As part of our shooting campaign we want to broadcast the good work undertaken by the shooting community across the country.

We’re looking for people to be the faces of shooting for the 2017/18 pheasant season and want you to send us your stories to help tell the public about the sense of community, the love for wildlife or the boost to the local economy that shooting generates.

If you’re a beater, picker up, shooter, gamekeeper or small business owner, visit our competition page and tell us why you have a #loveofshooting and you could win a pair of Ariat Catalyst Walking Boots, courtesy of Sporting Kit.

The competition has now closed, please view the entries below.
Meet the faces of shooting

I have shot all my life, I enjoy getting out side be it on the clay ground or in the field. This country has some of the best countryside in the world with breathtaking views. But best of all, the wife has taken up shooting and we now share our outings. Here Is a pic of her having a go, I wish I got one of her beaming smile when she got her first clay. – Tom Sutton

 

 

 

 

 

Only very recently have I taken up shooting of clay pigeons and I’ve immediately caught the bug! There’s no better feeling of being at the meet surrounded by eager gun dogs and excited children. My six year old sister is also a keen shooting enthusiast and adores carrying the braces of pheasants home after a successful day on the field. I spend Saturdays hunting with the foxhounds and Sunday’s on the clays and I wouldn’t change it for the world, despite my bruised shoulder after using a shotgun that’s slightly too big! – Molly Ralph

 

 

 

 

I enjoy shooting as my whole world revolves around this! I live with my partner who is a gamekeeper, and help him out whenever he needs. To some people the shooting season is just about getting out in some beautiful scenery, but to me its all about seeing the whole years work and effort all coming together. It’s about training and seeing the dogs doing what they do best, its about meeting new people who become good friends, it’s about seeing skill of guns who can drop the highest of birds, and when your dog comes back with an amazing retrieve, it’s about stocking up the freezer with plenty of game, and I know how lucky I am to live this lifestyle and to be able to go out beating in some spectacular views, working my gundogs and call it work. – Heather Currie

 

 

 

I enjoy working my spaniels – doing what they were bred to do. – Emma Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few years ago I managed to train my show bred Golden Retriever (Charlie) to become my first working gundog. Not only did I learn a huge amount in training Charlie I also had almost 3 fabulous seasons picking up with him on our local shoot. Sadly it didn’t last as Charlie developed gout 3 weeks ago and did not survive the vets attempts to save him. Whilst I have been heartbroken at losing Charlie at only 4 years of age I have looked back and realise that those precious days out on the shoot with him were actually some of the best days of my life. I have made lots of friends and will be beating for the remainder of this season. A new pup, Wellington (another show bred goldie), arrives on 6 Jan and I will hopefully be introducing him to a shoot day towards the end of next season. On my first days picking up I felt so privileged to be out in beautiful surroundings working my dog and that feeling will remain as long as I am lucky enough to be on a shoot, in whatever capacity. – David Beckenahm

 

 

 

Oliver started attending a local shoot when he was 3 years old! He thoroughly enjoys his days out in the countryside and helping collect the birds in at the end of the drive! Even for a fussy eater he loves coming home helping prepare the pheasants to make his favourite meal – pheasant curry! So lovely to see youngsters out there enjoying the sport! – Amelia Hoather

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoy shooting, beating and following the hounds every weekend as a family, three generations set out each weekend to take part in supporting our hunts and shoots. The picture is of my eldest son who took up the gun (left handed) last year, photo on the left was his first cock pheasant last year and photo on the right was last weekend with his first woodcock. He promptly went home, prepared, cooked and ate the said woodcock, it was delicious! – Victoria Roberts

 

 

 

 

A day walking in the wonderful Northumbrian countryside, seeing my dog work hard, finding pheasants and partridge to flush out, full of excitement and enthusiasm. Alongside the banter and chat of beaters and guns, all together for lunch. It is great to be part of the whole day putting birds in front of the team of guns and letting my dog work at what he does best. Then home for dinner and the warmth of a nice wood stove after feeding and drying out the dogs. – Val Scott

 

 

 

 

After spending my childhood with my Grandfather on the rearing fields I couldn’t wait to get my own family involved in my love of the countryside & shooting & luckily they love the shooting season as much as me. – Trace Edwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of my 10 year old daughter Ella beating on our local syndicate shoot in Barmby on the Marsh. – Simon Frost

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my 15 year old daughter, Jessica and her springer, Harley. They have an incredible bond. Jessica loves beating and is welcomed with open arms by young and old. – Samantha Rafferty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love of the countryside, wildlife and companionship. – Paul White

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy shooting because it gives me and my dad time that we can spend together enjoying the outdoors! The area we go shooting is absolutely stunning with the snow. – Oliver Parkinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the ages of 3 months old (now 24) I was taken on my first shoot with my parents. From then every shooting season I have been on shoots with my family and dogs. There is no better feeling than seeing the gun dogs doing what they love, bringing a new puppy to the Shoot with the elder ones showing them the ropes. There is no better feeling being with family and loved ones having a great day out making memory’s. – Lindsay Hackett

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy shooting and just being outdoors in general because after a long hard week on a building site you get to escape from all of the hustle and bustle and get to see sights that a lot of people never get the chance to. And my 8 year old lad also loves getting in on the action now and can’t wait for our next outing together. – Liam Perry

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy shooting because it is a way of life growing up and living on a farm into adulthood , with my father having is own shoot adore the country side tradition, and take great pleasure in this. – Kim Welberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I love seeing my sprinters work hard and enjoying the work they do. They hunt when in the beating line and pick up when needed. As well as being peg dog on days where we get to shoot. I’ve met some amazing and hilarious people through shooting as well as my other half. Admittedly he’s the keeper on one of the shoots – Kathryn Coy

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting for me is a health benefit. When I took up the sport in 2012 I suffered from dangerously high blood pressure and less than a year later I had to go to hospital as part of treatment for another condition (gender dysphoria) and my blood pressure was normal and the doctors and nurses said this was down to my shooting. Since then I have taken part in Target Tokyo, won various championships including two county and one UK regional championship and came 4th in a National Finals. Basically taking up the sport saved my life and improved my health drastically for which I will always be thankful. – Katherine Griffiths

 

 

 

 

When my beautiful daughter goes off shooting for the day and leaves my gorgeous 12 week old grandson with me!! I’d love to have a new pair of boots to use when taking the pushchair out to follow countryside pursuits #countryfarmingfamily – Catherine Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy watching my dogs work, I like the social aspect and I love being outdoors with a purpose – Claire Mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

#loveshooting – I enjoy it because it is vital to the conservation of our countryside as well as being great fun socially and providing healthy food – Clare Boyling

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have an enormous respect for the countryside because of understanding, listening, observing and taking part, which has come from developing my shooting. As an adult, I joined a ladies shooting club to re-learn the basics, and shortly after I inherited an exceptional, very old, side by side which fit perfectly and felt meant for me! The mutual respect between all involved in a shoot day (including the dogs)! is exceptional; the respect for safety, the countryside around you, as well as one another is a second nature to all and like nothing you’d find in any other circumstance. I also like to think I’m a excellent game cook too! I’m an avid promotor of game meat and love to see the look on someone’s face when they try my recipes for the first time and love the food even more so as it’s come from the most ethical and sustainable meat there is which I am more than happy to promote and give away! 🙂 – Georgie David

 

 

 

I have loved shooting since I was 7 years old, my family have always taken me to shoots from a very young age. Our dogs have been bush beefing dogs and they just love it. I’ve added a photo of our latest puppy, who even gets excited watching animals on the tv!
#loveofshooting – Heather Banks

 

 

 

 

 

Just love watching the dogs in their elements, doing what they know and love best. Picture of my Barbet and others resting… well for a few seconds – Jean Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am 15 and I have been beating since I was 10. My dad is a syndicate on the shoot we attend every season in Wales and this where I first started beating. I have never missed a day of beating here in 5 years and I’m sure that won’t change! The people are so lovely and friendly, I get on with everyone very well and we have some great memories. I have also been on many other shoots and never met a bad person, they are all so welcoming. The welsh scenery is stunning and it’s lovely to beat on the land, even when it is torrential rain! I am loving beating more than ever now because after 4 years of begging my dad for a dog I finally got what I wanted! This is now my first season with my 18 month old springer spaniel, Harley. I have been training her all summer and working hard to get her to where she is now. I recently took her to her first shoot with me, both me and Harley loved every second, it’s so rewarding to see her work so well. I am sure I will continue to come beating for years to come, meet many more people and make hundreds of memories! #loveofshooting – Jess Chadwick

 

 

I just love it, out with the dog/dogs and daughter too, either on the peg or in the beating line both as enjoyable as each other, we beat one stand one so I get the best of both worlds mostly. – John Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s just great being out with my 15 year old daughter who works her spaniel in the beating line and I work my lab cross, then we stand one also, a great day all round. – John Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘#loveofshooting stories Fun, Friendship & the great outdoors, what’s not to love about a days shooting. Here’s a photo of my 3 year old son William, who is taking after my late father (his namesake) it’s definitely a sport to be enjoyed through the generations.’ – Chris Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ‘My son and husband love shooting and hunting with a passion. We are also tenants of a ancient saxon woods. They are so beautiful.’ – Debra Laville

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I bought my first gundog after a family breakdown to keep myself in the sport. I bought Remi my little cocker. This is her first season out i trained her myself which makes it even more rewarding. I now pick up on a local sydicate and been asked to cover others. Being outside in the field with my best friend is the only way I want to spend my Saturdays. My 4 year old daughter Georgia also loves helping me train Remi and came out for the first time this season. #loveofshooting – Laura Croft’

 

 

 

 

‘I love beating being in the fresh air and having a cheeky glass of Port. I can’t wait for my son to come with me and eventually be able to shoot. #loveofshooting’ – Abi Langford

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I get to spend time with my dogs, my family, my husband and some of the best people I know’ – Kayleigh Pettett

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘We have a small family shoot and it’s really great to see everyone on a regular basis during the season, as we have rather dispersed all over the country. It’s also tremendous fun to shoot (although I’m not the best of shots) and it is sublime to watch my brothers, cousins, step-father, and uncles shoot, who are far better shots than I; they make it seem so easy! In addition to the above, there is much joy in watching my cousin’s spaniel, Vesper, work; she takes a great deal of pleasure in retrieving and is a cracking gun dog (not that she gets much work from me!).’ – Amanda Briscoe

 

 

 

 

‘This is my son Alex after a successful day. We joined a local shoot at the beginning of the year that is run by its members. It has been so rewarding to spend such quality time with my son. He is fully involved in the preparation and cooking of the birds. Living in the city and been able to enjoy the countryside in such a way is truly wonderful.’ – Simon White

 

 

 

 

 

‘After growing up in London I started shooting after living in Wiltshire for 5 years. How times have changed. I never thought I would see myself in a photo like this’ – David Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The feeling of freedom from being out in the countryside, with the elements, with like minded souls, enjoying a way of life, home’ – Rebecca Kefford

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I have learned about the work that goes into looking after the birds and the good it does for the countryside’ – Nicci Owen-Ward

‘Whether I’m shooting or beating I love being out in the beautiful British countryside enjoying banter with like-minded people. Myself and my husband run a small shoot, I’m an ex-townie who was on the side of the antis. I have learned about the work that goes into looking after the birds and the good it does for the countryside. This year I bred the mallard and grey Partridge for our shoot, next year I shall be doing the same with added pheasants. We have two Springer’s, a Springer cross Labrador and the steadiest of them all, a Jack Russell Terrier cross Chihuahua! This all happened in 4 years and we now have a farm shop which we promote game in and is proving very popular.’

 

 

 

 

 “I have been beating since I was 10” – Francesca Grieve

‘The first gun I shot with was my fathers 12 bore and it terrified me because it kicked! I decided that I was on the beating team instead so I have been beating since I was 10. When I started to shoot with a smaller gun at 12 I found I loved it. I have been beating and shooting every season since then and have found no greater company than a team of beaters and guns sharing a flask between drives in a windy wood…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

‘I’ve been surrounded by shooting for my entire lifetime’ – Awel Hughes

‘I’ve been surrounded by shooting for my entire lifetime with pheasant shoots being held on our land in North Wales.
I’ve also been fortunate to find a husband with the same love for shooting and country sports as me and my family. Inevitably, our wedding in August had a strong shooting theme as our two Labrador gundogs assisted with Owain’s proposal!…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

  “Shooting to me is fun, camaraderie, sport and a quantifiable benefit to our local community.” – Stuart Murray, small farm shoot

“Having started shooting and beating as a lad on small local shoots, l inevitably moved on to shooting bigger days further away – l think losing some of the camaraderie and community spirit in the process…” Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

2016 stories

‘It’s my favourite time of year’ – Taesha Butt from Wookey, Somerset

loveofshooting

‘I am a beater and have been beating on two local shoots for the last four years. I must say I have met some wonderful people; from businessmen, to farmers, countrymen, gamekeepers, computer technicians, builders, housewives and also children, whose proud fathers are keen to share this interest and lifestyle with them…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

‘Since I was 8 years old I haven’t missed a seasons beating’ – Ellie Cross, East Sussex

loveofshooting-2‘At the age of 8 years old I got introduced to beating. It was purely accidental as I was causing a few problems in the pheasant pens behind the caravan we would stay in every weekend. The gamekeeper found out I was the culprit and so he decided to show me what it was all about. Since that day I haven’t missed a seasons beating…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

‘Last season was my first shooting season’ – Liz Wicke

img_1079‘Twenty years ago I wrote a letter to parliament to ask them to ban hunting. My favourite programme was Animals of Farthing Wood (I cried when pheasant and his wife were shot) and the idea of eating my own animals was nothing short of horrifying. Fast forward twenty years and I’m a beater on a small shoot near Leicester. I’m a member of the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club and I go deer stalking regularly…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

‘On her first day’s shooting, she had the best time and cried when it was time to go home.’ – Beth Evans

beth-evans‘Here’s our 3 year old daughter, Maisie, on her first day’s shooting at Rowton Shoot in Shropshire. She wasn’t phased by the torrential rain one bit, but had the best time and cried when it was time to go home. We are very proud parents (her dad has been shooting since a similar age), although I’m a bit put out that daddy managed to get her shooting before I took her hunting!’

 

 

 

 

 

elisabeth-carr‘My son age 5 on the gun line last season with the clicker and his best friend. Can’t wait for the upcoming season #loveshooting’ – Elisabeth Carr

 

 

 

 

 

 

nickandblue‘What shooting brings to the community and to the countryside is immeasurable in way of conservation, jobs, investment and relationships.’ – Nick Bishop

‘I first started beating with my dad at the young age of ten and I remember the first day wearing my Parker with the fur hood.  One of the regulars took pity on my a dug out of his boot an old Barbour jacket that was his dads and which his dogs laid on.  That day I trudged around the fields waving my flag and making what I thought were daft noises.   Between drives the beaters and pickers-up would gather and pass the hip flask around and even at that tender age I was allowed a “sip”…’  Continue reading

 

 

love-of-shooting

‘What we gain most from the shoot is the sense of community and friendships.’ – Naoimh Noelle McConville, Ballyward Shoot

‘I saw your request on Facebook for new people to be the faces of shooting for the 2016/17 pheasant season, so thought I would share our story. E
stablished in 2012 at the age of 24 by myself Naoimh and now husband Gavin, Ballyward Shoot are organically growing our pheasant and duck shoot to become one of the well known estates for small driven days in Northern Ireland…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

eildon-2

‘It’s definitely my favourite time of year and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season ahead, not only to seeing and socialising with everyone but to working my much-loved dogs!’ – Eildon Sibbald

At the age of 9 I had my first day out beating on my father’s friends’ syndicate shoot in the Cheviot hills. I was part of their beating team for 5 seasons and that’s where my love for the shoot started. I then moved onto one of our local commercial shoots where I was a beater for 3 seasons and worked for 2 summers on their rearing field…’ Continue reading

 

 

 

avril-coleman-1‘It gives the younger generations the opportunity to learn about wildlife and the surrounding countryside’ – Avril Coleman, Crundale

‘A lot of the ‘old boys’ who are part of the Hunt Street Shoot (my dad included) have known each other all their lives having grown up on the family farms and the surrounding villages. A lot of these people would feel quite isolated at this time of year and the fortnightly gathering forms a large part of their social calendar…’ Continue reading