Shoot Benchmarking survey now open

Picture: A de la Serre

Picture: A de la Serre - Credit: Archant

Smiths Gore and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust have launched their annual Shoot Benchmarking survey, offering shoots the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their financial performance for free

The Shoot Benchmarking survey is the only survey that allows shoots to understand their performance better as well as seeing how it compares with similar shoots. It is free to take part, completely confidential and all participants receive a personalised report of their performance.

David Steel, Head of Sporting at Smiths Gore comments: “Our benchmarking can help in-hand, syndicated and let shoots of all sizes. Last season’s results gave shoots a clear indication of areas for improvement and refinement, including gamekeeper salaries and benefits, fixed costs, return rates, costs per bird released and prices charged per bird shot.

“Since 2009, hundreds of shoots have benefitted from taking part, and we hope that many more shoots will participate this season. Their personalised report includes benchmarks only available to participants.”

Roger Draycott, Head of Advisory Services at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, adds: “Shoots take part in the survey for a number of reasons. Private shoots want to check that their costs are under control and shoots that let days out want to check how their charges compare with others. The survey provides useful information on how shoots sell days, the pricing model they use, and once costs are taken away from income, how their bottom line compares with others.

“It is important the sector can demonstrate that there is good environmental care in place on shoots so we have included questions on habitat management and wild birds, to provide a better understanding of the conservation work shoots are doing on the ground.”

The deadline for completing the survey form is 24 April; it can be completed online at or a paper form can be requested by calling David Steel on 01200 411051 or emailing

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In addition all participants will be invited to an exclusive seminar, site visit and BBQ at the GWCT’s Allerton Project farm on 3 September 2015, hosted by expert GWCT and Smiths Gore staff.

Key benchmarking from the 2013-14 season survey:

Price charged per pheasant (average) £34 (exc VAT)

Cost per bird put down (average) £13.76 (exc VAT)

Gamekeeper salary (average) £17,000 plus benefits

59% of let shoots made a loss

The results also show the economic realities of running shoots nationally.

Key facts about the 2013-14 season survey:

100 shoots took part

They shot over 2,700 days

1.2 million birds put down