Wildfowling is the hunting of a bird species such as ducks or geese for sport or food.
Wildfowling is a solitary activity and bag sizes per visit rarely number more than two or three birds. Most wildfowling takes place around dawn and dusk.
Wildfowler hunters need certain qualities to be successful, like being patient. Wildfowl hunters also need to quickly spot whether a potential quarry (a bird that you mean to shoot) is legal to hunt or not, sometimes in poor visibility.
You need to do some research to become familiar with what is a legal quarry.
The British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has downloadable information to help you know about what is legal and illegal in wildfowling.
Using lead shot is banned
In Northern Ireland shooting with lead shot on or over wetlands is banned.
Lead shot can poison water fowl like ducks, geese and swans. While feeding, birds swallow the spent lead shot, which has fallen onto the wetlands they inhabit. This damages a bird's nervous system, liver and kidneys. It also damages the gizzard stopping a bird from feeding.
Many birds die after ingesting lead shot.
A sustainable harvest of waterfowl is acceptable but the loss of ducks, geese and swans due to lead poisoning is not – particularly when some species are under increasing pressure for other reasons.
It makes sense to ban the use of lead shot on and over wetlands, as it causes unnecessary losses.