Does healthy wildlife mean a healthy shooting season? Can the condition of flora and fauna on a shoot indicate healthy numbers of pheasants? Find out here!

Q: Can the condition of the wildlife on our shoot indicate how the season will turn out for the birds?

JONNY CROCKETT replies: A habitat impact assessment of your shoot will indicate how many and which species of mammals are occupying your shoot. It should also outline how well those species are thriving (or not). If the larger species, such as deer, foxes and badgers, are not looking fit and healthy then there is a potential problem for last year’s birds. This means you’ll need to rely on this year’s release. Poor condition of mammals will also illustrate the need to improve your biodiversity and could mean that you should adjust your drives. In short, if the wildlife is not in good condition, the chances are your birds will not be either. You can use trail cams and eye witness accounts to work out your shoot’s health.