Thumbnail

Wildfowl

The open season for certain duck and goose species is a chance to eat seasonal wild food.

Wildfowl is a fresh, seasonal wild food that’s low in fat and high in taste.

View wildfowl recipes on the Scotland‘s Natural Larder website.

Many of the species that can be legally shot in Scotland come from other countries to spend the winter here. Wildfowl hunting takes place mainly at dawn and dusk on estuaries and coastal marshes during the winter months.

See the British Association for Shooting and Conservation list of quarry species and shooting seasons.

Licensed sale of wild goose meat

Some parts of Scotland – chiefly Orkney and the Western Isles – have growing numbers of resident greylag geese. Farmers and crofters are finding it hard to continue traditional agricultural activities as a result, and managing geese has become a focus.

Greylag geese, which are a quarry species in the open season, can also be shot under licence the rest of the year to prevent serious agricultural damage.

For a trial period, however, Scottish Natural Heritage licensed the sale of wild goose meat shot by licensed marksmen. The tightly controlled licences applied in Orkney, Uist, Lewis and Harris only, to birds shot under the supervised greylag goose adaptive management pilot schemes.

The licences let local businesses process and sell wild goose meat, stopping the geese from going to waste and generating income for local communities. Goose meat is a healthy source of protein, which tastes delicious when cooked properly. Like most wild meat, wild goose is low in fat.

Find out more about the general licences for goose management pilots.