The shooting season may be over but the nice weather and light nights lend themselves to simulated game shooting. Simulated game shooting has all the fun of a driven game day and allows shooters to get some practice in ahead of the upcoming shooting season.
The most obvious difference between game days and simulated game shooting is the targets, which are clays – so you definitely can’t eat what you shoot. Also, no beaters are required although there will be a team of people setting up and operating the traps. There will almost certainly be more guns participating in a simulated game day than a regular game shooting day as the clays will come thick and fast and a lot of stands allow two guns per stand with guns taking turn about as their barrels hot up.
The traps and ranges can be configured to represent different birds so you can fine tune your skills depending on the shoots you have planned for the next season. Some of the really organised simulated game set ups run their days almost exactly as they would run their game days so you are likely to arrive for a coffee and a briefing followed by a drive or two, then elevenses before another drive or two and then lunch and so on. Be prepared to fire a lot of cartridges in quick succession and there will be no “poor pegs” as the traps will be set to ensure that every gun is in the hot spot!
What do I need for a simulated game day?
Check with the company hosting the day to see what they are supplying as some will supply cartridges for you. If not then we would suggest investing in some lighter load cartridges to reduce the load on you! You are well advised to take a cap to protect your head and face from any broken clay fragments as they can go everywhere and you should definitely take your ear defenders and some safety shooting glasses and a pair of gloves as your barrels will warm up.
In terms of your clothing and footwear, we’d suggest a comfortable pair of field wellingtons, country boots or walking boots to provide support and warmth for a day spent on your feet. Despite the fact that it’s summer, weather can change quickly in the UK so it would be sensible to wear layers and bring waterproofs in case of any showers.
You will certainly get hot during each stand but, if it is a cooler day, you will quickly cool down between stands. In addition to that, the weather can be changeable as we well know so layering is the key. What is often forgotten is that you are likely to be shooting in just a shirt or polo shirt so there is less between the butt of your gun and your shoulder than you might have on a driven day in December. It might therefore be worth considering a recoil shield.