The STOP/START game season of 2020/21 has been a logistical nightmare for game shooters and shoot organisers. The covid pandemic has brough chaos, death and destruction to the whole world. As we all hold our breath and pray for a vaccination breakthrough, we all just want a return to normality.
The small syndicate shoot that I run has had to make significant changes to ensure the guns and beaters stay as safe as is possible during these crazy times. Risk Assessments and Track and Trace are all new requirements that have been introduced along with Social Distancing, Hand Sanitising regimes and the wearing of masks when traveling more than one person per vehicle.
This season more than ever shooting is under scrutiny, extremist organisations such as wild justice have consistently tried to paint an unfair picture of our community and we need to project a positive image to the public whenever we have the opportunity.
"As we all hold our breath and pray for a vaccination breakthrough, we all just want a return to normality."
Many small syndicate shoots don’t have the luxury of having a large number of drives confined within a large Estate away from the publics view, my shoot is spread over four individual smaller farms and therefore the guns and beaters travel by 4x4 from one drive to the next along the country lanes. We are therefore very visible to the public, even more so than usual this season as the guns/beaters have been asked to travel one person per vehicle when ever possible. This means perhaps ten or more vehicles travelling in convoy between drives. We therefore need to be seen to be sticking rigidly to the rules with regards to face masks and social distancing.
We must project a positive image of our sport if it is to survive and thrive during these uncertain times and if we are to resist the pressures placed on us by the antis. That means ensuring that our shoot is safe and well organised, and I have found that supplying shot game to the local community goes a long way to gaining support for our activities.
Let’s hope and pray for some kind of normal for the Game Season 2021/22.