10 Things To Do Before A Shoot

As the roaring Glorious Twelfth approaches once again, the long summer of rabbit and Pigeon soon to be a thing of the past, we thought it would be an appropriate time to look at our ten things we do before a shoot.
A simple guide for guns old and an insight for new guns alike. So, put down the cleaning wallet and take a look at what you should be doing next:

men with shotguns hunting

A large hearty breakfast

Don’t skip this part! Nothing will set the tone quite like a ravishing breakfast; line your stomach to fuel your long day out in the field whether that’s a formidable bowl of porridge oats or a hoofing plate of good old English breakfast.

 

Fill your flasks

Don’t forget to fill yourself up a large flask of tea to wash down that breakfast; those of you wanting to warm the cockles, a few ounces of your favourite port or spirit stashed in the jacket pocket wouldn’t go a miss.

 

Guns and Cartridges

Next, it’s off to the gun cabinet to collect the 12 bore, which should be clean and well-oiled after its last outing; pop it into the gunslip, grab the cartridge boxes and decant them into your favourite cartridge belt or bag.

 

Man’s Best Friend

Sort the dog out for the retrieve. Grab its lead, whistle and of course the bird holder, sling or bag ready to take home a few braces of game.

 

Appropriate Dress

Start with smart trousers or tweed breeks; a crisp check, or button-down work man’s shirt; coupled with a smart tie is an absolute must on any shoot as everyone shooting must wear one. Weather dependent; try and go traditionally tweed from breeks to gilet to really look the part.

 

The 4×4

Get everything for the day into the pickup or Land Rover; the last thing you want is to all get to the meet and realise you’ve left the cartridges or the flask on the dining table; double check you have everything here before heading off!

Meeting

Head out to your shooting ground, meeting place or even a damp barn, whether it is just be there on time or you will miss the drives. Getting there on time is of paramount importance for the respect of the shoot host, to getting to know those who you will be sharing the shoot with!

 

Drives

Collect your peg and head over to your first drive; those who are just starting out, ears forward now as you’ll need to get to grips with the ropes fairly quickly (and safely). Perhaps your peg is number two, your first drive will be on the two and the next is on the three and so forth, you will normally shoot on four to five drives a day; A drive is where the birds will be flying over from the chaps doing the beating to scare them out into the open.

 

Load up

Now it is time to grab the gunslip, the cartridge bag/belt and the dog and load up with the other guns that are shooting that day and head over to your first drive of the day.

 

Have a marvellous day

The most important part of it all, just the enjoy yourself and the shooting. Don’t be afraid to get a little competitive; but most of all, have fun and hope you bag a few braces of game to take home for dinner. Every drive will be a different learning experience which will help you to hone in on your skills and get the maximum enjoyment from each event!

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