We advise you on what to wear shooting, whether at the clay ground or aiming at game in the field
So you’ve been invited shooting – perhaps for the first time and you want to make sure you are dressed appropriately for the field.
Shooting has its own etiquette and wearing the right kit is part of it. But as well as looking stylish and appropriate, you need to think about being comfortable and safe. Follow our advice below and you won’t go far wrong.
Our top tips for what to wear shooting
- Check the dress code with your host
- Guns usually wear brown or green clothing
- Ear protection is a must
- Also a hat
- Practical footwear
Protect your ears
Not wearing ear protection is major no-no. Moulded earplugs, digital headphones or disposable plugs or all options. Choose something that keeps your ears warm too.
A tweed flat cap never looks out of place in the field.
If you want to be traditional you need to wear a green or brown check shirt. On the grouse moor opt for darker colours to avoid being seen by the birds.
Check with your host but in general a tie is expected on formal shoots.
If you’re on a formal shoot, many Guns will be wearing a three piece tweed suit with matching breeks or trousers, waistcoat and jacket.
You’ll be game shooting mostly during the winter so make sure your coat is warm and waterproof. When buying a shooting jacket, make sure you have enough movement to swing your gun. You’ll also want a jacket with deep pockets to keep some cartridges.
A cartridge bag is essential. Run out of cartridges and it’s game over.
On a formal shoot, you should wear tweed breeks or trousers. At less formal shoots, you can wear moleskin trousers.
Stocks/stockings with garter
Wear long socks with stockings, tied with garters to stop them falling. Two pairs of shooting socks will keep your feet warm in winter
The best bet is shooting boots with good ankle support, as this will suit you on uneven ground as well as flat earth.
What to wear clayshooting
For clayshooting, there is no official etiquette on what to wear. However you’ll almost certainly enjoy your day on the clay ground moor if your clothes are smart and functional. Go for items that allow movement and take account of the weather conditions.
On the clay ground this is even more important as more shots are fired than in game shooting.Make sure your hearing protection has a comfortable fit that doesn’t impede gun mount, or bad habits will set in. Options include disposable ear plugs, high end digital headphones and moulded earplugs.
All clay shooters need to wear eye protection and a shooting school can provide this for you. There are a variety of tints available which help you pick to the clays – experiment to see which works best for you. If you wear glasses then consider prescription eye protection.
Shirt or T-shirt
This depends on the weather. Most clay shooting happens in the summer season, but unlike game shooting, there’s often a lot less physical exercise. You also have the luxury of not needing to carry your clothing with you, as you would in the shooting field, so wearing several light breathable layers that can be discarded when needed is a good idea.
If you are attending a clay shoot you will be expected to bring your own gun. If you are attending a clay shooting lesson, the school will be able to provide you with a gun and ensure the gun fit is right for you. If attending a clay shoot, always return your gun to its slip between stands while waiting to shoot.
This is a judgement call based on the weather. Wellies will be fine in the wet. In dry weather, trainers or walking boots or some other comfortable footwear will suffice.
Waterproof sports holdall
This is not essential when having a clay lesson but during a clay shoot you will need one for carrying cartridges, chokes and a cloth to keep your hands clean and a snack to keep your concentration levels up. This is also handy for storing extra kit if you have to remove a layer in the heat. We like the Tethera bag featured above.
Ideally overcoats should be removed before shooting if it’s comfortable to do so as this will affect gun fit. If you intend to shoot with it on during the rain, ensure when you buy it there is no restriction of movement.