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…

Mobile phones in the field

Do mobile phones have a place in the field?

Crucial phones By Ben Samuelson It was only a couple of generations ago when our late king wouldn’t have seen much use for a mobile phone on a day’s shooting. He took his private train down to his private station, had an excellent morning’s sport, lunch and a quiet hour after before bumbling back to…

stopping a gundog running-in

I want my dog to have his day as a picker-up

A: There is no set procedure for Guns who take their own dogs, and each shoot will have its own policy regarding the collection of dead and wounded game both during and after drives are complete. Therefore it is best to find out from the shoot captain what the expectations for that particular shoot usually are. This certainly applies…

Shooting etiquette low birds

Game shooting etiquette: what does a “low bird” mean?

Talk about a can of worms; this one landed on the in-tray with the pin out ready to drop me right in the deep water. How low can you go before a shot becomes a low shot? Let me start by saying that not all low shots are necessarily dangerous…

How to make a complaint about a game shoot

How to make a complaint about a shoot

Our sport is possibly one of the most evocative of any pastime, and good memories from the season linger throughout the summer, sometimes enduring for years when a chance reminder brings the moment back to life again. On the whole, we are very positive about our sport, and the casual,…