Great social events for this summer for shoot syndicates, staff & clients, hens & stags or simply family and friends.
The popularity of Simulated Game Days has soared over the past few years and when you attend one of these events, it’s easy to see why.
We’ve all attended and enjoyed summer BBQ’s, Clay Shoots and Garden Parties because they provide the opportunity to meet up with good friends and mix with like minded people and all have a great time in good company. This is exactly why simulated game shooting has caught on so quickly.
Last summer I attended three such days and each was tremendous fun, but more than that, they provided an economical way of getting together with the lads and lassies in very comfortable surroundings and doing what we all love to do – over indulge!
"It matters not a jot what number you draw as the sky will be filled with clays and shooting your neighbours bird is half the fun anyway"
The days that I enjoyed so much were all of the same format, arrive around 9.00am for tea/coffee & bacon rolls. Choose your shooting partner for the day and pick your peg. It matters not a jot what number you draw as the sky will be filled with clays and shooting your neighbours bird is half the fun anyway. When all is said and done you’re shooting clays not live game, so no one will be offended if you pinch his bird as he has another 10 or more passing overhead, and anyway he’s probably eyeing one of yours right now.
Off to the first drive and the clays start to rocket overhead, firstly a steady trickle of birds, then as the drive progresses the sky is full of clays and all guns are blazing.
You are shooting the first drive and your partner for the day is loading but no matter how hard he tries, he won’t be loading quick enough.
By the end of the first drive you’ll be delighted to hear the horn so you can unload, put the gun away and rest your shoulder.
It's about this time that the sloe gin or port makes an appearance.
The next drive is the same format but this time your partner is shooting and you're loading – he gets the sore shoulder!
"We make our way back to the lawn where we are greeted by the smell of steaks grilling on the barbecue"
By now it should be about time for lunch and on the days that I attended last summer, we were blessed with blue sky and sunshine on each occasion.
We make our way back to the lawn where we are greeted by the smell of steaks grilling on the barbecue, along with lashings of salad, crusty bread, burgers and sausages and a couple of beers to wash it all down.
Time to get to drive number three and further punishment for your shoulder as the clays start to whiz overhead. Again your shooting partner can't keep up with your demands for “more cartridges quickly” Again the sky is full of clays like a massive flock of starlings flying overhead.
The horn sounds again to end this drive and give a little respite before you all move off to the penultimate drive.
This time you're the loader and the one on the receiving end of the cries for “more cartridges”. Again the steady spray of clays overhead turns to an unbelievable flurry of birds and all guns are blazing. The welcome sound of the horn is heard along with hoots of laughter and squeals of delight from the excited guns in the line.
The final drive of the day and everyone is told to stand on a peg, no loaders this time!
"Frankly I can't wait for the final horn to sound, my shoulder feels as though I've been kicked by a horse"
The last drive is every bit as exciting as the previous ones bit this time we have perhaps twelve guns shooting at the hundreds of clays that fly over the guns. Frankly I can't wait for the final horn to sound, my shoulder feels as though I've been kicked by a horse! It's about this time that you start to realise that you've each fired in excess of 300 cartridges in just a short sleeved shirt and light weight waistcoat.
Everyone congratulates each other on some wonderful shots although you'll be hard pressed to remember any of them, and all agree what a fantastic day it's been.
Back to the big house or gun room for tea & cake, what a wonderfully British way to spend a summers day.
A word of advice, when you book your day do the maths. Realistically how many cartridges do you want to shoot ? If the answer is 250 each and there are twelve guns shooting, you'll need to book a 3000 bird day.
If you shoot a side x side, borrow an over & under or buy some asbestos gloves. You'll melt your gun or burn your fingers if you try to do this with your s/s.
Finally, you have to try this! For what it costs ( around £150/200 each) it really is an experience that you'll treasure for a long time to come.
From the shoots point of view, it's a very cleaver way of keeping the revenue stream alive at a time of year that would not normally generate any income - every one is a winner!