Shoot Benchmarking Survey

Shoot Benchmarking Survey
Shoot performance

27 July 2017, by Andrew Teanby

From poult price to beater pay, the Savills Shoot Benchmarking Survey analyses a shoot’s cost factors to highlight key trends


Poult price

The average pheasant poult price has changed little over the last four years, while partridge poult prices have also been consistent for the last three seasons. This follows a period of rising prices. Compared to seven years ago, prices are 7% and 13% higher respectively.


Poult prices Prices have stabilised over the last three years

Poult prices

Source: Savills Research

Price charged per bird (excluding VAT)

Shoots increased their charges per bird, but not to the extent they had indicated when we surveyed them in February 2016. Partridge charges were 3% higher than last season. Charges tend to be above average on larger shoots, and below on smaller shoots. The difference in charge rates between the two groups is 10% for pheasants and 27% for partridges. The average income per bird shot on let days is typically lower than the quoted price per bird, due to overages, meaning payment is not received for all birds shot. It was £33.08 in the 2016/17 season.


Bird charges Shoots are increasing their price per bird

Bird charges

Source: Savills Research

Staff salaries

Salary reviews on shoots have reflected trends in the wider economy. So, 17% of shoots did not increase salaries during the year, while 51% increased them by up to 2%. The most common reported agreement was a 2% pay rise, which was awarded on one-third of shoots. The overall average was a 2.5% increase, reflecting a small number of larger pay rises.

We benchmark salaries and benefits for head keepers, beat keepers and single-handed keepers. During the 2016/17 season, the average salary for a beat keeper was £16,600, plus benefits. For 86% of beat keepers, a house was included in their remuneration package.

Beaters and pickers-up pay

The Survey shows that pay for beaters and pickers-up is the fourth largest cost for shoots. Most pay beaters £25-35 per day and pickers-up £30-45. Lunch is often provided, too.

On average, day rates are higher on larger shoots. Day rates tend to increase in £5 increments, and average rates have increased by 18% for beaters and 19% for pickers-up since 2010/11. However, the cost per bird put down has not increased by the same proportion. This suggests less staff are used on the day, or shoot days are larger and/or fewer in number.

The Code of Good Shooting Practice

Compliance with the Code of Good Shooting Practice is the foundation for sustainable game management and helps provide re-assurance for visiting guns that a shoot is run well. It is encouraging that 95% of participating shoots would support a voluntary initiative to promote more widely, compliance with the Code.

Receive the latest research

Retail Properties

Key Contacts

Andrew Teanby

Andrew Teanby

Rural Research

+44 (0) 1522 507 312


David Steel

David Steel

Head of Office
Head of Sporting


+44 (0) 1200 411 050