A Shooting First for Caroline Beresford

I had already tried my ‘beginners hand’ at roost shooting, pigeon, air rifle on rabbit, rough shooting my first pheasant and duck.

Having only been shooting really since 2016 I consider myself ‘late to the table’ as my Gundogs had taken centre stage on the whole. 2017 is my first real year ‘on game’ after spending time earlier in the year at the clay ground, my aim now was to shoot my first ‘proper driven bird’.

By my own admission, I consider myself still a ‘beginner’ and I still miss lots! However, I also hold on to the fact that it is an absolute privilege to shoot game, to go home empty handed for me maintains my respect for quarry as much a taking home a brace of birds.

As a Gun I have a great deal of experience to gain but I am determined as I go. I would say to anyone learning to shoot to keep it going – learn as much as you can especially from your mistakes. Practice as much as possible.

We were shooting the last of four mini-drives on our little shoot with a group of friends for the day. I had myself in position at the end of the wood out in the field and the wind! I practice mounting my gun a couple of times to focus my thoughts away from my disappointing day thus far. I wanted this SO badly.

Looking ahead to where birds could potentially come from and familiarising myself with my surroundings for safety, I knew in my head it was, yet again, now all up to me. I was ready.

Birds came out of the side of the wood in the distance and over the two walking Guns. I had a rough idea when the action would begin as they approached. A thick patch of holly at the end of the wood held a number of birds parallel to me. Out they flew. I quickly selected my bird, a hen, and mounted my gun, staring at my target as she rose up high in front of me. I moved the gun through the bird as I’d been taught and pulled the trigger. She tumbled. I watched her fall and land 30 yards behind me. In my head it didn’t matter what came after that, I could have happily returned my gun to the slip and gone home quite satisfied. I’d done it!

Everyone in the shooting party was thrilled for me on a day I will always remember.

But, more than anything else this event, as before on other game I have taken, will always be about feeding my family.

I would urge all ladies to try shooting for the table. The sense of achievement is unforgettable. I want all ladies to be able to type #fieldtofork

Caroline Beresford.

November 2017

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