BASC has spoken to many syndicate shoots in recent weeks and each one is different, so it is difficult to give a simple answer. Each will have to think through their plan and make their own decisions. Involving syndicate members in the decision planning process will be important.
For some, sourcing birds and looking after birds may be a concern; so, they should speak to suppliers as soon as possible and think about the practicalities of looking after birds once they are in the pens.
- Is a gamekeeper on site, or will someone have to travel to the shoot?
- Is the shoot reliant on one or two people looking after the birds, or could the job be shared between more people?
- Remember, shoots have a legal obligation to ensure the welfare of any birds while under their control.
Shoot subs are another point of concern. Some Guns may have lost their jobs, be under financial strain or reluctant to make a commitment until the future is clearer.
Understanding the individual circumstances of members will be vital. Phasing the payment of subs may be an option, or perhaps provide a ‘slimmed down’ version of the shoot to keep costs down?
Good financial and scenario planning will be essential this year, especially if strict social distancing restrictions remain in place as we head towards the summer.
One thing is for sure, the shooting community will be looking forward to the season more than ever – whatever form it takes.