Review: The BASC Gameshooter’s Pocket Guide
This easily accessible handbook offers welcome advice on all things shooting, from shooting etiquette and safety to shooting technique and treatment of game. Now in its fourth edition, having first been published in 1990, it remains relevant, useful and distracting.
The author is a retired cavalry officer who was introduced to gameshooting as a small boy by his grandfather. He now lives in north Yorkshire and has a clear passion for gameshooting.
During a shoot day or at any time when in conversation with fellow shooters, there are often questions about our sport which crop up and nobody quite knows the answer. Well, this is where this little book will come in handy. Take night shooting for instance: did you know for the purposes of the law that night in this instance is defined as between one hour after sunset and one hour before dawn?
The author has a light-hearted approach to some of the advice he espouses, such as in the gun dog section where two of the top tips are to remember to take the dog with you on shoot day and then remember to take the dog home with you at the end of the day.
It might seem a little facile but in fact it is quite easy to forget the dog in the heat of the moment. In fact, this correspondent has reached his own peg in the past before realising the dog is absent.
Each chapter is illustrated by black and white line drawings by Mark Conroy, which have an old-fashioned feel to them, and they lend the book a little more gravitas than the moniker ‘guide’ or ‘handbook’ suggests. (Although oddly the front cover is illustrated by a photograph which seems rather incongruous considering the illustrations inside.) There is an old-fashioned tone throughout the book and while all the facts here are very much still relevant today there is a sense of respect for all the traditions of game shooting which pervades all 180 pages. This is a useful and entertaining book on our sport. HW