Costs for both commercial and non-commercial shoots have risen due to feed, fuel and beaters costs rising according to the 2011 shoot benchmarking survey, conducted by GunsOnPegs and Smiths Gore.
Whilst commercial shoots are focusing on cost control to counter rising fuel and feed costs, non-commercial shoots are increasing charges per bird.
It was found that the average variable cost of putting a bird down rose from £7.33 last year to £8.08 this year. Despite variable costs rising, commercial shoots have reduced the total cost of putting a bird down and have reduced their fixed costs by more than 8%.
However, non-commercial shoots are following a different strategy by increasing the price of each bird by £2-3. This charge is still smaller than commercial shoots, 70% of which also charge VAT.
Staff benefits have also been reduced, including payment of utility bills, clothing allowances and keepers days, to control costs. Salaries however, have remained the same as last year with the average salary for Head Keeper sitting at £20,146 and Gamekeepers at £16,097.