shoot briefing

How to make sure a shoot day goes well

Whether it’s your first shoot day or the first one of the season, how can you best prepare for it and get the most out of the day? Shoot location Where the shoot is will give you a clue as to how the birds will be presented. Is it in…

first day on a shoot

What to expect on your first day pheasant shooting

Wondering how your first day pheasant shooting is going to turn out? We asked some experienced shooters what novices should expect on their first day. An exciting buzz “All shoot day mornings are exciting. There is a buzz as you arrive for coffee and to draw pegs. Keepers, beaters, pickers-up,…

what to wear game shooting

What to wear shooting

We advise you on what to wear shooting, whether at the clay ground or in the field

what is a shooting syndicate

Just what is a shooting syndicate?

If you are a member of a syndicate shoot, are you aware of all the legal aspects? David Barrington Barnes runs through how not to become the wrong sort of syndicate

Butt used in grouse shoots

Must-know tips for the Glorious Twelfth

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…

The bigger the shoot, the less respect?

Picking-up is about one thing — finding shot birds. The joy I get from finding one bird that would otherwise be lost gives me more pleasure than shooting even the highest of pheasants. Over the years I have managed to climb the picking-up tree, from a small syndicate with one…

shoot lunch picnic

What you need to know BEFORE replying to a shooting invitation

An invitation to shoot is a highlight in any gameshooter’s calendar. The host has three methods at their disposal when inviting a guest to shoot: telephone, written missive sent by post or email. An oral invitation via telephone is the easiest and most practical method, not least because the guest…

what ladies should wear shooting

Ladies in the field – some advice on what to wear

Hicks & Brown was set up by designer sisters Alice and Rosie, who were brought up on a farm and have excellent fieldsports credentials. We asked them for their tips on what ladies should wear in the field  (and not wear) and what’s good to wear on a warm autumnal…

becoming a loader

I want to become a loader. Should I do a course?

I have loaded for some years, and although competent, I decided it was time to get a qualification in the subject. Why  
is a loading course a good idea? One of the significant reasons for picking up a loading qualification is for health and safety purposes. Shoots and estates have…

Beaters, loaders and pickers-up

Do beaters, loaders and pickers-up get paid fairly?

It is a pretty fair assumption that there are few people for whom beating, picking-up or even loading is their main source of income throughout the season. Though the money is welcome, it by no means replaces a regular salary 
— particularly since earnings on 
a shoot now have to…

Date a shooter

Why you should date a shooter

Some reasons why a shooter should be top of your Valentine’s Day wish list “Men who shoot a lot often have dogs… seeing dogs working for their owners and the bond between man and dog is a very attractive quality. Building that relationship takes respect, discipline and patience…. all attributes…

permission for pigeon shooting

How to get permission for pigeon shooting

Permission to shoot pigeons is not easy to obtain and it can take time getting to know people before it is granted. Farmers must have complete confidence in the person asking for permission, and as a pigeon shooter you must not let them down. When I’m driving around the countryside…

pheasants in Land Rover

The size of the bag is not the point

As shooters we are often guilty of making sweeping assertions as to what the wider public love or hate about what we do. We base our beliefs on what we or our friends think, rather than a more scientific assessment of what voters think. And it’s that category that impacts on us in Parliament and the…

keeper's day

Keeping everyone happy on keeper’s day

As the season draws to a close, talk among the beaters and pickers-up is of the end-of-season keeper’s days. For many gamekeepers, it is the only day of the year they get to shoot pheasants. Indeed, for some of them it might be the only day of the year they get to go shooting at all. There…

Clay shooting

First invitation to shoot – what now?

A: Congratulations on receiving your invitation to shoot. However, before you mount a gun to shoot at any sentient creature, you need to have plenty of practice at clays. Go to a good ground that will do proper gun fit too. That will make you a better shot and will also give you confidence in…

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…

shooting Guns

10 things that can make or break a shoot day

Makes 1. The Weather: Many Guns prefer a lightly overcast day, a favourable wind with a decent nip in the air. Persistent driving rain all day is enough to break the spirit of the keenest gun. 2. The host: They set the mood for the entire day. A bad host…