Shoot Safety Code

Shooting is a dangerous sport and we are sure that all those who visit us are aware of this fact. The following notes are designed to give those who have not shot in the UK before an idea of how a day works, and those who are experienced, a refresher on the ground rules.

Before setting off each participant (or "gun") will be invited to select a number. The number allocated will be valid for the first drive (or "stand") and thereafter each gun usually moves up two places each drive (this system can vary from estate to estate, but whichever numbering system they use will be explained at the start of the day). The total number of guns is usually eight. Thus, the gun that draws number 4 for the first drive will be number 6 for the second drive and so on throughout the day. There are usually five to six drives in a day, often four before lunch and one or two after.

A drive, as the name indicates, describes the guns standing in a line and waiting at their position while a line of "beaters" walk through a wood or strip of game cover driving the birds towards them. Apart from pheasants and/or partridges there may be opportunities during the day to shoot duck (only to be shot with non-toxic cartridges), pigeon and woodcock. Winged vermin such as magpies and jays may also be shot, but no other sort of bird.

You are also likely to see hares, rabbits and foxes. In the interests of safety we make it a rule that NO GROUND GAME OR VERMIN MAY BE SHOT.

Bearing in mind that safety is of paramount importance, we believe that the following suggestions may be helpful to ensure that no harm comes to you, your fellow guests or to the beaters or pickers up.

  1. Only shoot at birds, which are flying at a height above which it is impossible for the shot from your gun to reach another person.
  2. Never shoot into a wood or bush below head height, since someone may easily be there of whom you are unaware.
  3. If you are following a bird that passes between you and your neighbouring gun, always raise your gun as you turn, NEVER "SWING THROUGH THE LINE". If shooting behind the line, shoot only at birds that are flying high since there are often people standing behind you, although you may not be able to see them.
  4. Never cross a hedge or fence with a loaded gun.
  5. Guns should always be unloaded at the end of a drive and carried in gun slips between drives.

By observing the above safety suggestions, we feel sure that you will make the day a safe and enjoyable day for the keeper, his beaters and for you and your fellow guests. Remember we don’t care whether you are a good, fair or poor shot AS LONG AS YOU ARE A SAFE SHOT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WELCOME.

NB. Gratuities: The head keeper should be tipped at the end of the day. Tips will vary according to the day and the bag. They should in any event represent in some degree your personal satisfaction and thanks for the organisation and work which has gone to make up the day. We are always on hand to offer advice on tipping.

HawkOwl Web Design