Idiot’s Guide to Booking Shooting

February 27, 2010

Subtitle: The Things I Really Need to Know to Make Your Day Work We start booking shooting for one season before the previous season closes, and are in full swing planning for the season to come by the time March becomes lamb-like. Much as I love extended email conversations and playing phone tennis, tag, and catch with all of you, it helps if you’ve done a little thinking before we start. We work with so many different shoots, each offering a selection of different opportunities, that it’s hard to know where to start when the email says ‘looking for some shooting…prices and dates please’.Knowing what quarry you’d like to shoot, where or when you’d like to shoot helps narrow the choices. Grouse are a possibility in northern Britain from August 12th to December 10th, but you can forget shooting in the Outer Hebrides until September, or being within an hour of London ever.Do you care how many times you pull the trigger? How high the birds are? How far you will have to preambulate between pegs? Is your dog just for show, or do you expect to use its services on the day? Are you solo, or blessed with an entire team of compatriots eager for the off? Can you shoot any day except the first Tuesday of each month, or are you a weekend warrior? Gourmand content only with linen tablecloths and a selection of fine wines? Cottage pie or casserole in the shoot room? Fish and chips at the pub? Or sausage rolls and soup on the tailgate of the Landrover?
Do you have to be back on your doorstep for dinner at 5? Looking to stay in a sporting lodge complete with singing laird and scotch pancakes? Fancy a pub with a roaring fire that allows your dog to stay? Or maybe a B&B whose landlady has an encyclopedic knowledge of local watering holes?
I’m sure you get the picture. The more specific you can be, the closer to your dream spec I can tailor the day. Of course, giving me plenty of notice always helps…