2019-20 Season Prospects
By Henry Crawford
With the start of the 2019 / 2020 season less than a week away and with the majority of the Grouse counts now in, it is clear to see this is not going to be a record-breaking year across the board. North Yorkshire is looking good overall, however the Yorkshire Dales have recently had a significant amount of rain, therefore it is likely that some of these moors may struggle. The weather is an obvious factor for these wild birds and the moors that have added shelter and warmth for the younger birds are more likely to survive.
It is common knowledge how badly the Scottish moors were affected in 2018, and in truth most of Scotland is likely to have the same outcome this year. Not only has bad weather had an impact, disease has also been a problem with moors throughout the UK battling both Tapeworm and Heather Beatle. Heather Beatle can be especially detrimental to the quality of a moor, as it is easily spread quickly and therefore vital to spot as soon as possible.
This time last year we were praying for rain, a very dry summer meant cover crops took a while to grow and in some cases, did not at all. This year we have experienced both spells of hot weather and downpours of rain throughout the summer months, however cover crops are on the whole starting to come along nicely.
The younger birds would have suffered due to the volume of rain this year as in these conditions, birds are far more likely to pick up disease, along with their habitat also being impacted. Disease in young birds needs to be spotted and treated as early as possible. The keepers are now working harder than ever keeping their birds by dogging in, which proves to be a difficult task in the warmer weather when the birds tend to wander.
As we hear of the unfortunate grouse cancellations, we still hope for a successful and enjoyable season ahead. There is plenty of availability for partridge and pheasant days and if you would like to get in touch and see what is available, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our team.
In my 25 years of arranging shooting, one of the most notable evolutions is the speed at which days are let....