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Blog Post Featured Image

Grouse Season Begins. A Photographic Essay.

Quite where this year has gone, I am not sure and it's hard to believe that tomorrow marks the start of the red grouse shooting season here in the UK, famously known as the 'Glorious Twelfth'. However, I find it near impossible to describe anything that 2020 has given us so far as glorious! If 2020 was a gun it would be a left handed, short stocked, double discharging, weak ejecting, thin walled, out of proof piece of junk made in London. And sadly, she's not done with us yet!

At the end of July we would have attended the annual Game Fair and the excitement for the coming season begins from there. So quite what the season has install for any of us, is as unknown as the pandemic itself. Each estate and shoot will have carefully planned social distancing measures in place and I'm confident they can keep us all safe and well, of course, it won't be like any other season and we will undoubtedly see a small reduction in enjoyment but any shooting is better than nothing, right? We will need patience and more importantly, flexibility which I appreciate is not that easy for the scores of international sportsmen and women who travel to our shores to wing shoot. But fingers crossed the virus is temporary, the shooting industry will weather the storm and we look forward to welcoming back teams of guns from all over the world next year.

Reports are that the grouse numbers this year are considered to be okay on the whole, with some estates carrying good stocks from last year and the early breeding season conditions were very favourable indeed. While the spring and summer counts give a rough indication of grouse numbers, the most reliable assessment of stock numbers are when the moor is driven on the first couple days of shooting and while it is unlikely that many of us will step foot on a moor this year, below are a selection of shots from a Westley Richards team shooting grouse on the North York Moors back in 2013.


  • neil mcveigh on August 12, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Nice article Ricky!We all share your hope that things get better and the Explora
    certainly helps us thru'these depressing times.Better (shooting) days are ahead but maybe not this year.

  • Peter Buckley. on August 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm


    The “Glorious Twelfth” in “Gods County”........North Yorkshire.


  • Robin Beswick on August 13, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Beautiful, evocative images... Rob xx

  • Mims on August 20, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Ricky, Loved the description of the shotgun. I may have owned one in years gone by. Better tomorrow's!

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