It’s August 12th today – the day the season for shooting grouse begins. One cookery writer (I forget who now) describes eating just one grouse each year –  stuffed with two raspberries and a knob of butter, and  served on a piece of fried bread.

There are also sorts of other game treats, aside from grouse, in store as the year draws on:


And then there’s rabbit, pigeon…. the list goes on.

For a truly excellent, and visually gorgeous, book on game cooking try Andrew Pern’s Loose Birds and Game.

Most game is now available throughout the year, thanks to the freezer and also to the fact that some is actually farmed, but wild game is always better in season – so what are the principal game seasons in the UK?


GameRegionStart dateFinish date
Duck and GooseUK1 Sept31 Jan (extended to February below the high tide line
Red grouseUK12 Aug19 Dec (in Northern Ireland they stop at the end of Nov)
HareUK except Northern Ireland1 Aug29 Feb
PartridgeUK1 Sept1 Feb
PheasantUK1 Oct1 Feb
PigeonUKAll year
RabbitUKAll year


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