Is it possible? A reader who is a mature student lacks funds but is keen to start gameshooting. Tom Payne offers some tips
Q: I am in my mid-40s and have never shot before, but I would love to have a go at gameshooting and possibly get my shotgun licence if I then discover I enjoy it.
I am a mature full-time student so don’t have much money to play with. Is there any advice you can give? Can I go gameshooting on a budget?
Shooting without breaking the bank
A: If you are interested in getting involved in gameshooting there are many ways that won’t break the bank. It is always worth contacting your local BASC branch — they may offer courses that will help get you started.
Get in touch with your local ground
From a shooting point of view, I would research your local shooting ground and see if they do taster sessions so you can see what you think of shooting and whether it is something you want to pursue.
I would advise that you become proficient at going after ground game first, with lessons from an experienced gameshooting instructor. Once you have the basics in place you can then think about going into the field for live game.
Learn about gameshooting
It is also very important that you gain as much knowledge as you can about game shooting and what it is all about — shooting pheasants is only part of what goes on.
If you are in a rural area or close to a shoot, whether large or small, see if you can get involved. Offering your services as a beater is a great way to learn, improve your understanding and make friends. You may then get some invitations you want to follow up.
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Ed Wills, deputy editor of Shooting Times suggests: “I would ask permission to go out with a professional pigeon shooter or ferreter and experience first-hand their practice. Doing this will gain you valuable contacts and relevant experience for going out shooting other quarry in the field.”