I have been thinking this season, having been involved in this odd business for 20+ years that it seems to me, over that time there has been a definite decrease in the level of skill with a shotgun being demonstrated on driven shoots.
I have no empirical evidence but I seem to remember when i first started, a reasonable team of guns would rarely shoot at worse than 2.5:1 and often better. A really hopeless team usually came back at no worse than 3.5:1 on the lowland shoots i attended.
It seems now that a good team comes in at 3:1 and rarely much better with results of 5:1 not being unusual on the same ground with many, sometimes much worse results.
The shoots i go to now are the same sort of size as ever, on the same type of ground and the pheasants are not one bit different.
I know there have always been duffers and we all have to learn but you rarely saw a whole line of duffers and learners all together.
I have to say, that back in the day when i learned my way into the business if i went beating on a Saturday, i would see many of the same guns out pigeon shooting or at a local clay shoot or two on Sunday and throughout the off-season. Doesn't seem to be the case now.
Perhaps have the mists of time put the past in soft focus and made things seem better than it was or is there a slide in process. What do you think?