The 2023 Grouse Season Prospects
With the Glorious Twelfth just over a week away, early reports of grouse prospects in most places in England are somewhat brighter than those of recent years. Unfortunately, reports from Scotland are not looking quite so optimistic although there are pockets of grouse on certain moors.
Most moors went into the winter with a healthy breeding stock of grouse. Conditions over the winter and spring were favourable and this led to some encouraging spring counts. The heather was also in remarkably better condition after struggling for a few years with the well documented Heather Beetle.
As we all know, May and June became abnormally dry, and the prolonged period of dry weather led to a lack of insect life, which is crucial to the success of grouse chicks. Estates that have invested in water supplies on their hills really saw the benefits of their work over this period.
Whilst many places counted well in July, a few have suffered from the dry weather and some have also seen an increase in the Strongyle worm burden, which sadly has affected brood sizes. Louping ill from ticks is also a major issue on many Scottish moors, which has sadly also led to the cancellation of some days.
We are lucky enough to be still planning arrangements on our days in northern England and Scotland, so our fingers are firmly crossed for favourable conditions on the days. If you’re lucky enough to be shooting, enjoy your sport and please take the time to appreciate the beauty of our uplands and the hard work that goes on 24 hours a day by a dedicated and unique team of people. Without them, our countryside just wouldn’t be as beautiful and diverse as it is today.