Driven Grouse Shooting can be enjoyed by most sportsmen who would like to try their hands and skills at ‘The Sport of Kings’. Although for most, this will require some saving up to join this exclusive group. Grouse Shooting is adrenaline shooting at the very peak of shooting sports.
when the ‘red mist’ descends on you while you are caught up in the action
Grouse shooting needs a keen eye and great skill. Watch also the skill of the loaders. A good loader can improve your day tremendously. The purpose of the loader is not just to keep your shotgun loaded at all times and to ensure that there is a spare shotgun ready for you so you can continue grouse shooting from the next covey. He is integral to your day. You will end up both working together as a team.
Not only is he a spare pair of eyes to help you locate the birds which are heading your way but he is also a spare pair of ears; so that when the ‘red mist’ descends on you while you are caught up in the action, you don’t keep firing forward when the horn sounds. When you hear the sound of the first horn you must acknowledge the Shoot Captain and take ‘going away’ shots only because otherwise the beaters would be in danger as they approach.
If you miss your first bird you have a second barrel and are ready
Whenever possible you should be shooting grouse in front of the butt as this is the simplest way to do it. You can see the grouse coming and you and your shotgun are facing the right direction for the next wave of grouse. When you see (or your loader points out) that they are approaching you should be selecting the first bird while they are well out in front of you. You want to be spotting the bird at 100 yards and have a gun mounted at 60 yards out and have made both your shots before they reach 30 yards. If you miss your first bird you have a second barrel and are ready to cleanly kill it.
Now that you’ve fired both barrels in front you can see if more grouse are coming and you are therefore facing the right direction. By turning and shooting grouse flying away there’s a very good chance you’ll miss the next wave coming towards you. It also means that the chances of you swinging your gun through the line of butts is reduced.
Your loader will grab the fore end of the shotgun and hand you the next shotgun
However the best ‘Guns’ are those who can get two shots in front and two behind an exceptional shot can perhaps get one or on very rare occasions two more from each covey that passes. To do this you will have had to have been shooting grouse very regularly and spent many hours practicing with your loader.
Managing this is an art form which as mentioned, you will have practiced hard. So when shooting grouse (if you are right handed) your loader will be standing behind you and slightly to your right side. He will be within passing distance so you can swap your guns out as soon as you lift the barrels skywards. Your loader will grab the fore end of the shotgun and hand you the next shotgun. He is also excellent at counting downed birds and ensuring you do not clash barrels. Which will cause a huge repair bill for you.
Loaders are excellent professionals and work very hard for you, so tip them well…