Are you one of those who puts their guns into cold storage for six or more months once Feb 1st rolls around? Or are you a fair weather shot (or aspire to be) as well? In his latest blog Howard Day is looking for more summer shots in his guide to simulated game shooting.
Historically pigeon shooting was the realm of summer shots, but the combination of growing demand and shrinking availability is making it more and more difficult to find. So shots keen to maintain peak form or just continue the season’s fun without retreating to the clay ground have been pushed to look for alternative sport.
Maybe you’re one of the growing group who prolong your season with trips to Spain or Ireland where the driven shooting carries on a little longer into the spring. Or one of an even smaller fraternity who now travel to New Zealand for driven pheasant shooting among the slopes and valleys of South Island.
And then there’s the big bang of summer shooting: simulated game. True simulated game days are as close to a day’s driven bird shooting as is possible when flinging clays into the sky and we work closely with estates to try to replicate, as closely as possible, the atmosphere of the ‘real thing’: From having to draw a pegs in the line, moving up three between drives and trundling around an estate in the gun bus, to shooting drives that form the core of the winter’s driven sport. The goal is to capture the unique flavour of a day’s driven sport on that estate.
Differences between driven and simulated game shooting
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but there are three key differences between driven and simulated game. For one, there’s that most British of obsessions, the weather. Statistically it’s better in spring and early summer than during the deep autumn and winter months. And no matter how you fling them, as a quarry clay pigeons lack more than wings: they aren’t as fussy, unpredictable or independent of thought as birds. And finally, the volume of shooting is more than most of us would dream of on a game day.
Our simulated game days are ideal for teams of 10 to 18 guns. Two guns share each peg, loading for one another or even double gunning if you want. Once one has shot the drive we blow the horn, swap around and the other gun gets the chance to have a go, This creates the opportunity for more experienced shots to share wisdom and constructive criticism with more novice comrades. Or, as is often the case, it allows the development of a competitive edge, sledging and Mickey taking to evolve.
It can be an ideal way to get some pre-season practice, or book one of our coaches for the day to join you and work out the kinks in your swing to get yourself ready for the season ahead. We run simulated game days for full teams as well as scratch days, which allow individuals or small groups to join a line. Because we work with game shooting states, the days run from now until the birds go to wood in mid-July. Alternatively, if you have your own ground, we can bring the day to you. Whichever way you slice the sporting pie, simulated game days are just good, clean summer fun.
For more details or dates contact Outside Days at [email protected]