A Game Shoot

For those who have not had the privilege of attending a shoot, we wanted to let you know about the complete process that your meat goes through before reaching your kitchen. Here is a short guide to a game shoot:


Briefing – Your opportunity to learn about what will happen throughout the day and be given any local rules as well as a safety briefing.


People at the shoot

  1. The Gamekeeper – usually marshals the beaters
  2. Shoot Captain – directs the gun team
  3. Beaters – drive birds towards guns by beating sticks against trees and bushes
  4. Flankers – carry flags to direct birds
  5. Stops – prevent birds from going in a particular direction
  6. Pickers up – dog handlers who find and collect the game

In the Field there are two formats:

  1. Walking – guns form a line which walks forward, perhaps across moorland for grouse or over stubbles for partridges. When quarry is flushed the line halts and shots may be fired. The walk does not resume until anything shot has been gathered and stowed. 
  2. Driven - Guns are placed at a stand or peg usually marked by number. The line of stands may be straight or may curve with the ground or around the edge of a covert. At some shoots you are instructed to load and be ready as soon as you have reached your stand; at others a signal tells you when you may load your gun. At the end of the drive the keeper will make a signal, either on a whistle or a horn, telling Guns to unload and re-sleeve their weapons. You collect any game that is nearby or indicate to pickers where birds may have fallen.



The End of the Day - At the end of the day the shooting party returns to its start point and kit is disassembled for the homewards journey. The keeper will count the bag and notify the shoot captain, perhaps adding the number of shots fired to achieve the score. You may be given a card with the details written on it. The total bag may also be laid out in a display as is the European custom.


The game birds and then stored to be collect by Braehead Foods the following day to be processed at our state of the art factory in Kilmarnock.