Today marks the start of the British shooting season for Red Grouse, and historically known as the Glorious Twelfth. We looked into it's history to find out more..
Where The Glorious Twelfth Started

Many believe the 1831 Game Act it is where the glorious twelfth began, however as early as the Game Act of 1773 –  they began to set out dates. 

Brought in on the 24th June 1773, the Act stated that no-one would be allowed to hunt or even buy “black-game” or “grouse, commonly called red-game, between the tenth day of December and the twelfth day of August.”  

In 1831 Parliament passed the Game Act. Set up to protect our game, it’s still in place today. There have been many amendments and alterations but it still legally sets out the shooting calendar for game. 

The Act introduced a closed season in which it listed certain birds (and hares) that could no longer be legally killed between given dates. It also made it illegal to kill game on any Sunday, or Christmas Day and also introduced Game Licenses which you had to hold in order to hunt game. Even though the act mentioned hares, no closed season was introduced for them.  

“Before any person takes, kills or pursues or aids or assists in any manner in so doing, or who uses any dog, net, gun or other engine for the purpose of taking, pursuing or killing any game, woodcock, snipe or coney or any deer must take out a licence to kill game.”

Glorious Twelfth

So today marks the start of the game seasons opening for 2019.

The 121 days of grouse shooting is the first to begin, with black grouse starting shortly afterwards, followed by the partridge and pheasant seasons. 

Grouse are a fast flying bird and are seen by some to be the largest challenge to shoot. With a flight speed of up to 70 mph they don’t hang about. They also fly low to the ground and shooting low is perfectly acceptable so care must be taken by those involved. 

The grouse diet requires a large volume of heather and that’s why the UK’s moorlands are so important to the conservation of these wonderful birds. With the UK homing 75% of the worlds moorland, the importance of theses areas cannot be underestimated. More information can be found at The Moorland Association’s website

Grouse are high in protein and flavour, and low in fat making them great for the table. Why not try it for yourself with one of these great recipes. Or if you want to try out a very traditional recipe, pop over to Amazon and purchase The Cookery Book of Lady Clark of Tillypronie

You can also download the LWDG Game Nutrition Printable Fact Sheet with the nutritional information for Grouse, Partridge and Pheasants made in association with the British Game Alliance. 

Open Season Dates

  • Red grouse (Moor Game), 12 August – 10 December. The Red Grouse is native to Britain, and their a wild bird. 
  • Black grouse (Black Game), 20 August – 10 December
  • Pheasant, 1 October – 1 February
  • Partridge, 1 September – 1 February
  • Great Bustard , 1 September – 1 March ( This bird became extinct in the UK and is currently being reintroduced 
nutritional information for game meat

Members Club Free Gift

To mark the occasion all those in our Members Club can download free our beautiful digital print. 

If you’re not a member you can still get a copy here in our digital gifts shop. Today it’s available for only £2.40! 

Question Of The Week

Have you ever been grouse hunting on the Glorious Twelfth? Let us know in the comments below: 

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1 Comment

  1. I did my first season picking up on Grouse last year, it was the most amazing experience, really special. Unfortunately the count wasn’t good this year so it wasn’t to be. But the memory of last year will never fade. We’re now looking forward to starting on the Partridge in September.

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