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10 must-reads about beating and picking-up on a shoot

A few pieces from the past pages of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun ...

beating on a shoot and picking up team

If it’s your first time out, then your fellow beaters and pickers-up will show you the ropes. In the meantime, here’s a selection of articles you’ll find useful to browse through …

1. 16 things only beaters know (and Guns should)

Beating is tough work and challenging to get right. But sometimes beaters aren’t always given the applause and credit they deserve. Reading this article could be an eye opener.


dogs in beating line

2. Why beaters’ dogs have it best

Beaters’s dogs are vital to the success of a shoot day and are often the unsung heroes of the field. But they also have the most fun …


Priest for pricked birds

3. The best way to dispatch pricked birds

A vital aspect of shooting is the humane despatching of a wounded bird or animal. The prime objective of shooting live quarry is to ensure, wherever possible, an instant death for the creature we are pursuing.


pheasants on game cart

The game cart staff are part of the picking-up team

4. A beginner’s guide to picking-up 

Have you received an invitation to pick up on a driven shoot? Never done it before? Here’s what to expect.


Queen Elizabeth in the field

“The lady in a headscarf”: the Queen at the Cocker Spaniel Championships in 2008

5. A Royal picker-up

Apparently, as a young princess, our Queen used to hijack the family corgis to track down shot birds at Balmoral.


beater in field

Beaters cover huge distances over rough terrain to drive birds over the Guns – without them, the shoot wouldn’t happen

6. The ideal beater

A gamekeeper gives his view of what constitutes the perfect beater on a shoot. (Not worrying about the keeper appearing gruff is one advantage.)


beaters' day

Beaters’ day at the Longford estate, Salisbury, Wiltshire

7. Get your gundog ready for the beating line

There are plenty of traps for the young and experienced dog on the beating line. Here’s how to avoid them and get out of them.

rules for picking-up

8. There’s more to picking-up than meets the eye

Very few gundog owners are fully aware of the responsibility that comes with working with your dog as a picker-up in, what is, a vital part of a game shoot.


dogs and pickers up on grouse moor

A team of pickers-up tramp through miles of purple heather on a grouse moor

9. Picking-up etiquette during a driven game shoot 

Picking-up, like shooting, is a key part of a driven shoot day, but both pickers-up and guns are prone to bad habits. Any of these sound familiar?


picking-up on a shoot

When picking up it is always best to stand well behind the Guns

10. Guns, beaters and pickers-up. All on an equal footing

It’s always refreshing to find shoots where things are run a little differently. David Tomlinson reports from a very egalitarian set-up.