The Importance of Hunting

Shooting transcends mere recreational activity

Gun clubs have long been associated with their shooting activities, but many are transcending traditional boundaries to become dynamic community players. These clubs are engaging in conservation efforts and community service, demonstrating a commitment to the environment and the neighbourhoods they serve. 

Gun clubs have a unique opportunity to reshape public perceptions of hunting by showcasing the good work they do. Through their conservation efforts, educational initiatives, and collaborative community involvement, clubs can highlight the responsible and ethical aspects of hunting. By proactively engaging with the public and emphasising the positive impact of their actions, gun clubs can contribute to a more informed and accepting society, bridging the gap between hunting enthusiasts and those who seek a better understanding of this age-old practice.  

Education and communication are key components when it comes to improving understanding and acceptance. Gun clubs have a valuable role to play in these areas, especially in addressing misconceptions and fostering positive relationships with the community. By effectively educating the public about their conservation efforts and responsible hunting practices, while maintaining open lines of communication, gun clubs can contribute to a more informed and harmonious society. 

A recent display by ABGN Gun Club at a community show underscores the essential role they play in conservation and giving back to the community.

ABGN Gun Club, founded in 1969, stands as a remarkable example of a club dedicated to both shooting practices and conservation efforts. Comprised of 94 voluntary members, the club has established strong relationships with landowners, working collaboratively for crop protection and vermin control. The club actively engages in various conservation initiatives, including red grouse conservation, heather management, and the establishment of duck ponds. They have also been involved in tree planting endeavours and the restocking of duck and pheasant populations.

ABGN Gun Club not only focuses on conservation but also takes part in fundraising and charity work to support their initiatives. They organise events such as quiz nights, auctions, and a winter wonderland during Christmas. The proceeds from these activities contribute to their conservation projects and enable them to give back to the community. Additionally, the club offers safety courses and extends support to other clubs, fostering a sense of collaboration within the shooting community.

The club actively promotes environmental awareness by distributing 700 trees to their members, neighbouring farmers, and local residents. By encouraging tree planting, they contribute to the enhancement of green spaces and support efforts to combat deforestation. Moreover, the club takes proactive measures for heather management, dedicating three days on the hill to cut heather at their own expense. These initiatives demonstrate their commitment to the preservation and management of important habitats.

Regarding the current recommendations put forth by the Firearms Expert Committee (FEC), ABGN Gun Club believes that the hunting community should be an integral part of the collaborative efforts. However, they express their concerns about the public consultation survey, finding it confusing and not user-friendly. By highlighting these concerns, the club emphasises the importance of effective and inclusive communication channels to ensure that the voices and experiences of the hunting community are adequately represented in decision-making processes.

The ABGN Gun Club's long-standing commitment to conservation, voluntary work, fundraising, and community engagement exemplifies the positive impact that shooting clubs can have on both biodiversity and local communities. Their dedication to wildlife management, habitat restoration, and educational initiatives serves as an inspiration for other clubs and demonstrates the potential for collaboration between shooting enthusiasts and conservationists.