Are your shooting skills good enough?

National Shooting Centre Scotland

National Shooting Centre Scotland

The game shooting dates have been in the diary since earlier in the year, your shotgun is clean and oiled, your shooting gear is hanging in the wardrobe ready to wear but are you feeling confident about your shooting abilities?

Oh dear….

It’s normal to feel excited when the game day approaches, but, be honest, is it truly excitement you are sensing about having a day out on an estate with your friends or is it a gnawing niggle about your standard of shooting or a worry about your lack of confidence? Perhaps you finished last season on a less than positive note, happy to put your gun away and forget about the missed shots?

Be realistic!

If your shooting did not give you a good feeling last year it is not miraculously going to improve this season if you’ve done nothing about it.

Consider…

On a game day there’s often banter and leg pulling amongst your fellow guns. The keeper, beaters and picker-ups will be watching, a photographer may be taking pictures, and partners and spouses may be observing. We’ve all seen the shooting guest dancing about on the peg, making excuses, not knowing what to do or how to select the best bird to shoot then missing. What if you are on the ‘hot’ peg? Are you equipped with the necessary shooting skills to knock ‘em down? You’re on a stage, and in full view, so if you consistently fluff your shots you’d better brace yourself for a day of embarrassment.

Hmm…

If you are going onto the field feeling unsure about your ability to shoot well there is a high probability your day will not the best. If you think you are going to miss, then you probably will. We all know someone who’ll turn up on a game day and be the butt of all the jokes because of their poor shooting, don’t be that person! You can build your confidence and go into the shoot day knowing how to shoot well and deal with challenging birds

A collection of used shotgun cartridges

A collection of used shotgun cartridges, NSC, Scotland

Get on target with the National Shooting Centre!  National Shooting Centre – Scotland, Wester Jawcraig, Falkirk FK1 3AL

The National Shooting Centre (NSC92) welcomes beginner, novice and experienced shots, their on-site Professional Shooting Coach is Stewart Cumming, a seasoned game shot and a top class clay shooter. If you want to make the most of your game day then Stewart will iron out any niggles, check your gun-fit, pass on invaluable tips and advice and build your confidence to shoot well.

Stewart Cumming, top clay shooter and professional shotgun coach, National Shooting Centre, Scotland

Stewart Cumming, top clay shooter and professional shotgun coach, National Shooting Centre, Scotland

NSC92 have an extensive range of shooting stands and simulated game drives to give you the full game shooting experience with clay targets over their extensive moorland location.

Become a NSC92 member and enjoy many exclusive benefits and generous deals.

Open Tuesday – Sunday, from 10am – 5pm, on Thursday’s you may shoot up to 8pm.

P.S.

Game shooting is a big day out, and also expensive, so invest in your shooting by visiting the NSC92 and book a lesson with Stewart. It will be money well spent, buying you the ability to shoot well. Remember, shooting with confidence treats the game birds respect.

Shotgun coach and National Shooting Centre Manager, Stewart Cumming looking out across the scenic open moorland from one of the clay shooting stands.

Shotgun coach and National Shooting Centre Manager, Stewart Cumming looking out across the scenic open moorland from one of the clay shooting stands.

‘Country sports – evolve to survive’ my regular column for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association.

SGA

Visit website to join and enjoy the many benefits of membership.

New skills, new challenges?

 

roe_buck_stalking_with_venator_pro_ltd.jpg

 

Last year I put down my camera and picked up a rifle. It was all thanks to my collaboration with VenatorPro Ltd based in Perth, Scotland. Learning a new skill was an exciting new process, and one I embraced because I highly value personal growth.

When acquiring additional skills the benefits are numerous. Learning something new brings variety into our life, counteracts boredom and makes us more adaptable. Life rarely stays the same so being adaptable makes accepting change much easier.

Learning can help prevent dementia. When we learn new skills there is an increase in the density of the white matter in the brain and this helps improve performance. Learning stimulates neurons which form neural pathways and allow electrical impulses to travel faster across them.

There is a sense of euphoria when learning and seeing the result of your skills base expanding. I certainly felt that when shooting at targets with .243 Tikka T3 Rifle. It felt as though I was in a state of flow, where all my senses were charged and my focus was fully aligned to the task of target shooting. Previously, I had never shot a rifle, only a shotgun so my learning started from the basics.

If you wish to learn the skill of deer stalking in beautiful Perthshire, contact Kenneth Larsen of Venator Pro.

Selection of photos from the Deer Stalking Fair, March 2018

It’s hard to believe the Deer Stalking Fair is five years old. The dedicated deer event was well supported by specialist retailers, industry experts giving talks and demonstrations.
Venator Pro joined the Fair for the first time, MD Kenneth Larsen said, “Great place to meet deer stalkers and we enjoyed the atmosphere at the Deer Stalking Fair and organisers were very helpful. Our first year but we will be back next year.”

Click here for Venator Pro’s shop full of deer stalking clothing and footwear.

Senior Coach and Shooting School Manager,Tracy Meston said, “I had a successful couple of days making custom ear plugs and taking bookings for the Roxburghe Shooting School. There was a great cross section of visitors ranging from those that ‘do’ who are in the business to those that don’t but want to! It is also a great meeting place for friends to catch up and have a blather!”

Tracy can be found at the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course.

Perfect snow boots from Venator – only £49.99

I wvenator_snow_boot_1ent walking in the snow this morning and have discovered the perfect snow boot. The boots are lightweight, and keep your feet very warm. I was out in deep snow (Scotland has lots of it today!) and only wore a standard pair of socks under the boots. If I’d been wearing wellies I would’ve pulled on two pairs of socks.

I slipped my feet into thevenator_snow_boot_2 boots and headed out.  I had plenty grip in the snow, and did not slip once. My feet were kept very warm and dry. It’s a comfortable boot, and easy to wear because it is so lightweight. I love having warm feet, especially when out in the current blizzard conditions!

venator_snow_boot_3

Visit VENATOR website to buy this boot

No more sexist dinosaurs in country-sports

roe_doe_stalking_rainy_linda_mellor

It’s great to see women of all ages shooting, fishing, deerstalking, working their gundogs or bringing deer down from the hill with their highland ponies. Of course, the female of the species is no stranger to fieldsports; in Roman Mythology Diana is the Goddess of the hunt and wild animals, Anne Boleyn was a skilled Archer and Queen Victoria, though not a stalker, accompanied Albert on umpteen stalks. Victoria’s passionate writing about stalking in Scotland helped change the stuffy Victorian attitudes to something much more positive so that Londoners came in droves to enjoy Scottish fieldsports.

Other ladies earned their place in the history books like Angler, Georgina Ballantyne, with her record breaking salmon, the legendary Sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, who was trapping, shooting and hunting game before she was ten years old and went on to become an international shooting star.

When I was growing up, and going to shoots and gundog tests with my daddawn_roe_doe_stalk_linda_mellor, there would be very few women involved. Nowadays, as many women as men work their dogs on shoots, they beat and pick-up, you’ll see them in the shooting line, or enjoying blasting the targets at the clay grounds or fishing the rivers and lochs. Other ladies prefer deer stalking, and some of us, love all country sports. Earlier this year, I stalked and shot my first Roe Buck with Stalker Kenneth Larsen from Venator Pro; it was a great experience, and I went into the stalk, well-prepared and confident in my rifle shooting thanks to Kenneth’s professionalism. He treated me as an equal, I felt good about the entire process, it gave me a sense of achievement, and a new skill to improve upon. Continue reading →

Ultra-lightweight Boot ideal for shoot days

If you are out picking-up on your local shoot with your gun dogs, you’ll need comfortable footwear to keep you dry and warm. Hillman have introduced a new range of boots; the Feather boot is ultra-lightweight, and designed to keep your feet warm and dry in the coldest temperatures. Lawrie Robertson tested a pair of the feather boots out on his local shoot, he is a lifelong shooting and gundog man, based in Fife, Scotland, and has worn many different boots over the years.

P1030314

Lawrie wearing Hillman Feather Boots, picking up on a local shoot.

Lawrie said, “it’s hard to believe a boot could be so light and comfortable. A lightweight boot is great news, especially if you are getting on a bit in years (Lawrie is 78), as you are standing and walking all day when you are picking-up on the shoot. The Feather Boots are wide, and that adds to the comfort plus they’re easy to get on and off. They felt great to wear and I’ll be wearing them each time I’m out at the shoot, and when I’m gundog training. I give them 9 out of 10!”

Buy the boots online at www.venatorpro.com

Rueva2