With seemingly endless COVID lockdowns upon us, we're all wondering when we'll be able to enjoy going out into the field again. But there are ways we can support our sport and make sure our future shooting is our best ever. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Encourage more people to eat game. This is one of the most important ways we can support our sport and ensure its future. Cook game whenever you can and encourage people to try it when they’re shopping in supermarkets – after all, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsburys all stock game so it’s readily available – and not expensive either.
  2. When you can, book yourself in for a shooting lesson. In fact, why not book a few. If you feel your shooting has been below par this season then it might be time to go back to basics, book some sessions with an instructor and see what is going wrong. It’s simple to slip into bad habits if they remain uncorrected and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to change things. You’ll also be supporting your local shooting school and instructors.

    LaPorte clay trap

    If you’ve got room you could set up a clay trap

  3. Visit the clay ground for some practice when it reopens. Don’t just hang up your gun over the summer, visit your nearest clay ground to keep your eye in. Or if you have room, why not set up a clay trap on your own land.

    game cookery projects

    Do a game cookery course (the biscuit tin is a homemade smoker by the way) 

  4. Do a game cookery course. Eating what you shoot is all part of it. If you’re trying the same old recipes, it’s time to enlarge your repertoire – take a look at our game recipe section here with ideas from wonderful cooks such as Rose Prince and Cai Ap Brynn.
  5. If your shotgun certificate or firearms certificate is up for renewal in 2021 make sure you get it sorted in plenty of time. Allow 12 weeks before it expires for your new certificate to be processed.
  6. Don’t loiter on the way to your peg. Get to the peg, get loaded and get going. If the birds start to move before you are ready then it’s your fault.
  7. Show politeness to the beaters. Say hello and how are you as they emerge from the undergrowth and start back towards their vehicles. Don’t be one of those Guns who walks past beaters without a word.
  8. Don’t forget to tip correctly.

    shoot briefing

    Always listen keenly to the safety briefing

  9. Remember that we are the ambassadors of our sport so behave impeccably. Don’t post anything on social media that might show shooting in a bad light.
  10. Follow the shooting safety rules at all times. In these days this also means following the COVID shooting safety rules too.
  11. Make sure you have adequate shooting insurance. It’s always worth being a member of the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), the Game & Wildlife Trust (GWCT) or another fieldsports organisation. If you have any legal queries they have experts on hand to help.
  12. Respond to all shooting invitations promptly.
  13. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for a day in the field and put your phone on silent.