Covid Lockdowns & Restrictions
With the advent of COVID 19 lockdowns and restrictions parts 2 and 3, the shooting season has been severely curtailed for 2020/21. Many cancellations have had to be made and postponements created for season 2021/22. These events have caused a great deal of anxiety for ALL of those involved with game shooting. Shoots and related businesses that rely upon an unfettered season have seen their incomes hit hard by the lack of activity, this will have a long term effect on rural businesses, cash flows and survivability,so please spare a thought for all concerned. However, shooting and country folk are a resilient bunch so I am going to be positive looking ahead.
Perhaps the ‘shooting industry’ (a phrase I am not fond of) can utilise the time not spent on the ground to reflect upon its future. Unavoidably there will be more attention focussed on the countryside as our urban cousins have rightly begun to appreciate the great sense of wellbeing of the great outdoors; they will be more interested and therefore more questioning of how the countryside operates. Our opponents will be sure to try and ‘capture’ that renewed interest to increase their ‘influence’ and deny our right to shoot, fish and hunt. We in turn should reflect on how we conduct and portray our sports. I believe we have got to be mindful of ‘excess’ and I do firmly believe that all participants in shooting, in particular, should have some basic test of competency, not only in the ability to shoot safely but also in understanding the lifecycles of their quarry and the lifestyles of those who manage their quarry, similar to our continental cousins. In addition, shoots should now work to an ethical standard such as that being espoused by the British Game Alliance. The BGA is doing great work in attempting to apply an industry-wide standard that will allow the food chain (processors and retail outlets) and therefore very importantly government to treat our resource as an ethical foodstuff, which is processed through the food chain as a valuable and affordable protein component of the national diet.
The world will overcome COVID 19 and we will be allowed to travel and freely associate again. It can be of no harm to dream again of an uninterrupted season beginning on August 12th 2021! Whatever your dreams maybe if I can help please contact me. As I write I have the UK shoots keen to book clients for 2021/22 from small outside days (50brace) to bigger days (150 brace +). My overseas contacts are also very keen to remind us of all the wonderful attractions they have to offer – dove shooting in Cordoba, Argentina, and infamous Spanish partridges. I have also now found an opportunity to shoot wild boar in the UK – yes the UK! As I write this in Scotland I am reminded that deer stalking too is very much permissible under the restrictions, as is woodcock shooting (the rule of ‘2 outdoors’),- so please ‘dream on’ and book that next outing, I look forward to assisting you for a great adventure…
Stay safe and follow the rules!