Grouse cannot be farm-reared, but the heather moorlands where they live are intensively managed to maximise numbers and the health of the birds.
The combination of speed and low jigging flight of the Grouse, the spectacular scenery and the customs and traditions of the sport sets it apart from all other forms of game bird shooting. Grouse shooting is not only revered by Guns because of its high degree of difficulty, but also the fastidious shooting traditions and etiquettes that are still maintained on most, if not all, Grouse estates.
Grouse shooting is conducted in much the same way as partridge and pheasant shooting i.e. by driven and rough shooting (walked-up) over dogs.
In the driven form, instead of standing beside a peg in the open, Guns along with their Loaders are situated in “dug in” earthen or stone shooting butts. Butts are dug down into the earth so as to lower the profile of the Gun and Loader. This is done to prevent the Grouse from "flaring away" from the Guns as they are driven forwards by the Beaters.
Shooting is allowed both forward of and behind the butts. Shooting sticks are placed on the corners of the butts to prevent Guns from shooting down the line towards adjacent butts.
Walked-up or rough shooting Grouse over pointers and spaniels is also extremely popular especially for our clients with a close affinity for working gundogs.
In both forms, Grouse shooting is an expensive and most challenging sport.