A new survey suggests the shooting industry is in “exceptional health”.
The 2015 Game Shooting & Fishing Census, put together by property consultancy Strutt & Parker and shoot finder GunsOnPegs, says the industry is experiencing growth in all levels.
The survey, which had more than 3,000 respondents, showed that the number of shoots visited per gun each season remains on the rise, going from five to six.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of those who took part in the study indicated they are prepared to travel more than 100 miles when paying for a shoot. The hotel stays which are often a result of this contribute to the UK’s tourism economy – the average gun has just under three nights in paid for accommodation per season.
James Horne, Chairman of GunsOnPegs and RodsOnRivers, said: “It was encouraging to discover that the average spend per head, per year on shooting alone was a substantial £5,533 – with 38% of respondents stating that they planned to spend even more this coming season. The census also firmly established that the most important feature of a shoot day for 63% of respondents was ‘having fun with friends’. This sends a clear message about the continued and growing popularity of the sport.”
The fishing industry, however, appears to be struggling by comparison. Scotland, the most popular fishing destination in the UK, has experienced an 8.3% decline, and only the North East showed a significant increase in anglers this year, of 16.15%.
Horne suggested “the pull from abroad” is in part behind this, with “value for money luring fishermen abroad”.
Above all, Salmon fishing is in difficulty, with dwindling numbers of the fish being caught.
“The long term trend will be a continual decline if we don’t start to do something about protecting our Atlantic salmon”, Horne added.