thought to be spread by birds and rodents.
Hot Barrels is actually a serious work on British shooting enhanced by Parry’s wonderfully clever cartoons. 

So life-like are they in a situational sense that I am most sure readers will be able to remember either himself or herself or to possibly make it easier on the mind, a chum of either gender being in very much the same predicament.

Hot Barrels is definitely not the lighthearted, easy holiday read I was expecting when I saw the cover. It is much more than that and to do the contents justice, it needs to be read possibly a couple of times. Each visit to its pages making it a very much worthwhile experience for the reader. 

Possibly the most useful passage of the book to fellow male Guns is the sage advice given by the author on how to treat that much maligned but most severe condition known as “man-flu”. 
Hobson writes, “the best treatment for man-flu is not bed, but fresh air and exercise – particularly that taken with dog and gun”. 

Hear, Hear Sir! I heartily agree.

With a late October release date and a discounted price and free P&P when purchased from Quiller with the BCS purchase code (BCSHB17).

Hot Barrels would make an excellent Christmas present for the keen fieldsports enthusiast. 


"Hot Barrels" by JC Jeremy Hobson, cartoons by Bryn Parry. 

Published by Quiller Publishing – Released late October 2017

Mulberry Shoot, County Clare, Ireland

BCS is very pleased to announce that we are now working in partnership with the highly rated Mulberry Shoot. 

Mulberry is situated in the heart of West Clare in a beautiful and inspiring landscape, ideally suited to game shooting. 

Owner John Forde is the gamekeeper and his partner Margaret Frank looks after the hospitality provided from the wonderfully characterful Keepers Cottage at Mulberry. 

John has been involved with game shooting for over 30 years and has worked tirelessly the past 12 years to build Mulberry Shoot into what it is today - a shoot with a fine reputation for delivering quality shooting in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. 

While predominantly a pheasant shoot, there are also good numbers of partridge and duck put down each year. 
As a result, it is not uncommon to have all three species flying through the line of Guns on certain drives.

Mulberry caters for a client base ranging from individuals looking for a walk-up day with twenty to fifty birds to full corporate weekends with bags of three hundred plus, combined with the highest standard of hospitality. 

Guns unwind after an exhilarating days shooting with excellent cuisine, personally selected wines in a warm and cosy traditional Irish cottage furnished with antiques collected by the owners over the years.

Transportation from Shannon airport and excellent nearby high quality accommodation can both be organised for clients. Shotguns and cartridges can also be supplied upon request. 

 A truly memorable experience awaits all who venture to this little jewel in the Emerald Isle.
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