Scotland bird hunting better known as Driven Grouse Shooting is often referred to as the “Sport of Kings”, as it is one of the most exclusive forms of wing shooting in the world. This is mainly because Grouse is an entirely wild bird which cannot be reared. As a result of this their numbers fluctuate from season to season. The Grouse shooting season runs from the 12th August, often called “The Glorious Twelfth”, to the 10th December each year.
The name “Driven Grouse Shooting” refers to the way in which the grouse are pushed or driven over the guns by beaters who are usually spaced 30-40 yards apart and walking towards the guns driving the grouse in front of them.There are usually 8-10 guns in the shooting line who are spaced approximately 50 yards apart and are concealed either within sunken butts (hence the term ‘grouse butts’) or hidden behind hurdles or stone walls. It is very important for the gun to remain still and concealed for as long as possible as the birds are known to have extremely good eyesight and will avoid the guns wherever possible.
Grouse is often seen as one of the most challenging birds to shoot due to it reaching speeds far in excess of any other game bird and it is extremely agile in the air. The birds themselves fly either singly or in packs, that can range from a normal family pack of 7-8 birds up to 200 plus in later season. There is a strict code of conduct governing behaviour on the grouse moor for both safety and etiquette.