Driven shooting

Driven shooting is very popular and certainly takes a bit out of the guesswork out of the day. The Guns are lined up and each given a specific place to shoot from, known as a ‘peg’. The best peg is considered to be in the middle of the line, so with every new drive the Guns are moved around so that the shooting is shared. Beaters then drive the birds out of cover over the waiting Guns.

Five top tips for driven shooting

Ed Wills, Deputy Editor of Shooting Times, gives his five top tips for driven shooting.

1. Be wary of your neighbouring peg . It is considered bad sport to poach your neighbours birds. Leave if unsure of distance.

2. Dress accordingly. Check with the shoot captain beforehand to gauge the dress code.
3. Make sure you are aware of where the pickers up are behind you. They could be concealed by foliage.
4. Watch the flanked end gun. They may come up unseen over a hill so watch your swing.
5.  Always remember to tip the keeper graciously. They are a fundamental part in the day and have worked tirelessly to put the birds over your head.
driven pheasants

What’s the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants?

Q: As we move towards the pheasant season can you recommend the best cartridge load for driven pheasants. I don’t mean skyscraper high pheasants, rather standard ones.   A: I think cartridges are very much a personal preference and I would say that whatever gives you confidence when you are shooting is the correct cartridge for you. Shooting…

Braced up pheasants

Has commercial driven game shooting reached a watershed?

We all know the price paid by game dealers for shot birds has been historically low for many seasons, and maybe it always has been. Back in Victorian times the saying went: “Up goes a guinea, bang goes a penny, down comes sixpence.” However there’s now a new twist to…

Female Gun

An invitation to a driven day – a female Gun reports back

I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the wonderful world of fieldsports for most of my life. 
From rough shooting with my 
father to great times on the beating lines, I can still claim that one of my greatest achievements was to be head beater by the age…

grouse shooting

Glorious start to the grouse season

It’s been a terrific start to the grouse season in northern England, though reports from Scotland have been mixed. Last month, estates reported big broods and perfect conditions along with the possibility of record seasons in some places. But Shooting Times checked back to see whether the Glorious Twelfth had…

How to be an ideal beater

How to be an ideal beater

  The ideal beater Nothing makes my job easier than a good team of reliable beaters and picker-ups. In any beating team there is normally a core that know the ground better and work that bit extra to make the day a good one. Most of my beaters are locals, many seem to have been here…

Late-season driven shooting

Late-season driven shooting – how to get the most from it

Driven shooting in December and January is arguably the cream of a season’s sport. The birds are strong, the cover has died down, there is hopefully some cold weather and, of course, there should still be enough birds about to shoot at. Driven shooting may be at its best at this time of the year and the Guns…

Man shooting in rain

Struggling on long crossers – what should I do?

Shooting instructor Adam Calvert replies: A: The walking gun brief can be one of my favourite roles but equally it is a tricky one, and the addition of long crossers can be an extra challenge. When you are given a brief as a walking gun the most important thing is to remember the associated safety that actually surrounds walking…

red legged partridge

Getting up to speed on partridges

There is something very English about shooting partridges over stubbles in autumn. Once, the majority of driven shooting in England was partridges; not the French red-legged variety but our own beautiful English, or grey, partridge. Modern agriculture in the 1980s sadly had a huge effect on the stronghold of the grey, but there are committed landowners and farmers out there…

How to be a good shoot day host

How to be a good shoot day host – 10 top tips

How to be a good shoot day host? Like any gathering of friends at a party, a shoot day needs a host, and what should a shoot day be if not a gathering of friends having a party? The visiting team may field its own host in the shape of…

clay shooter

A lesson on driven grouse targets

Although the RBSS is a clayground, gameshooting tuition is very high on its agenda. The school has an excellent grouse butt and 25-bird sequence, which ends in a four-clay “covey”. Among several of the school’s old- timer instructors is Gordon Robinson, who had volunteered to offer his advice on how…

man shooting over dog

Shooting memories I’d rather forget …

Following a conversation I had with someone at a game fair recently, I realised that despite there being many thousands of gundogs working in the field not many of their owners have shot over their dogs – and I think there are a lot of people missing out on a…

wildfowling in field

Starting game shooting

Wildfowling If you can’t afford to buy game shooting by the day, or through a syndicate, we recommend you join one of the many UK wildfowling clubs listed with the BASC. That’s because… An annual membership fee costs much less than a day’s driven game shoot. You are mentored in…

Picking-up etiquette on driven shoots

Picking-up etiquette during a driven game shoot

I have read with great interest in this magazine about how pickers-up are expected to behave when picking-up by guns and more especially, guns with dogs. I have picked-up on quite a few well-known West Country shoots, where I have also loaded. It seems to me there are many types…

8 ways to improve your game shooting during the close season

Go and shoot lots of cartridges on a simulated shoot day. Take a few friends. It’s very social and more importantly, you’ll be keeping your eye in. Have a professional gun fit at a good shooting school. You may be surprised at how much it improves your technique, particularly if…

Commercial shoots

Poor drives on commercial shoots: poor excuse or unfair demand?

In the world of commercial shooting, is it good enough to explain a poor drive by saying it was the first time through? The Paying Gun, by Matthew Alexander As shooting has become more expensive it’s only fair to the paying customer that the offering also improves. Guns are more intolerant –…

father and son shooters

When boys become Guns

The first steps into the shooting world are often some of the most difficult to take. For young people in particular the prospect can seem as daunting as it is exciting, but it is essential that they are welcomed in to the sport if gameshooting is to flourish and thrive.…

grouse shooting

Ex-RSPB conservation director says driven grouse shooting should be banned

The RSPB has taken a neutral position on the matter of driven grouse shooting. However, in his book Inglorious – Conflict in the Uplands, which is to be published tomorrow – just two weeks before the Glorious Twelfth – Dr Avery says that the sport should be banned. The controversial…