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Wildfowling on the Blackwater

Wildfowling is the hunting of ducks and geese in the harsh environment of the tidal marshes and foreshore. The sport is regulated by the 1968 Firearms Act, which controls the possession and use of shotguns, and the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, which prescribes the seasons and circumstances in which wild birds may be hunted. In addition, wildfowlers operate to strict codes of practice issued by the sport's governing body, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

Shooting occurs between September and February, and normally takes place at dawn and dusk. Shooting may also be possible at other times in response to tidal conditions. Ducks and geese are a wild and wary quarry, and it requires great skill to outwit them. Often this can only be done when the weather is at its worst, and unlike most other estuary users, wildfowlers eagerly look forward to stormy or cold conditions.

A trained dog is a valuable companion on the marsh. The club runs dog training sessions in the summer for all members.

The BWA is affiliated to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Countryside Alliance and the Essex Joint Council of Wildfowling Clubs.

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© 2019 Blackwater Wildfowlers Association.