The majority of game can only be shot during specific times of the years to allow them to breed and/or allow them to successfully migrate.  A comprehensive guide to the shooting seasons is given below.

Game birds

Species England, Wales and Scotland Northern Ireland
Pheasant Oct 1 - Feb 1 Oct 1 - Jan 31
Grey Partridge Sep 1 - Feb 1 Sep 1 - Jan 31
Red-Legged Partridge Sep 1 - Feb 1 Sep 1 - Jan 31
Red Grouse Aug 12 - Dec 10 Aug 12 - Nov 30
Black Grouse Aug 20 - Dec 10   -
Ptarmigan Aug 12 - Dec 10  - 

Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • No game may be killed on Sundays or Christmas Day.
  • Game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Scotland

  • Game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Northern Ireland

  • All wild birds are protected on Sundays and Christmas Day.
  • Wild birds may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Wildfowl, Geese and Waders

Species England, Wales and Scotland Northern Ireland
Duck and Goose (inland) Sep 1 - Jan 31 Sep 1 - Jan 31
Duck and Goose (below high water mark) Sep 1 - Feb 20

Sep 1 - Jan 31

Common Snipe Aug 12 - Jan 31 Sep 1 - Jan 31
Woodcock

Oct 1 - Jan 31

(Scotland Sep 1 - Jan 31)

Oct 1 - Jan 31
Golden Plover Sep 1 - Jan 31 Sep 1 - Jan 31
Coot and Moorhen Sep 1 - Jan 31 Protected


Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • Sunday shooting of wildfowl is not permitted in the following counties or county boroughs: Anglesey, Brecknock, Caernarvon, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Cornwall, Denbigh, Devon, Doncaster, Glamorgan, Great Yarmouth County Borough, Isle of Ely, Leeds County Borough, Merioneth, Norfolk, Pembroke, Somerset, North and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

Scotland

  • Wildfowl may not be shot on Sunday or Christmas Day.

Northern Ireland

  • All wild birds are protected on Sundays and Christmas Day.
  • Wild birds may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Ground Game

Species England, Wales and Scotland Northern Ireland
Brown Hare

Jan 1 - Dec 31

(Scotland Oct 1 - Jan 31)

Aug 12 - Jan 31
Mountain Hare Aug 1 - Feb 28/29  -
Rabbit Jan 1 - Dec 31 No close season

 

Additional restrictions:

England and Wales

  • Ground game can only be killed with firearms on moorland or unenclosed land between 11 December and 31 March.

Northern Ireland

  • Irish Hare is fully protected under a Special Protection Order which has to be renewed regularly.
  • Ground game may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Deer

Species

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

Scotland
  Males Females Males Females
Red Aug 1 - Apr 30 Nov 1 - Mar 31 Jul 1 - Oct 20 Oct 21 - Feb 15
Fallow Aug 1 - Apr 30 Nov 1 - Mar 31 Aug 1 - Apr 30 Oct 21 - Feb 15
Sika Aug 1 - Apr 30 Nov 1 - Mar 31 Jul 1 - Oct 20 Oct 21 - Feb 15
Roe Apr 1 - Oct 31 Nov 1 - Mar 31 Jul 1 - Oct 20 Oct 21 - Mar 31
Chinese Water Deer Nov 1 - Mar 31 Nov 1 - Mar 31  - 
Muntjac No close season No close season


Additional restrictions:

England, Wales and Scotland

  • Deer may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Northern Ireland

  • Deer may not be shot between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Wild Boar

  • No statutory close season, but culling should not include sows with dependant offspring.

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