In the off-season, the popularity of clay pigeon shooting always sky-rockets as keen shooters keep their eye in by scattering shards of clay across the fields. The only thing that could make the joy of clay pigeon shooting any better is the chance to do some good at the same time, which explains why charity clay shoots are also soaring in popularity too.
From TV stars joining in to raising money for a hospital robot, charity clay shoots are a great way to raise money and have a blast at the same time – and are fairly simple to organise. If you have access to a field and want to get involved, we’ve put together a handy guide to organising your own charity clay shoot!
1) Pick Your Charity
Whether it’s a local hospice or a nationwide institution, when it comes to shooting of any kind – it’s always best to check with the charity first. It might seem baffling that a charity would turn down a donation, but scientific and animal charities occasionally avoid association with clay shoots as a result of game shooting publicity. Likely not to be an issue, but best to check.
Image credit: R Kennedy
2) Shooting Certificates
Who will be invited to the shoot? Unless you know for sure that everyone taking part will have a shotgun certificate, then pop down to your local police station and ask for their firearms department/officer. They can give you a permit to allow non-certified competitors to fire a shotgun under supervision (a Section 11-6 permission under the 1968 Firearms Act if you want to get technical).
While we’re on the subject of official notice, it’s also worth ringing your council’s Environmental Health Officer to give them a heads up in case of a noise complaint.
A charity clay shoot of any kind needs to have plenty of buzz, to encourage both competitors and donations. Have a word with your local paper to see if they’ll feature it either before or after, spread the word on social media, maybe advertise it on your local bulletin board. Even invite your local MP to the competition day – if nothing else it’s a good PR show for them.
4) On-The-Day Safety
While some of the people attending may be well experienced in clay shooting charity days, plenty may not be. It’s well worth having some safety signs reminding everyone about the importance of keeping your gun broken or unloaded when not in use, and pointing down-range when in the traps – as well as eye protection, ear protection and potentially head protection in case of falling clays.
By far the most crucial consideration for the day is shooting insurance. Unless you want to go to the hassle of finding third-party shooting liability cover that will encompass each competitor, it’s far easier to ensure every competitor has public liability insurance – which makes sure they are legally protected if they injure someone else.
Reputable shooting insurers like Gunplan can offer public liability cover of £10 million for just £25 for the year – with the ability to add on equipment and personal accident protection too if competitors so wish. For their peace of mind, and yours – make sure everyone has cover from Gunplan before hosting your charity clay shoot.