5 top pre-season tips - the essential game shooting checklist
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Head instructor at West London Shooting School, Mark Heath, provides five essential tips to ensure your game shooting season runs smoothly and is enjoyable for all!
The game shooting season is imminent. Yay! With those first shoot days hovering tantalisingly on the horizon, and the Glorious Twelfth just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of those essential tasks that must be completed prior to the action, to ensure your season runs smoothly. After all, can you imagine anything worse than planning a great game shooting day and then discovering too late that your third party insurance has run out? Or, worse still, your licence!
Mark Heath, head instructor at West London Shooting School provides five tips to help you have a successful and enjoyable season; covering everything from basic checks to etiquette in the field.
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 and is required for your day!
Plan your game shooting season
Plan your season and never leave an invitation unanswered. One of the cardinal sins of shooting is cancelling on a day's shoot, especially if it is to accept a better invitation. So, plan ahead and ensure invitations are responded to as soon as possible. You can join a local syndicate either as a full or half gun or alternatively buy a peg or even share a peg through a little research online.
Brush up on your skills
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If you are not a competent shot or are just a bit rusty, I suggest you go and have a few lessons. As a relatively new shot it's important that your instructor talks you through a game drive and explains the importance of safety, peg etiquette, correct cartridges, picking up and what constitutes a safe shot.
All the gear
Make sure your gun is clean and ready for action and that you have sufficient cartridges for the day. Get your kit ready the night before, making sure that you have appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Don't forget to take your gun out of the safe when you are leaving - you won't be the first person to forget to take your gun... very embarrassing!
If you are a guest, a small gift for your host often goes down well, and don't forget some of the folding stuff for your loader and a thank you for the keeper. Saying thank you costs nothing, take the time to express your thanks to those who have made the effort to make your day.
Enjoy your season, and don't forget to share your photos with us on the Sporting Shooter facebook page!