What is game shooting?

Definition of Scottish game shooting

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As outlined in our history of game shooting, the term 'game' in the shooting context generally refers to any non domesticated mammal or bird hunted for sport or food, typically, pheasant, grouse or duck. Game is specifically defined in law by The Game Act 1831, and other quarry species are detailed under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The pursuit of deer species falls under The Deer Act 1991. In the UK the term game shooting refers to a variety of different types of shooting and must be carefully distinguished from the term 'hunting'.

In Scotland and the UK the term 'hunting' traditionally refers to the pursuit of stags, foxes or hares on horseback together with a pack of hounds. The terms 'hunter' and 'hunt' are rarely used in modern game shooting. Shooters who go game shooting with a shotgun are generally referred to as 'guns' and those who shoot with a rifle are called 'rifles'. For example, a team on a driven pheasant day would normally be made up of eight guns - not eight shooters or eight hunters.

In broad terms, game shooting refers to the act of shooting flying birds and smaller mammals, whereas the shooting of deer is commonly referred to as deer stalking.

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