After spending the best part of 18 months as a weekend shooting widow, I decided to give clay shooting a go.
April saw the launch of the 2017 Lady's Wood Challenge, with the opportunity for shooters of all abilities to compete for a top prize worth £1000. The 100 bird, game-orientated shooting challenge includes various stands simulating game, pigeon and wildfowl, with two of the stands providing 20 bird individual flush sequences for partridge and grouse. It takes place within Lady's Wood Shooting School's renowned natural woodland setting at the foot of the Cotswold Hills. The challenge runs Tuesday – Friday until 30 June (pre booking required) and top scorers across the qualifying period will be invited back for a 'Super Final' in July. The overall top scorer will win a peg on a 200 bird pheasant day, with 250 Hull game cartridges to use on the day. Runner-up will win a peg on a Lady's Wood Simulated Game Day with 250 Hull cartridges to use on the day (worth £350) and third place wins 250 Hull cartridges (to the value of £100) Ladies High Gun winner will be awarded a peg on a Lady's Wood League of Lady Shooters event and 250 Hull cartridges, whilst under 18's Junior High Gun wins 500 Hull Cartridges. Chipping Sodbury-based Lady's Wood Shooting School, shortlisted as one of the UK's Best Shooting Grounds in the 2017 Shooting Industry Awards has been teaching people to shoot since the 1980's, and offers expert tuition and thrilling simulated game shooting opportunities for the novice through to the most experienced game shot. "The Lady's Wood Challenge offers competitors of all abilities the opportunity to come and enjoy competing in an exciting event, within a stunning environment. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to testing the skills of our visitors, both regular and new, in the weeks ahead! " says Chris Hanks, Manager and Instructor. The Lady’s Wood challenge runs Tuesday – Friday, by appointment and costs £55.00 per person to enter. Places are limited so please contact Lady's Wood Shooting School on 01454 294546 for available dates and more information. More information on Lady's Wood Shooting School can be found at www.ladyswood.co.uk
I was given the chance to stand on a peg on beaters’ day and I found it really enjoyable; it gave me the passion to start shooting. I decided to get some practice on clays and turned up at my local clay shoot when they opened for the season. I was so excited I’d got up early to prepare my kit. I arrived with a 20 bore shotgun but unfortunately the clay ground only had fibre wad cartridges in 12 bore. I was nervous about the kick of a 12 bore, but was assured that if I shot the same 28 gram load that I had previously used in 20 bore the kick would be the same. So I paid for my clays and cartridges and went on to my first stand. I had a quick introduction and was given some tips from an experienced shooter. I was very apprehensive but when I took my first shot the nervous feeling went and I was filled with excitement. The 12 bore was very heavy and didn't fit me too well but that didn't stop me from having a great day and shooting at all 50 clays. My advice to any new shooter is: “Don't worry about your performance, it's not a competition and nobody cares if you miss.” I missed quite a few but as it was my first experience I came away smiling and happy to have just got the confidence to shoot the gun. It's not all about hitting the clays, it's the day as a whole. I met new friends, I had a laugh and came away wanting to go again. I now attend my local clay shoot regularly, Thank you for letting me share my experience with you. Jasmine Esther
On Wednesday 7 December 2016, the RAU Shooting Club held their first in-house end of term shoot. It was kept simple, with a 50-bird sporting layout set over six stands at our local ground, Hollow Fosse. This layout was a very good combination of close targets, quartering, crossers and some further away which balanced very well for a small layout. We shoot at Hollow Fosse every Wednesday for our normal practises set by Martin and Bruce. They are known for the deceiving targets which always look that bit ‘easier’ than what they really are, which always adds some entertainment. I started shooting properly in the summer, after I started working part-time at Barbury Shooting School, where I could practise on the 100-sporting layout and get some lessons fitted around work time. I also bought my first gun, a Beretta 697s 12 bore, from Wiltshire Rod and Gun, my local gun shop in Swindon. After this, my scores improved and were a lot more consistent, so I continued to work on my shooting since. Once I started university, I was lucky enough to make the ladies shooting team. This meant I started shooting competitively too and it helped to improve my shooting a lot. As the RAU Christmas Cup was a competition, the shooting club executives had organised scorers and sponsors for the event. It made it more interesting than normal, adding a competitive feel to the day. BASC had sponsored the ladies’ categories for the day, alongside the GWCT who sponsored the men’s prizes. Overall, I was happy with my score as I was in the 30s. I was even more pleased that I came first, however, as it was my first individual win and I took away 250 cartridges and a cleaning kit with a few goodies from BASC too. I now plan to work on my shooting and progress further into the New Year and hopefully pick up a few prizes along the way at the university competitions we have lined up. At the moment, I am trying to get as much practise in while I can and use every opportunity to improve my shooting. Rachel Parker-Kemp (Ladies Winner)
Gamekeeping students from North Highland College, Elmwood Campus and Borders College joined professional gamekeepers at Scone Palace for one of the premier events for gamekeepers in Scotland.
British Shooting, the umbrella body for competitive target shooting, is seeking a non-executive director.