Country sports enthusiasts took to Scotland’s moors today to mark the official start of the grouse shooting season – despite predictions that weather conditions are set to ruin prospects for this year.

Forneth Moor in Perthshire echoed to the sound of shotguns this morning as a shooting party organised by the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group got the season underway.

Young Angus Turnbull, 14, from Dunning Perthshire, bagged his first brace of grouse with an outstanding right and left shot. He said: “It was great being out in the countryside and I was very fortunate to get my brace.”

Justine Muir and Sheila Eastwood from the Scottish Ladies Shooting Club, joined the party.

Justine, from Cupar, Fife, said: “Being able to shoot on the very first day of the season is a great thrill and I’m delighted that so many local businesses such as hotels benefit from any day when shooting takes place.”

Sheila Eastwood, from Bankfoot, Perthshire, added: “The first day of the season is tremendously exciting and there’s no doubt that grouse shooting is a great Scottish story. A day out shooting is as much social as it is sporting.”

Andrew Grainger, of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, said: “We know that it will be a challenging season this year but people who enjoy shooting are extremely passionate about it. It was great to see such a mixture of people out today including young lads and ladies.”

The first grouse shot at Forneth was bagged by Rick Raeburn who lives locally.

Grouse shooting contributes £32 million to the Scottish economy and supports 2,640 full jobs in remote areas.

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