Guest Blog: It's the end of the game season?!
With the end of the Game season finally here I have been planning my clay shooting calendar to keep me busy this summer. As much as I enjoy a trip to a clay ground or shooting a registered competition it is nothing compared to the excitement of a day spent in the field on a Simulated Game day, or Sim day to those in the know!
A Sim day is designed to mimic a Game shoot except with clays and of course a bit of summer sun. The format is almost identical to a Game day with pegs, elevenses and different drives; the clays are also driven over the line of guns much like birds are. This is an exciting and exhilarating way of shooting clay and the fun you can have with friends is like no other. Whereas with Game there are rules around which bird is yours or your neighbours, with a Sim Day there are no such rules; in fact, you are encouraged to steal your neighbours ‘bird’ which I relish in doing!
If you have never shot a Game day before and want some experience on how the day will run beforehand then I would recommend booking a couple of Sim days this summer to prepare you for the next season. On the other hand, if you just enjoy smashing clays and want to enjoy a day out in the field with friends slaying some clay then a Sim day is the way to go. You get a lot of shooting for your money as some days will put up to 5000 clays over the line of guns throughout the day.
Now before you all go rushing off to sign up here are a few tips of who offers these types of events and what you will need for the day.
Most shooting clubs or grounds offer Sim days so check out your local clay ground and even clubs such as the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club or Femmes Fatales to see what events are being held near you. Some places will sell the whole day or single guns so be careful what is being offered as if you buy the whole day you need to be prepared to fill the other spaces. Kit wise you will need your own gun, gun slip, comfortable boots, plenty of layers for all weather eventualities and safety equipment (hat, glasses and ear protection). Last, but not least is cartridges and lots of them! I would recommend taking a couple slabs to be safe as an experienced gun can easily get through 300/400 cartridges on a big event. I would also recommend fibre wad cartridges as most places will not allow plastic so if buying in bulk I would always recommend fibre as these are accepted everywhere!
Some organisers will allow novices to shoot and can organise for you to hire a gun however, they will insist on there being an instructor on the peg with you so prepared for an extra cost here. But always check with the organiser to see if this is something you can do. Insurance is another important requirement; many will insist the guns all have their own insurance so make sure yours is up to date and bring evidence. My favourite provider of insurance when out in the field is BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) but the CPSA (Clay Pigeon Shooting Association) also offer a great package and is great for clay competition shooters.
When organising your outfit make sure it is comfortable for shooting and walking in and you have a few layers to cover all weather eventualities. I like to dress up in my finest tweeds when shooting a Sim day but as it is a clay event and therefore, is more laid back and relaxed, feel free to wear anything you are comfortable in. Although flip flops and sandals are a big ‘No No’ for obvious reasons.
So, what are you waiting for?!? Go and find a Sim day and get signed up. Be prepared for laughter, fun, a sky filled with clays and perhaps an aching shoulder by the end but, believe me, it will be fantastic!
Why not join a club?
(The BBC recently published an article about the rise of ladies shooting, have a read of it here)
The Lady Gun
Thanks for reading our second guest blog from 'The Lady Gun'. She will be writing another blog for us again soon!
More guest blogs are coming soon...