The History Behind The Pheasant Shooting Season

The Pheasant season has finally arrived after many months of preparation and anticipation. We would like to take this moment to wish all our customers a safe and successful shooting season. Steeped with age old tradition and heritage, the coming months will be a thrilling time for many.

All beginning with a bird which is not native to Britain. Despite its long residency, there is evidence of pheasants being imported from Asia to Great Britain around the year1060. Then once again in 1066 when the Normans controlled Britain. There are even records of numerous laws to protect the birds due to their low numbers. These laws allowed the pheasants to increase in population, resulting in King Henry I to lift the law around 1100, allowing the pheasant shooting to begin again.
However it was not until the 15th Century when firearms became more practical and advanced, that the sport of pheasant shooting flourished. Although it continued to be a popular pastime of the royalty and wealthy.

It was not until the late 17th century when methods began to change. Pheasants were usually shot while on the ground or perched. However with the introduction of the double barreled breech loading shotgun in the 19th century, the concept of driven game shooting was introduced. This approach, which we still use to this day, allows birds to be shot while flying in the air. It also allows beaters to control the amount and direction of where the birds will fly.

Even though it has been 200 years since the introduction of driven game, very little has changed. The pheasant season is still an exhilarating time, filled with comradery and pride. However, as experienced 200 years ago, the topography of the land and weather conditions can lead to unexpected trips and falls. This can result in broken stocks and damage to your shotgun.

Here at A.W. Rule & Son Gunmakers Ltd we are pleased to offer a full in house shotgun repair service including shotgun barrel alterations, new firing pins, mainsprings, general gunsmithing and full bespoke gun making. We have been custom stock makers for over 60 years delivering beautiful hand finished stocks for shotguns and rifles.

For additional information regarding the services we can offer or repairs, please telephone 01458 270024 or email us at [email protected]