Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32

Thread: Level of Shooting Skill Generally on show?

  1. #1

    Level of Shooting Skill Generally on show?

    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?
    Last edited by Wingers243; 05-01-2016 at 22:45.

  2. #2
    I don't know if there is a link. I despair at times seeing some Wildfowlers shooting at out of range geese. The secretary of our club had a flat tin replica cut out and hung up so the guys could see what the size of these birds are at various ranges. The art of follow through has to be learned and practiced.
    Does anyone ask syndicate guns if they can actually shoot these days or is the cash the most important criteria?....

  3. #3
    With driven game it is hard to get any thing else to compare with during the year, 4 + months on the ducks if you want to, I come off the pigeons then into the ducks. But then the young birds are not so sharp.

    I joined a good wildfowling club to gain more marsh access, but was surprised on how little club members shoot the rest of the year. Some have no rough shooting ground at all and with busy lives it does take lots away from getting out with the gun.


    We will watch a field for a week or so letting it build up with pigeons then go out to shoot a 100 plus if it goes right. But you have to work at it that much I have learnt. As Will Garfit said 1 hr in the right place is worth 3 hrs in the wrong place...


    Cash is king as you only have to look on here with people who book there stalking, which is fine but most would not hunt out some land and go foxing to keep sharp.

    People have their car washed while they go shopping so why would they not just pitch up at game shoot, blaze away, eat the food, pay the bill and go home!!

    Tim.243
    Stalking is very much like going to the night club

    You can always tell an Essex Boy, just you cant tell him much...

    An hour in the field is worth a week of typing trash.....




  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Highlandsjohn View Post
    Does anyone ask syndicate guns if they can actually shoot these days or is the cash the most important criteria?....
    You can only shoot the game once so why would a syndicate that is looking for a new member invite the best shot in the county to join them who would then proceed to shoot 30 birds to his own gun before lunch resulting in the day finishing early?

    If I was going to pay for a peg on a 200 bird day I would want to be amongst poor shots and not good ones. Greedy I know but I would rather get the chance to shoot 50 birds to my own gun than 15. The day will end once the bag is reached after all!

  5. #5
    It's more accessible I see it quite often "I'm shooting in a couple of weeks so thought I better have a lesson!" Safety is the main thing we try to get a cross and often asking if they have their insurance yet focused their minds often they don't know why they need it "I won't shoot myself I'm not that stupid" when asked about the beater etc they may shoot they go quite.

    Ive even had a guy turn up because he's never touch a gun of any type before and the police won't give him a license until he's learnt to handle a gun safely form a professional instructor who will to say what he's covered, but he's joined a syndicate so needs a gun ASAP!

    I don't want to say it but can't help at times thinking a small test could be good thing to ensure people are safe and stand some chance of killing game cleanly.

  6. #6
    I think that a lot of the points made are all relevant
    personally I think people think they can just pick up a gun at the start of the season
    and expect to perform at a high standard
    where as as someone stated a bit of pigeon shooting and clays through the summer all
    help to stay sharp

    cash will be another thing people just happy to fill syndicate places or make up teams with
    little regard to the individuals safety or shooting morals or Abilty

    baguio makes a point about buying into a weak team of guns all well and good if they are truly
    shocking and can't hit a barn door and you can shoot abit and fill your boots
    but I've seen it work just as bad within a week team of guns shoot low birds that I wouldent raise
    a gun to and before you know it your on your bag pissed off very frustrated 500 quid worse off

    personally I will only buy driven days with a team of guns that all sing off the same hymn sheet
    Agree what the size of the bag will be so no hidden costs at the end of the day
    not to shoot unsporting or low birds
    Any overages or extra drives agreed with all guns and shoot owner if allowed
    In my experience the guns you shoot with will make or break the day so pick accordingly

    safe straight and happy shooting

    Regards pete

  7. #7
    I'm relatively young (not quite 40 yet) but on most of the days I go to there are a fair few geriatric Guns. Probably demon shots in their day but now sadly not as sharp as they once were. Probably something to do with most money being in older hands, and the young being time poor compared to 30 years ago. I wonder if that's got something to do with it. Also there are plenty of newcomers - where once people grew up with shooting and served apprenticeships as beaters etc, now they have the cash so they splash.

    As an aside, I'm normally careful not to poach anyone's else's birds. I was on a very close-pegged day recently when the very congenial elderly chap at the next peg was ignoring every sporting bird that came over, just raising his gun briefly too late and then giving up. I left his birds - which would have been ideal for me if we weren't so close-pegged - to him all day and think he shot one out of about fifty. He had a corker of a bird come over him at the end of the last drive, 40 yards+ and travelling. "He won't shoot at that" thought I, so I gave him a chance to raise his gun and when he didn't react I shot it straight overhead. There was a nice long delay before the shot hit, then down it came, a good few seconds in the fall, and hit the top of a tree thirty yards behind. BANG! went his gun. I turned, and he shouted with glee "got it as it came down to roost in that tree!".

    I'm still not sure if he was gently chiding me for poaching, or genuinely thought he'd shot it on its way to bed.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by tikka_madras View Post
    [...] and the young being time poor compared to 30 years ago. I wonder if that's got something to do with it. Also there are plenty of newcomers - where once people grew up with shooting and served apprenticeships as beaters etc, now they have the cash so they splash.
    That certainly has a lot to do with it. Although I wanted to, I wasn't able to start shooting until my 20s. I lived in Central London so there were no easily accessible clay clubs, let alone game shooting. Limited cash available too to spend on shooting, and no car so all trips to the clay club were a major expedition and were few and far between. My friends and I were mostly self-taught, and still are, and it shows. After a bit, we started being invited on one driven shoot a year, with our shooting being inconsistent from one year to the next due to lack of practice. The guy who invited us shot with his father and their circle, had had proper coaching and was as a result far better than any of us. Twenty years down the line, he's not on that circuit anymore and the result is that he's no better than I am. Priorities for us have changed although the fact that a trip to the clays still takes an inordinate amount of time hasn't. But on the domestic front, there's no difference between derelection of family duty for clays or the rifle range, or the same for stalking or game shooting, it's all time away from home at the weekend. So you have to choose, and when I have the chance, I prefer to go chasing game. I'm much better with a rifle than a shotgun, so I mostly stalk now, on the half-dozen occasions a year when I can. Back when I was mostly wildfowling, I was shooting maybe a dozen cartridges a season (in the dark, and missing), so that didn't help.

    The result of all of that is that I usually average about 4-6 shots per bird. That's OK, but not great, and I know that all it would take is regular attendance at a clay club, but there just isn't time to do that. One day I hope to sort that out. I could moan about how I would have liked a chance to learn as a youngster, but then as I said, my friend who did has fallen low like the rest of us because he doesn't have the time to practise anymore.

    So as you said, it's a problem of access and available time, and shooting's like playing the violin, or knitting, or any other skill: you need to practice regularly. So best to shoot with people who aren't too fussed about the score and to shoot within the limits of your ability, foregoing shots that will most likely at best result in a clean miss.
    Last edited by Pine Marten; 06-01-2016 at 09:47.

  9. #9
    Got to agree with some of the above. We have become a world where we desire instant gratification. By the time I shot my first pheasant I had been shooting for a decade. The business of gun handling and how to shoot was learned over a long period of time, not in a classroom or during a fifteen minute taster at a clay ground. We certainly do not do ourselves any favours, when we allow folks to go out with little or no training and hose around the countryside .

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by howa243 View Post
    Got to agree with some of the above. We have become a world where we desire instant gratification. By the time I shot my first pheasant I had been shooting for a decade. The business of gun handling and how to shoot was learned over a long period of time, not in a classroom or during a fifteen minute taster at a clay ground. We certainly do not do ourselves any favours, when we allow folks to go out with little or no training and hose around the countryside .

Similar Threads

  1. shooting show
    By sir-lamp-alot in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-07-2015, 12:44
  2. The Shooting Show....
    By Tim.243 in forum Videos
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 13-06-2015, 08:38
  3. Shooting show
    By nell in forum Wild Boar
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-01-2013, 09:22
  4. Shooting show
    By nell in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 17-01-2013, 09:45
  5. Shooting show
    By swarovski in forum Videos
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-12-2012, 19:01

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •