Partridge and Duck Shooting Season

Posted on 01 September 2019

After rearing nearly half a million birds this season here at Cheshire Game, we are ready to dust off our finest tweeds and get behind the pegs, as the rearing season draws to a close and the partridge and duck shooting season opens!

With at least 9 different varieties of partridge worldwide, here in the UK there are predominantly 2; Grey (also known as English or Hungarian Partridge) and the more common Red Leg (also known as French Partridge).

Grey partridge are the smaller of the two and are notoriously fickle to rear - to coin a phrase "they like to die for something to do!" And thus, numbers are sadly in decline. 

Red Legs were originally introduced to the UK from France and Spain and make up the majority of the country's partridge shooting.

Mallards on the other hand have been around for centuries.  In fact, I read somewhere that some stomach content (grim) from ancient humans contained mallard bones.

The partridge and duck shooting season runs from the 1st of September to the 1st of February in England, Scotland and Wales, and from 1st of September to the 31st of January in Northern Ireland, as per the law defined in the Game Act 1831 that still covers the protection of game birds to this very day. 

With the elite sport ever growing in popularity, there are many traditions that are still preserved; some are more practical than others and some are just for fun.  Traditional game shooting attire consists of tweed jackets, matching or complimentary tweed breeks or trouser, shirts, ties, waistcoats, flat caps, long socks (don’t forget the tassels!) and brogues.  Most of the tweeds are green or brown in colour, making it easier to blend into the countryside.  A more fun tradition includes drawing your peg.  This involves  starting the morning with a shot of sloe gin to discover your initial peg number at the bottom of your glass.  Oddly enough, there was a poll yesterday on Twitter by the Shooting Times about “your favourite shoot day tipple” and sloe gin came out top with 81% of votes!  Another favourite (understandably) is Elevensies breaktime, complete with traditional pies and more booze ranging from sloe gin to champagne. 

We are certainly looking forward to kicking off the game bird shooting season and joining in the frivolity and festivities and we hope you are too!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our first blog as there are many more to come! 

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