Among the different types of shooting practiced throughout the world and UK in particular, driven shooting stands out for being the most formal and expensive one. But what is driven shooting? Not much has changed since the Victorian era and aspects like safety, sportsmanship and etiquette still stands strong to this day when it comes to this activity. Usually, driven shooting is limited towards grouse, duck, partridge or pheasant shooting and follows similar format, with little exceptions.
The process of the shoot
Wish to know all about driven shooting in the UK and at Bettws Hall? When beginning the shoot, guns are stationed about 20-30 meters apart and from a fixed point, which is marked by a peg or post. Depending on the terrain, the line can either be a straight or curved one or simply horseshoe shaped. There will always be a team of shooters or professional beaters and their dogs who keep moving through woodland areas and are in charge of driving the birds towards these guns, very skilfully. The moment the birds keep flying over the guns and the whole manoeuvre called ‘drive’, they are shot.
A normal day usually has around 4 to 6 drives. There’s a fixed manner in which the shots are made and has a theory at the back of it. The members who take charge of the ‘drive’ understand the concept very well and execute the work with utmost precision and dexterity.
The ‘bag’ or total number of birds shot on a specific day ranges anywhere between 100-400 and grouses are usually counted in pairs called ‘brace’ (two similar things). To take an instance, it would be 100 birds pheasant day that would be equal to 50 brace grouse day.
The job of these professionals is quite arduous and the work moves on like any other business, whereby a team of staff members are employed to shoulder all the responsibilities.
Cost factors to be considered
It would be worthwhile to note that in UK, cost per day is always determined ahead of time and as per the requested bag size. This is usually split between total guns present, regardless of the number of birds that get shot by any individual gun. For a gamekeeper, the primary task is to offer adequate number of shootable birds over guns so that the target of making it to a certain number is achieved.
If one sees the standard ratio, it’s around 3:1. When very high or difficult birds need to be shot, the ratio exceeds to somewhere around 8:1. Usually, majority of driven game shooting falls under this range.
How it all ends?
So when the day is spent, it’s discussed how the shoot went. In fact, gamekeepers offer shooters a ‘brace of pheasant’ as well. That’s more of a prize and one should accept it as a token! But overall, the experience is usually good and most people who wish to know all about driven shooting in the UK are satisfied with the result.
Many have not had the chance to witness or become a part of this amazing activity can still try. So if you want to know in one line what is driven shooting? It’s more of a business opportunity than mere a pastime, so it definitely makes sense to try driven shooting at least once. Read our guide to getting started in driven shooting here.