The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Do you eat during the course of a 100-bird competition?

JOHN BIDWELL says: I’m not a qualified dietician but you should be careful what you eat – and drink – during the course of a long shoot.

If you usually eat lunch during the course of the week, or nibble on snacks in between times, then there’s no point changing your routine because of a shoot.

However, too much food or caffeine (in the shape of tea and coffee) might affect your performance. If you are thirsty – or to avoid dehydration in hot weather – drink still mineral water.

If you feel tired after eating then, instead of a large, heavy, meal make a snack of an oatmeal bar and fresh fruit. Take a refreshing glucose tablet from time to time to help you stay alert.

I prefer to shoot slightly hungry, not full.

Times have changed, but years ago on our travels to shoots on the continent, editor, Robin Scott used to laugh when he saw the French, Italians, Belgians and Spanish tucking into an obligatory three-course luncheon washed down with a fine bottle of wine or two.

“Biddy,” he’d say, “the opposition’s going to be taking a siesta this afternoon.”

This doesn’t happen so often these days, but it was par for the course at many European and World FITASC Championships in days gone by.

Each to their own, of course.

For my part I like to get to a ground in good time, eat a decent breakfast then walk the course before shooting.

The walk-round helps settle the food before I start shooting.

If you find that eating affects your shooting, the easy answer is – don’t! The time to relax and order a plate of food in the clubhouse is when you’ve finished for the day.

But be careful… you might be called up to take part in a shoot-off for one of the prizes. If so, it would be silly to throw away all that hard work for the sake of a plate of egg, chips and a burger!