Beating on a shoot? Here’s what you need to know!

Paula

New Gun
Beating on a shoot? Here’s what you need to know

Beating can be great fun. But ultimately a beater is there to do a job and help the keeper achieve the day's bag


TAGS:Beating and picking-upgame shooting etiquette


Being part of a good team and putting birds over the Guns isn’t always as easy as it sounds because weather conditions play a big part, and what works well one week might not work next time around.

Furthermore, if a gamekeeper asks us to do something new on the shoot it’s never very helpful to reply: “The last keeper here never did it like this” or “we don’t normally do it that way.”

Remember that the gamekeeper is boss
He is the one who makes the decisions.

Similarly, most keepers use radio-men in the line to pass on instructions and it is important these are followed to the letter.

Sometimes the information will need passing quickly, clearly and quietly from one beater to the next, so we need to listen carefully to what we’re being told.

Keep looking left and right
Walking in a straight line isn’t as difficult as some beaters would have you believe – all we need to do is keep looking to our left, then right.

And when it comes to high maize crops all we have to do is ask our next-door neighbours where they are and adjust position accordingly.

Brambles? Don’t walk around them – beat a path through ‘em!

The path will be there next time around.

Beating on a shoot – the role
Beaters have to be flexible and open to other jobs we may be asked to perform.

Obvious ones are going on stop, carrying game back to the game cart or – if you have the experience – standing with a novice Gun, or driving the game cart.

an unruly dog can easily ruin a drive (or entire day for that matter!) but once a keeper can see that you understand how his day works he may be more willing to let you bring your dog at a future date.

Do not assume your dog will be welcome on every shoot!


A beater’s checklist
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the weather on the day. You can always take clothes off if it gets too warm, but not the other way around.
  • Turn up at the meeting place on time.
  • Let the gamekeeper know if you cannot attend.
  • Listen to instruction.
  • Be flexible.
  • Bring your own packed lunch if one isn’t supplied by the shoot. Where will it be taken
  • Enjoy your day, there is a lot of satisfaction in helping a day go well. And remember – the keeper is all-seeing!
 
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