The season is finally upon us. When I sat down to write to you all at the start of the pheasant season last year, who would have imagined how markedly different things would be today? This time last year, we were blissfully unaware of the pending global pandemic and the chaos it brought with it; who could have imagined that facemasks, hand sanitiser the concept of social distancing would become daily topics of conversation.
How quickly things can change and continue to change. So October has rolled around again and, this time, things are very different. But shooters are adapting brilliantly. We have already seen with the start of the grouse, wildfowling and partridge seasons how shooting can be open for business, even if it’s not exactly business as usual.
We have had a glimpse of the ‘new normal’ over the last few weeks, following the start of the first of our game seasons to open under COVID-19 restrictions. As an organisation, we continue to adapt to challenges the pandemic throws at shooting, and we have shown we are more than a match for it.
One of the ways BASC is adapting to this evolving situation, and helping others to, is through our COVID-19 guidance visits for shoots (https://basc.org.uk/basc-covid-19-guidance-shoot-visits-hitting-the-mark/).
BASC has conducted more than 300 COVID visits to shoots across the UK and given advice on the risk assessments and precautions to be taken to ensure that shooting can take place in a safe and responsible manner.
It is through our actions that the Government has accepted shooting as one of 30 ‘rule of six’ exempt sports.
BASC has created a short and easy ‘COVID Code’ for those out over the coming months to ensure that every effort is taken to keep shooting secure and open for business (https://basc.org.uk/follow-the-covid-code-for-shooting/).
It may not be shooting in exactly the way we all recognise, but shooting is clearly open for business and that will provide a significant boost to the people who participate, the conservation it supports and the economy.
So, stay safe, keep up to date with the latest news, and enjoy your shooting.