The twelfth day of August always marks the start of the new grouse shooting season, which lasts until 10th December. Over the 17-week season, shooters from across the world head to the grouse moors of Northern England and Scotland to enjoy this traditional rural field sport. We recently spoke to Richard Seaman, a lifelong shot with over 17 years of estate management experience across the Pennines. He is now a director for Goldsmith Estates, a chartered surveyors and estate agents specialising in the sale of sporting estates and country houses across Scotland.
How should one prepare for a grouse shooting day?
Ensure that everything you need is clean, fully functional and in the car.
What should you wear?
Always wear tweeds, a tie (at least at the start of the day), a lightweight waterproof shooting coat, a shooting vest and a shirt, which must NOT be white! A hat and shooting glasses are essential.
What are your top tips for shooting on the day?
My top tip would be safety first! Make absolutely sure you know what the various horns mean and whether it is safe to shoot behind, plus where the flankers might appear if you are on the end of the line or second gun in.
Stay forward in the butt, so that the Butt sticks are effective. If you want to perform well, pace 30 yards in front of the butt, pick a point at least twice that distance and engage the birds before this. By the time you shoot they will be 40 yards out!
Where are the best places to shoot?
Northern Pennines for volume and Scottish Highlands for quality and sheer drama.
Which type of gun do you favour for grouse hunting?
It has to be an O/U by Beretta, Browning or Perazzi if you want to be sure of reliability; especially for big days in wet conditions. Otherwise be prepared to spend as much time in the gunsmith as you do the grouse butt. When it comes to ammunition, I wholly recommend Hull Cartridges’ specialist driven grouse load with copper plated shot in 30g of 5.5shot for long-range kills.
What breed of gun dog is your favourite?
Top tips for grouse hunting etiquette?
Keep low and forward in the butt at all times and shoot safely and accurately. Your host and the game keeping team has gone to considerable effort to produce your quarry.
Heading up to the grouse moors this season? Then make sure you’re insured with Gunplan, where you can cover yourself, your guns and shooting accessories with one simple policy. Get a quote today!