I started out beating on a friend’s shoot and I quickly discovered you need good waterproofs, a sense of humour and that I was not as fit as I thought I was!
My partner has always shot so I would just go along and beat. Then children came along, so I would take them beating in a backpack to start with (if you ever do this remember to duck lower when going through woods! 😂)
As they got older they started shooting too and I decided I would take lessons, starting with clays which I really enjoyed.
Next, I progressed to pheasant shooting and I went on my first shoot with a group of friends and, as is so often the case I was the only lady shooting.
So off we go to the first drive. I’m stood on my peg with a million thoughts going through my head – be aware of where people are around you, shoot safely and well above the skyline and then I hear the beaters in the distance.
On this misty winter’s morning the birds picked up and soared over the hedge and trees, they all seemed to be homing in on me and I ended up with a halo of pheasants above me. At that moment I inadvertently became a member of the pheasant preservation society! I was in the prime spot and never fired a shot!
I did improve as the day went on though, much to my partner’s relief.
As the years have gone by, we have been lucky enough to take a shoot on and both of my children help with this. Through this, I have learnt a lot about cooking the different game and enjoy this just as much as shooting.
I have also managed to get many friends from different backgrounds to take up shooting, so much so that we have two days of just ladies shooting on our shoot this year. And for a change, my partner will be doing the beating.
Keep up the shooting ladies.
All the best Phillippa
P.S. The maize cover has not grown so thick this year if you’re beating and get caught short.😉😂