In the current economic climate, shoots increasingly are offering days for sale without charging Guns overage for numbers shot beyond the agreed bag.

This is one of the key findings from this year’s Guns on Pegs/Smiths Gore Shoot Benchmarking survey which is set to be released this Friday, at The CLA Game Fair.

More than 100 shoots from throughout the UK took part in the second annual survey of its kind, accounting for more than 2,400 shoot days and 1.1million pheasants and partridges.

The figures show that 31% of shoots that took part do not charge overage.

This is up from 29% last year.

Similarly an increasing number of shoots (15%) now charge per bird shot.

The same figure in last year’s survey was 11%.

James Horne, managing director of the Internet sporting broker Guns on Pegs, explained the findings: “We know that the overage policy of a shoot can make a substantial difference to the decision for a team of Guns to return. One of the most frequent complaints we receive concerns overage charges — Guns often feel they have been misled and overcharged.”

“A team ought to know where it stands before commencing shooting. Being told to stop at lunch or pay more is awkward for either the team or the host Gun. Customer service is the key. Shoots are in the entertainment industry and must ensure smiling faces at the end of the shoot. The trend suggests that shoots are becoming more alert to this fundamental need.”

“It could also help explain why the top 25% of shoots in our survey are fully booked within three months of the end of the season and why this is nearly all repeat business.”

The full survey will be launched on Friday, 22 July at the Guns on Pegs stand at The CLA Game Fair in Oxfordshire. In next week’s issue of Shooting Times there will be an exclusive article analysing this year’s results.

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