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25 etiquette tips for shooters

If you're new to shooting you might feel rather daunted by the etiquette. However it's a case of do as you would be done by. Be thoughtful, polite and above all safe and you'll increase your chances of being invited back. Here's a list of tips to remember that will stand you in good stead.

man shooting in cornfield
  1. Know the gun safety rules. You can read up on them here
  2. Respond to an invitation promptly -whether you can accept or not
  3. Do not cancel an invitation to shoot once you have accepted –  unless something catastrophic has happened, like a death or severe illness
  4. Don’t be late – in fact try and arrive 15 minutes early to the shoot
  5. Wear the right clothes. You can ask your host beforehand what the dress code is and what is recommended for the local conditions
  6. Do not take your dog with you unless he is very well-trained and has been invited
  7. Turn your mobile to silent. Better still, leave it in the boot of the car
  8. Don’t bang your car door when you arrive
  9. Do not assume a meal is provided. You may need to bring a Thermos and a packed lunch
  10. Listen carefully to the pre-shoot briefing
  11. Remember your peg number and walk to your peg promptly and quietly
  12. Don’t talk loudly in front of flush points
  13. Keep your gun slipped or broken when you are not shooting
  14. Don’t shoot low birds
  15. Don’t poach birds from your neighbour
  16. Don’t be greedy. If the expected bag is 200 birds from five drives and eight Guns then that equals five birds per Gun per drive
  17. Treat shot birds with respect
  18. Mark your fallen birds and chat to the picker-up to ensure birds are picked as efficiently as possible
  19. Despatch pricked birds properly
  20. Pick up your spent cartridges after each drive
  21. Don’t dawdle over lunch
  22. Say thank-you to the beaters and pickers-up after the day’s shooting
  23. Be charming, friendly and good-natured
  24. Give the gamekeeper a tip in person and check the going rate with your host
  25. Write a proper thank-you letter to your host in ink, and put it in the post the same evening.  No texting or e mailing
    black labrador with owner

    Dogs are by invitation only and should be well-trained