Return to shooting Covid guidance workshops

Duncan Thomas

Duncan Thomas

BASC north director. Duncan’s interests include fly fishing, lowland and upland game shooting, deer management and the breeding and training of gundogs. He beats, picks-up and shoots throughout the North West and is a well-known commentator on shooting and conservation matters.

I feel like a pinball in one of those gaming machines at the moment. It’s superb to be back on the road after COVID-19 lockdown and working from home, but it’s back in the driving seat for me. It has been back-to-back with my team delivering BASC’s return to shooting Covid guidance workshops in the north of England.

For the last two weeks I’ve been pinging all over the gorgeous north region, meeting some great characters on shoots. All socially distanced of course!

The start of the grouse season

The big push at the moment is from the grouse moors who start shooting in less than a month. BASC’s return to shooting Covid guidance workshops have gone down. Grouse, pheasant and partridge shoots are keen to plan ahead and get it right.

Safety first

The main objective of the visits is to keep everyone safe, especially the shielders and vulnerable. Of course, we all hope that as the season progresses effectively, things will look slightly different, but we must prepare for all eventualities.

With a bit of effort and planning, it doesn’t have to be painful or too onerous.

BASC’s return to shooting Covid guidance workshops are built on the back of existing shoot risk assessments. You don’t need to worry if yours isn’t up to date as BASC staff can help with that as well.

The free workshops are packed with helpful ideas and guidance, but the main messages are keeping your distance and maintaining hygiene standards.

Artwork by Hollie aged 7 from Allendale

Feedback and initiative across the regions

All BASC regions are now out and about meeting shoots. Up here in the north we will have delivered nearly a dozen so far. The reaction has been extremely positive and it’s superb to be meeting such positive characters even in these challenging times.

During the sessions, some great debates have ensued and as always gamekeepers have come up with very practical suggestions of implementing the rapidly evolving government guidelines and regulations.

Some of the bigger shoots have purchased temperature “guns” and will be checking all participants including Guns and shoot staff prior to ANY interaction. The harsh reality is that if anyone goes down with Covid-19, it could affect whole beating teams with people having to self-isolate.

I never thought I’d hear myself say this but “bubbles are the future!”

Looking towards the shooting season

While it’s important that the season goes ahead for many reasons, we must remember that the welfare of our often more “mature” community is paramount. A little bit of thought and planning at this stage will ensure we have the best season possible and bounce back next year.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for us all. Have an ace season, stay safe, shoot straight and let’s beat this virus together!

For the latest information on Covid-19 visit our dedicated webpage.

Return to shooting Covid guidance workshops can now be booked with any BASC region. Email or call your local area to reserve a slot.