William Powell Country

Return Invitation, Check!


Article written by 23 November 2015

How to receive a return invitation before, during and after a shoot day

It’s always a nervous wait before the season starts – Will I be lucky enough this year, or won’t I? Having come from a shooting background myself, but not being fortunate enough to be able to offer shooting invites out myself and thus benefit from return invites, here are my 14 top tips of how to receive a return invitation before, during and after a day’s shooting…

  • Prepare well – ensure you have all the correct clothing, ‘wet weather gear’, and shoot day essentials set out the night before. There’s nothing worse than arriving and realising you’ve left your ear defenders on the side back home! If in doubt about anything (i.e. the meet time and place, whether you can bring anything with you, is lunch provided etc.), phone ahead and ask your host!

  • Dress smartly – shooting is a traditional sport with traditional dress to go with it. Ensure that you dress accordingly and aren’t putting on muddy breeks from the day before. Wear a tie, not only does it look smart but also helps keep you warm in those winter months.

Will R - Smart Dress

Shirt and Tie is a must!

  • Be on time – It’s better to be sat in a lay-by 30 minutes early than arriving as the hosts giving his pre shoot safety talk!

  • Dogs – your host will always appreciate you asking if your dog is welcome. If it is, ensure it’s well trained!

  • Pre-Shoot safety briefing –be respectful when your host is giving his safety briefing. Listen in carefully and abide by what he says. If you think he has missed something, ask politely at the end. Also, remember your peg number! There’s nothing worse than someone who forgets this drive after drive!

  • Mobiles – these modern ‘necessities’ don’t need to be in the palm of your hand on a shoot day, or even worse when you are on peg. If needs must keep phone conversations to in-between drives or other breaks in the day.

  • Safety – You could be the best shot there, but if you are not safe this will not gain you a repeat invite. Always be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you know where the flankers and beaters are at all times. If in doubt, don’t shoot!

  • Don’t be greedy! – You don’t have to shoot every bird in the sky! Know your ‘shooting window’ and stick to it, especially if pegged next to your host! Also, do the maths – if the expected bag is 200 birds from five drives between eight guns, its five birds per person per drive. Filling your boots on the first drive will impress no one.

  • Engage with people – Take the time to say thank you to the beaters and shoot day staff for their hard work at the end of a drive or lunch. It doesn’t take a lot but will be hugely appreciated.

  • Mark your birds properly and ensure all are accounted for before heading back to join the rest of the team, even if it does mean you miss the first round of sloe’s!

  • Congratulate your neighbouring guns on their fine shooting, don’t brag about your own and never ask how many birds they shot on a particular drive.

  • Check the going rate for the tip, be sure to do give it to the keeper personally and make a personal comment about which drive you enjoyed the most, the quality of the birds and so on.

  • Accept a brace of birds at the end of the day. Taking a brace of game home is very much part of the day and experience of being out shooting. If you are unsure of how to prep the birds, ask the head keeper or a fellow gun, they will gladly point you in the right direction.


Thank the Game Keeper

  • Once you have returned home be sure to hand write a letter to your host thanking him for the day. The sooner it’s in the post, the better!

For a full range of shooting clothing and accessories, please visit www.williampowell.com


Will Southall

Trainee Land Agent at JM Osborne. Read more.

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