A before shoot safety briefing is all important as it has been proved that briefing people on what to do in certain circumstances can really make a difference when the unexpected happens. The problem is that very few people actually listen to safety briefs (have a look around you when you are sat in an aircraft, most will be talking or reading their paper).
Do not make the brief so long that no one remembers it
The shoot Captain will always brief the guns on what to do and more importantly what not to do. There will usually be a few new faces and this is the time to note who they are and see if they understand how things are going to progress. Even the regulars will need reminding of certain details and everyone will need to know about anything ‘unusual’ which will happen during the day.
The importance of the before shoot brief sets out the rules of behavior (many other shoots have different rules and anyone who shoots at two or more events will need to be filled in on various differences. The brief should also make the day more enjoyable for everyone and safer too.
Here are a few ideas on issues you ought to consider mentioning
Do not make the brief so long that no one remembers it – remember we have an average of 30 seconds concentration time when a new topic is discussed before our own thoughts cloud out the new material being told to us.
Shoots come in all sizes from the Belvoir Castle commercial shoot with guests from all over the world and small syndicates catering for a few guns organized at the local pub. Here are a few ideas on issues you ought to consider mentioning:
- How peg positions change each drive and what number is everyone anyway?
- What signals the beginning and end each drive?
- What can and cannot be shot, is ground game acceptable?
- Where the stops and/or pickers-up will be.
You have a duty of care towards your guns; beaters and pickers up
- How you are expected to control your Dog.
- Use of lead shot or not?
- Where the beaters are coming from?
- What to do in an emergency and how is the drive stopped in this instance?
- Is there anything you do not understand? You must ask if there are questions and ensure you are approachable so that anyone feels free to bring things to your attention.
- Property boundaries and public rights of way.
Although the law does not require a briefing (why not you ask) you could be found negligent in the event of an accident. You have a duty of care towards your guns; beaters and pickers up along with anyone else who strays into your shoot.