It’s not all deer, deer, deer at ‘County Deer Stalking!’ Occasionally we like to turn our hand to other field sports, and what can be more seasonal in the lead up to Christmas than a Pheasant shoot?


(Above: Part 'walked up' part 'Driven' a great alternative to more formal driven days)

And what could be more idyllic than a shoot that takes place on a frosty clear morning, with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze?

East Sussex was the venue and so having booked well in advance, as is often required for this type of event, I jumped in the car with a few fellow friends and enthusiasts to meet at the shoot ground at 8.30am with a half dozen other guns, dogs and beaters.

Driven shoots are getting more and more expensive these days, with Pheasant costing typically around £30.00 to £40.00 per bird and on some shoots very much more.

Personally having been on my fair share of driven shoots on previous years, and bearing in mind this was to be coming out of my own pocket, I opted along with a few friends for this slightly more affordable and less formal 45 bird day. The mornings shoot was to involve some guns standing at pegs and others assisting by ‘walking up’ the line with the beaters.


(Above: The guns and beaters stop for lunch)

This type of day is great fun and guns can experience some great pheasant shooting for as little as a couple of hundred pounds.

And so stood apprehensively 'live' at my first peg, the blast of a whistle signalled that we were off! With the distant sound of beaters calling ‘whoop, whoop’ a few of the first shotgun reports rang out from the line of walked up guns ahead. After a few minutes wait the first birds came soaring overhead.

PheasantDeer It was my second barrel that connected with my first bird of the day, the bird obligingly folded in mid air against perfect blue skies and plummeted to the ground with a thump. Relief....I was up and running and could start to relax knowing that, though rusty and out of practice with a shotgun, from too many days deer stalking, my aim and lead was not too far from the mark.

Another couple of drives later, and having taken my turn at walking up with the beaters, we stopped for a bite. Damson Gin, Port, Mince pies and sausage rolls, can there be anything more Christmassy?    

After the break, another two drives and we had soon reached our 45 bird target, with a handful of Pigeon and even a woodcock thrown in, a superb day in splendid conditions. 

This type of informal shoot can represent a great day out and helps to supplement many more formal shoot days with a little additional income. It also provides some great bird shooting for those less inclined to spend the huge sums required for the top driven events.

It’s a win, win situation for all concerned and for me it is also a highlight of the run up to Christmas, providing me with a pleasant change from the deer stalking and a brace of pheasant to boot!   

If you haven't got a day booked for this year then give some thought to next year or contact us for recommendations. 


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