A few suggestions to help make your driven day just that little bit more special
What can you do to make your shoot day special and more memorable? What are some imaginative ways to personalise your shoot? Make it a bit different for your guests and improve their day? Here are a few ideas.
Give your invitations a boost
Along with your invitations give a little bit of history about the shoot. A description of its topography and the hard work you’ve been putting into improving the shoot. You could also include all the details your guests will need for the day itself. Maybe what to wear shooting and local accommodation.
10 Shoot Game Cards featuring black and white French Partridge image by Charles Sainsbury-Plaice £7.99
- A6 folding game cards
- Professionally printed in the UK
- Weight: 80g
Well, you could just give a small scrap of paper with the names of the Guns scribbled on it. But what about providing something a bit more memorable? A shoot card is one of the few tangible things a Gun usually takes away from the day. Is yours a photocopied slip of paper that will be thrust in a jacket pocket, to be discovered crumpled under a pile of empty cartridges at the end of the season? When you know who is going to be shooting on the day, you can pre-print some proper shoot cards and get the individual with the neatest handwriting to fill in the bag details before everyone waves goodbye.
Shooters in particular use their caps and lapels to hang their campaign medals on. Having a lapel pin badge made to hand out to visitors, beaters and pickers-up would be a memorable way to boost your shoot’s corporate image.
Having your own cartridges printed with the shoot’s name on them looks flash, but doesn’t have to cost the earth. For a modest initial set-up fee and the cost of the cartridges, larger manufacturers will print your designs on their own loads. You’ll have to order in large quantities of more than 10,000 to make it worth their while, but if you spread the cost between a syndicate it’ll make sense.
There’s always a quiet time when Guns are on the peg, even on the smartest of shoots. Why not use the time to spread a bit of knowledge? With a bit of thought and some weatherproof-laminated card, you can give your Guns useful bits of trivial information along with their peg number. Is peg four on the second drive the hot spot? Did shoot favourite Charlie Duffer hit his very first bird here in 2014? What’s the name of the big hill on the left? Don’t leave Guns whistling on the peg, make their shooting a trivial pursuit, too.
If your shoot has sloes or damsons, you’ve got a talking point. Bottle the berries with gin or vodka and your brew can keep the home team happy and the visiting Guns appreciative. Find our recipe for damson vodka here.
Serve your own game
Food is an integral part of a shoot day, and cost-effective and noteworthy shoot lunches are easily achieved if your shoot makes a point of serving its own game on shoot days. There are so many ways to make your game more interesting. Serve a wood pigeon sausage roll at elevenses for example. Read our tips on the best shoot lunch ideas.
The Glenfeshie estate, near Aviemore, became the first to kit out keepers in their own black-and-white check cloth. There’s nothing to stop you having your own shoot check made up too. Companies like Campbells of Beauly will be happy to oblige.
A shoot tie
A cheaper, and possibly more acceptable, alternative to your own tweed is a shoot tie. The design possibilities are endless for those with a little flair. William Turner are specialists.
This piece was originally published in Shooting Gazette in 2006 and has been updated.