Formal driven game shooting is often hailed as the pinnacle of our sport and in most circumstances provides a great shooting experience. However, a fantastic day can also be had wandering around beautiful countryside in pursuit of a mixed bag, presented in numerous challenging ways. Rather than being tied to a peg and a narrow “window” of opportunity, walked up, rough and informal ‘mini-driven’ shooting offers the sportsman a huge variety of shooting experiences and much more interaction with his fellow guns, the keeper, and his team of beaters and dogs. Nature, habitat and fieldcraft are the order of the day.
It was such a day that brought a diverse team of guns together on the edge of the Lammermuirs for a mixed informal shoot. Two of the guns had flown over from Ireland (for one it was a surprise Christmas present!); one had come from Cheltenham, one from Alnmouth and the other two were local.
After all introductions were made we headed off for the first challenge – a small wetland area where we could hope to bag some mallard and teal. This was quite a military operation as it involved the team lining out in a field and then approaching a dry stone wall as low and quietly as possible so as not to disturb the birds. Once in behind the wall, the team waited for the birds to flush. Lots of shots were fired but only one mallard in the bag! It was a start!
Next we walked up some rough cover, blanking in as we went and then standing in a line as birds were flushed towards us. No pegs had been drawn giving the guns the option to move each other around as fairly as possible. Some really nice pheasants were sportingly shot and excuses made for the ones missed!
Lunch was taken in the field – fittingly Game Pie! After lunch the team headed off to a different part of the shoot to try their luck at some traditionally presented partridges. Martin,one of the guns from Ireland had not shot a partridge before and we warned him how challenging they would be at this point in the season. We were not wrong and the partridges provided a huge range of shots for the whole team, flying strong and fast.Some great birds were shot with everyone having success – including Martin!
All in all a great day of mixed sport in the Scottish Borders (one of the best places for game shooting in Scotland) – informal but challenging – with everyone getting plenty of shooting. There was a real interaction with the keepers and beating team and the final bag was 68 head of game. A big thanks to everyone involved.
If you would like to experience a great day’s game shooting in Scotland (driven, walked up or mini driven), please contact us for advice, prices and information.