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shooting in ireland

A Guide to Shooting in Ireland

4 Sep 2018 by annabel

There’s a long and colorful history of shooting as a sport in Ireland, with an abundant stock of migratory wildfowl for upland hunting enthusiasts. If you’re interested in getting out in the country and having an adventure, a shooting vacation could be for you.

Here at LTR Castles, we can arrange bespoke trips to some of Ireland’s most prestigious estates. Read our guide now for the best private properties for shooting.

pheasant

Crom Castle

This beautiful castle, situated on the shores of the Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, is one of the finest spots for shooting in Northern Ireland. The estate is made up of 1,900 acres of parkland, woodland, lough and islands, with excellent woodcock and snipe shooting.

Crom Castle

Best time of year: The season runs from October to the end of January.

Shooting tips: For woodcock, arrive after the full moon in November as this is when they are most plentiful.

Other activities: Tennis, rowing and sailing are available on site. There are also a number of golf courses nearby.

Find out more about Crom Castle >

Lough Cutra Castle

If you’re interested in a pheasant hunt, we recommend booking a stay at Lough Cutra Castle. This spectacular property in County Galway was built in the late 18th Century, although the land can be traced as far back as 866 AD. There is excellent pheasant shooting – or for beginners, there’s also clay pigeon shooting on site.

Lough Cutra Castle

Best time of year:
The season tends to run from November until the end of January in Ireland.

Shooting tips: Late hunts can be just as rewarding as early morning hunts. Pheasants start to move out of heavy cover during the last hour of daylight.

Other activities: Lough Cutra Castle is also a great location for horse riding, pike fishing, boating and mountain biking.

Find out more about Lough Cutra Castle >

Belle Isle

The 12th Century Belle Isle estate is another spot in County Fermanagh ideal for woodcock and snipe shooting. Spread across 470 acres with stunning views over Lough Erne, Belle Isle is an exclusive property, sleeping 26 people across 13 double or twin rooms.

Belle Isle - Irish country houses

Best time of year: From October to the end of January, but with woodcock coming into County Fermanagh in November time during the full moon.

Shooting tips: The European woodcock population is high, but migratory woodcock in Ireland can vary in numbers depending on the weather.

Other activities: Guests staying at Belle Isle can enjoy pike fishing on Lough Erne or salmon fishing on the River Mourne. There are also boat trips available on the estate’s own yacht, and a fantastic Belle Isle Cookery School for foodies.

Find out more about Belle Isle >

Ballynatray Estate

For challenging game drives, Ballynatray Estate makes a fine choice for your hunting vacation. There’s a range of days available from 100 to 300 birds, and the shoots will test even the most seasoned sportsmen.

Ballynatray - Irish houses to rent

Best time of year: The season for pheasants runs from November to January. But this estate offers an extended shooting season, allowing visiting guns to shoot driven pheasants until the end of February.

Shooting tips: Get some shooting practice at the simulated shooting academy. Simulated shoots are ideal for out of season, or if you’re wanting to go shooting for a fraction of the cost.

Other activities: Enjoy a spa-style break with the property’s indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and massage room. There’s also a fitness room and snooker room, or outdoor activities such as tennis, croquet, and fishing.

Find out more about Ballynatray Estate >

Other than shooting, Ireland is also a great vacation destination for playing golf too! Whatever you’d like to include in your Irish getaway, get in touch with our knowledgeable team and they will be happy to provide you with all the information and guidance you need for the perfect break.

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