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Prospects for the upcoming Grouse Season

Shooting

Article written by 11 August 2014

Tomorrow the 2014 Grouse Season starts. The office of William Powell Sporting is now quiet with only Sam on the admin side still here. The rest have departed to the North of England and Scotland, getting ready for guests arriving tonight and the opening day tomorrow.

We have days on from the Peak District to the Highlands and our concern at this time is much more about the weather and less about the grouse themselves! When we last made our forecast for the coming season, we had not had the benefit of the summer counts. We now have and these show (as you would expect), considerable variation. Some Moors have literally got counts which are 100% higher than they were last year and some have drives where the counts are well down on 2013. Overall however, the average increase between the number of grouse we counted in the summer of 2014 as against 2013 is an increase of 15% to 20%. This bodes very well.

Although there will be disappointing Moors (and one well-keepered Moor in the Peak District has already cancelled all but one of their days), we are confident that this is going to be a good to a very good season overall. Whilst brood sizes may not be as good as they were last year, generally the stock left on most Moors were greater than it was in the spring of 2013 and hence the prospects for good bags look extremely high. The grouse seem in the main pretty forward and we have noted when counting, how with these strong coveys, when disturbed they “roll” one into another, already forming small packs in July. This is going to make driving grouse to the Guns later on in the season very interesting!

We like to think that the advantage we have here at William Powell Sporting is our very close working relationship with J M Osborne & Co., probably the largest firm of Moorland Managers in the UK at the current time. Whilst we do let days on Moors that we do not manage, we obviously have far more control where our sister firm is involved in the management and this in our experience gives a much more satisfactory outcome for the tenant and their Guns.

We wish you a very good Grouse Season in 2014 and if you have not already booked your shooting but may be interested in taking some later days, please contact us on james@jmosborne.co.uk, tel. 01295 277197.

Good shooting!

Mark Osborne - FRICS, FAAV, MBAE

Mark Osborne is founder and Managing Director of JM Osborne & Co. and has been a qualified Chartered Surveyor and Land Agent for over 30 years. He trained on two large traditional landed estates (Chatsworth and Castle Ashby), before s.. Read more.

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