The “gift” of grouse management to Scotland’s economy was marked by a new scheme in the Angus glens.
The grouse shooting season began on the Glorious Twelfth and Glen Clova saw the Scottish Moorland Group (SMG) launch its year-long project, entitled Gift of Grouse.
The body will set out to prove the sport is “not just for the elite” and is a vital part of rural tourism and conservation.
While the shooting party went out in fine weather at Clova, gamekeepers nationwide have warned poor weather conditions earlier in the year have hit the birds’ breeding.
Despite the relatively poor year, organisers said grouse shooting makes a major contribution to the £200 million generated by shooting and stalking each year, supporting 2,640 full-time jobs.
SMG director Tim Baynes said grouse bring several “gifts to the nation”, in the form of tourism, employment, conservation and accessibility.
“The Gift of Grouse is a campaign by which these benefits can be showcased,” he added.
“We also want people to know grouse shooting is not the preserve of the elite it’s an accessible sport.”
Arbroath man Callum Low, 19, was a beater at Invermark Estate during the shooting season and became a gamekeeper after studying the discipline at college.
He said: “It is a vital sector for not only encouraging youth employment such as my own but also for providing the resources to underpin our work on the environment and conservation.”
Lesley McArthur of the Glen Clova Hotel said the custom brought in by shooting parties and related business has a “positive effect” on her business and that of others.
Sporting lets director Robert Rattray of CKD Galbraith, based in Perth, said the shooting season is “a very important part” of rural tourism.
“I’m involved in getting parties from all over the world to come here,” he said.
Meanwhile, RSPB Scotland has again called for grouse moors to be licensed.
The call follows the discovery of a dead hen harrier on a moor in south-west Scotland.
Test results show the bird had been shot.