The beautiful landscapes of the West Country have long been acknowledged as the spiritual home of high pheasant shooting. The best shoots are located on Exmoor where over the last twenty years we have been closely associated with the development of some of the finest shooting estates, including Chargot, Stuckeridge, Loyton, Combe Sydenham, Edgcott, Molland and Miltons.
The latter is a perfect example of what the West Country has to offer. The Howe Wood Drive is quite simply stunning both visually and in showing birds. Guns stand in a meadow through which the River Exe meanders, surrounded by vertiginous slopes wooded with oak resplendent in autumn foliage. Adroit beating through well-managed cover produces an extraordinarily steady flow of eye-wateringly high pheasants that cascade over the guns for up to 45 minutes of sporting heaven.
Within easy access by train, car and plane via Exeter and Bristol airports and with sport of this calibre, a sojourn to the West Country should be high on every gun's list.
All UK residents using a shotgun in Britain must hold a current UK Shotgun Certificate. The former is available from your local police station and can take up to three months to process so it is essential to apply in plenty of time.
Non UK residents require an Overseas Visitor's Shotgun Permit to bring a gun into Britain, or to buy a gun and ammunition whilst here or to shoot here. Jo Wiggan at Roxtons is very happy to organise these and requires the application form and, if you are coming from Europe, your original European Firearms Licence. She advises applications be made at least 8 weeks before your arrival in the UK. Each permit costs £75.
The permit must be signed by the bearer on receipt and will specify the number, description and identification number of the gun(s) it covers. Should the gun or any ammunition be lost or stolen, it is essential that you inform us immediately as we are the sponsors for your permit application. You will need to show your permit on arrival in Britain with your gun and must carry it at all times when shooting.
THIRD PARTY LIABILITY INSURANCE
All guns should have Third Party Liability Insurance cover of up to £5,000,000 per gun in case of any unfortunate accident. We tend to insure all of our days for this which means that you are automatically covered, if you book a day with us, through our blanket policy as long as the premium has been paid. The cost is £40 + VAT per day.
ADVERSE WEATHER CANCELLATION INSURANCE
We are also able to offer adverse weather cancellation insurance where premiums range from 3.2% to 5% of the cost of the day with VAT of 17.5% thereon. We normally loose in excess of £100,000 worth of shooting a season due to inclement weather so this policy means that you’ll have ‘piece of mind’ should this unfortunate instance occur.
The rules of the policy are as follows:
1. A decision to cancel due to inclement weather cannot be made until 11.00am on the morning of the shoot. Inclement weather can be defined as :
- which makes it unsafe to shoot or organise a shoot
- which makes it un-sporting to shoot - i.e. birds unable to fly
- which makes it impossible for the guns to arrive at the shoot
2. If a single shot is fired on the day then the insurance policy is invalid.
3. The decision to cancel must be in complete agreement on the day between the estate owner or their representative, the Roxtons Agent and the client who has booked the day.
4. The appropriate cancellation form, which will be provided on the day, must be signed by the relevant parties stating the reasons why it was impossible to shoot.
5. This policy only applies to days in the UK where the premium has been paid.
6. Refunds will be for the cost of the day minus the premium.
7. Refunds will be credited onto the clients account as soon as Roxtons has settled this claim with their brokers.
8. The insurance also covers disruption of the shoot by 'antis', as follows:
- If the day is cancelled before starting, then the whole insured sum is recoverable
- If cancellation takes place after the 1st drive, but before the 2nd, then two thirds of the insured sum is recoverable.
- If cancellation takes place after the 2nd drive, but before the 3rd, then one third of the insured sum is recoverable
- Once the 3rd drive starts, then the insurance cover no longer stands.
Maritime climate, ranging from 20C in September down as low as freezing point in December and January. It can rain so come prepared for every eventuality.
Whatever clothing one chooses to wear, three important aspects should be borne in mind - comfort, protection against the elements and an eye for camouflage. By the latter, we don't mean wearing cammo gear such as for duck shooting; rather, you should avoid wearing bright, unnatural colours that stand out.
Much of the shooting gear worn nowadays is traditional in style if not necessarily in material. However, there is absolutely no need to be a slave to such traditions; a random study of shooting gear worn in Britain and in Europe can show an eclectic approach.
Bear in mind that you will be standing in the outdoors, on ground that is frequently cold, wet, maybe frozen - particularly later on during the season. Options range from stout, leather ankle boots, through ankle length rubber boots to the traditional calf length "wellington boot".
Socks should be knee length, with turnover, preferably made of wool. These are usually held up with woollen garters, or flashes.
Trousers are where tradition arrives on the scene. Most people, when shooting in the UK, wear knee breeches, normally made from woollen tweed. These trousers are sometimes known as plus-twos or plus-fours. This refers to the amount of rollover once the trouser has been fastened below the knee. So, by definition, plus-fours are slightly longer and baggier than plus-twos.
Don't be put off by these trousers - you can normally get them anywhere now (particularly via the internet!); they really are extremely comfortable and dare we say, practical. However, should you prefer to wear normal outdoor trousers, then please feel free to do so.
A shirt and tie are traditionally worn (the tie is becoming more optional with every passing year), sometimes with a jersey on top.
A jacket can be worn as the matching top half to your breeches, to make the traditional English tweed shooting suit. However, more and more people are taking the option of saving the tweed jacket for the slightly more formal affair of the shooting lunch and/or tea, whilst opting for the more practical shooting alternative of a waterproof coat, particularly with a jersey underneath (see below).
Most guns now wear lightweight Gore-Tex jackets - many of which exist. They are extremely comfortable, very warm and waterproof.
Finally, the hat. Choose a traditional English shooting cap and you won't go wrong. You sometimes see trilby’s worn, or, far more occasionally, deer stalkers and "fore and aft" ghillies hats. These are slightly more eccentric - we suggest you go with the English flat cap.
A Draft itinerary for a one night stay and one day shoot could be as follows:
6.00 pm to 7.30 pm - Arrive at hotel or private house
8.00 pm - Dinner
8.00 am onwards - Breakfast
9.30 am - Move off for first drive
11.00 am - After two drives stop for elevenses which can consist of soup, sausages and sloe gin. Two more drives can then follow before lunch
1.00 pm - Lunch
2.00 pm - Move off for final two drives
4.00 pm - Tea and depart after tea
Please note that the number of drives on a day can vary depending upon the bag expectation and other uncontrollable factors like the weather.
Horse trekking, walking, sightseeing.
Driven bird shooting at estates like Chargot, Loyton, Edgcott, Challacombe, Coombe Sydenham, Miltons, West Molland, Molland, Wellshead, Bulland, Lyneham, Maristow, Withycombe and Stuckeridge.
Call one of our consultants to book now:
+44 (0)1488 689 788
Or alternatively fill in this short enquiry form and we'll get back to you shortly:
Plunging V shaped valleys produce pheasants and partridges to humble the most competent shots.
From £750 to £2,750 per gun per day for driven shooting depending upon the number of guns in the line and bag size. This price includes everything for the day apart from accommodation, transport to the shoot, tips, hire guns and cartridges.
5 Nov, 13, 500 birds, POA
15 Nov, 13, 300, POA
21 Nov, 13, 400, POA
29 Nov, 13, 250 birds, £35+ vat per bird
9 Dec, 13, 300, POA
20 Dec, 13, 200 birds, £35+ vat per brid
17 Jan, 14, 150 birds, £35 + vat per bird