Bag yourself a Junior Macnab at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair

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Encouraging young people to discover and build on their country skills is part and parcel of the Junior Macnab Challenge, a clever concept first introduced at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair in 2018 and set to return this summer.

The 2018 event was an instant success, with about 200 young people under 18 taking part. For many of them it was their first experience of shooting or fly fishing and to be able to enjoy these activities free of charge was an additional bonus.

This popular format was repeated in 2019 (and at the Highland Field Sports Fair) but Covid restrictions meant it could not go ahead in 2020 while 2021’s GWCT Scottish Game Fair was staged outside the school holidays in September, so it was agreed to hold it over.

But the Junior Macnab Challenge – which involves – hitting a target with an air rifle, shooting clay pigeons and flay casting – will make a welcome return to the GWCT Scottish Game Fair from July 1stto 3rd.

The concept was originated by the then Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (now Country Sports Scotland) and supported by the Scottish Youth and Countryside Education Trust (SYCET), the British association for Shooting and Conservation and many others.

The idea was simple – replicate the traditional Macnab but replace the stag with a rabbit target shot with an air rifle, the brace of grouse with clay pigeons and the salmon with fly casting.

Each participant was issued with a Game Card and shot clays with a BASC shotgun coach, used the airgun range and went “fishing” with the local angling club instructors. All equipment, including safety gear, is provided.

At the end of each day, all of those who had successfully completed their Game Card entered a draw to win a number of prizes donated by sponsors.

The Scottish Youth & the Countryside Education Trust (SYCET) was formed in 1986 with the aim of promoting the wider understanding of the countryside, its sporting traditions and its wildlife.

It hopes to improve the lives of young people in Scotland by introducing them to new experiences and skills, which they will use throughout their lives.

It both hosts and facilitates educational days and excursions to the Scottish countryside, bushcraft events, country sport participation (such as the Junior Macnab competition and Young Shots activity days) not to mention events showing how current land management practices impact upon landscape, scenery and biodiversity. SYCET is based near Dunkeld, Perthshire and is well placed to support events in all of Scotland.

SYCET shares strong links with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and is located in BASC’s Scottish office.