From a young age I have done a lot of air rifle shooting but only recently I have started shotgun shooting. Last year I was invited to a few shoots at the end of the season as a beater and fell in love with it. Im from a farming background so love being outdoors in the open. My boyfriend got me into game and clay shooting and it’s something we love to do together. He surprised me out of the blue with a Lincoln 20 bore shotgun and I love it. I’m still getting used to it and it’s very different to rifle shooting but i’m slowly getting there. My dad used to do game and clay shooting when he was younger as well as my grandad and uncle who still shoot now and have ran their shoot, i’m hoping to be able to encourage them to do a few shoots next season and hopefully help them run it. I love everything about the countryside, being outside with the birds, the great friends you meet along the way, and of course the food and drink!!!
Where I shoot the gamekeeper buys the ducks in at a few hours or days old and the pheasants when they are a bit older and can go straight in the pen. Last year some ducks died on their first night as they got away from the heaters so this year, my and my best friend who comes beating as well decided to sleep in the barn with them for the first night!!!! We set up a little den using straw bales and made a straw bed for our selfs and got into our sleeping bags with our hot water bottles and slept with them. Taking it in turns to check to see if they were all under in the middle of the night. Everyone thought we would ‘duck’ (excuse the pun) out but we loved it. Apart from all the horses making weird noises (it’s a livery yard) We helped to feed them and eventually move them onto the pond when they were told enough and now they are cracking birds.
It’s a great feeling thinking you helped all these birds to get to where they did today. It showed me the dedication and hard graft it takes to be a gamekeeper and the sense of pride when the ‘guns say’ “you have some cracking birds”
I love waking up on a shoot morning, I wake up so early and get dressed ready to go an hour before I need to leave because it’s so exciting. I love going down and getting set up for the great day ahead. I can’t wait to continue shooting hopefully after this second lockdown and get back out there!