Three game shooters walking across a field with their gundog
Three game shooters walking across a field with their gundog

Types of game shooting

Rough shooting / walked up

This is most common method of live quarry shooting. Shooters use their trained dogs (usually spaniels or Labradors) to flush game out of the hedgerows, woods or other cover as they walk along.

The knowledge and hunting skills required plus the fresh air, exercise and the training and working of specially bred dogs makes rough shooting one of the most popular, rewarding and cheapest forms of live quarry shooting in the UK.

These dogs also retrieve the shot game and the shooters despatch it quickly and humanely if needed.

Numbers are usually totally irrelevant with rough shooting, it’s about being out in the countryside with your dog and hopefully bagging something for the pot.

Driven shooting

This form of shooting is much more formal than simply walking with your dog alongside the hedgerows and is usually confined to pheasant, partridge and grouse shooting.

On the shoot day, a team of shooters, or Guns, line up at numbered pegs. Meanwhile, under the gamekeeper’s instructions, a group of beaters and their dogs move through areas of woodland or covert, flushing the game ahead of them.

The aim is to get the birds to break cover and fly high over the line of Guns to provide sporting shots. Shot game is retrieved quickly by a picker-up who sends his/her trained gundog to where the shot game falls.

Because of the organisation and number of people involved in a shoot of this sort, the cost to the Guns is considerably higher than in the other types of shooting.