A few things you need to get clear before you start
How do they handle the bag coming up short or going overboard?
Never go into a day on an open-ended basis. Find out who pays whom for going over the bag or coming up short. Shoots will set parameters for both eventualities but the norm is around plus or minus 10 per cent of the target bag, allied to a typical shot-to-bird ratio.
How do you get to the shoot?
A good shoot may have a smart gun bus. Or the owner may suggest that 4x4s are de rigeur. Find out either way, you don’t want to turn up in a Porsche or similar for a day on 45 degree banks to discover that there is no gun bus.
Get a feel for how much walking is involved throughout the day, especially if your team contains representatives of the frail, elderly, infirm, or unfit.
When and how is the catering provided?
Smart estates have shoot rooms with a roaring fire and a professionally trained cook serving breakfast and a shot lunch later. Less smart shoots may favour converted cow byres, pig pens, Victorian stables, Dutch barns or even the keeper’s cottage, and somebody local will produce a tea urn and a midday casserole. Both can be good, but it helps to know in advance and prepare the team. Dietary peculiarities from your side should be explained and, if the keeper suggests shooting through, he probably has a good reason, so go with him.