Mark Heath, head instructor at the West London Shooting School, tells you what you need to know
Key advice for grouse shooters this season
- Check the paperwork. Double check your shotgun licence does not need to be renewed and you have the insurance necessary for a driven shoot. There is nothing worse than booking yourself onto a shoot and realising your third party insurance has expired and is required for your day
- Plan your season and never leave an invitation unanswered. One of the cardinal sins of shooting is cancelling on a day’s shoot, especially if it is to accept a better invitation so plan ahead and ensure invitations are responded to as soon as possible. You can join a local syndicate either as a full or half gun or alternatively buy a peg or even share a peg through a little research online.
- If you are not a competent shot or a bit rusty, I suggest you go and have a few lessons. As a relatively new shot it’s important that your instructor talks you through a game drive and explains the importance of safety, peg etiquette, correct cartridges, picking up and what constitutes a safe shot.
- Make sure your gun is clean and ready for action and that you have sufficient cartridges for the day. Put your kit ready the night before making sure that you have appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Don’t forget to take your gun out of the safe when you are leaving, you won’t be the first person to forget to take your gun……..very embarrassing.
Know the gun safety rules. You can read up on them here Respond to an invitation promptly -whether you can…
When going back to basics, the first rule of good shooting must always be safety
We advise you on what to wear shooting, whether at the clay ground or in the field
Graham Downing offers the novice some helpful pointers on their first grouse shoot
- If you are a guest a small gift for your host often goes down well, and don’t forget some of the folding stuff for your loader and a thank you for the keeper.
- Saying thank you costs nothing, take the time to express your thanks to those who have made the effort to make your day.