Day didn't go to plan...

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Aimeetess
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Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Aimeetess » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:12 pm

I pick up every other weekend on a lovely shoot in the South West. We started with 20 bird day over 4 years ago and now are up to 100 bird days with it being ran by my other half and brother.

They put a lot into it for the syndicate members, yet only both of them (as well as me occasionally) are the only ones to feed, run and sort out the shoot on their fathers land so they don't get any other help. They don’t make a penny profit for themselves (all syndicate money goes into birds, feed, homemade pens etc.) and the beaters and pickers get it good – a gorgeous hot elevenses (cakes, hot drinks etc same as the guns) paid cash as well as a pub meal every shoot, 2 beaters days and a fancy 3 course meal at a posh restaurant at Christmas all paid for. They are increasingly having problems with a few of the beaters doing their own thing.

On Sunday we had quite a few sold pegs as syndicate members couldn’t attend, they were trying their best for a good day.
On our biggest drive, ground which usually gives over 60 birds in the bag from one drive and it must be at least 400 pheasants/partridge in the sky, so high it looks brilliant. Fortnight ago a few of the beaters dogs got to keen, as they could see so many birds at the flush point and a few ran on into the flush point, meaning a ton of birds flew straight back into the woodland. Something they didn’t want happening again.

This Saturday the beat captains (or whatever you call them) asked for dogs to be kept on the lead until the flush point (on this single drive) as it tends to blow a lot of dogs minds. We have a few top class dogs and it even made these hot headed, meaning they were put on the lead and usually they’d be walking at heel off lead. It was going well, from me being a good distance away I could see at least 300 birds walking up to the flush point.

One of the beaters then decided to let her dog off, this is a dog who goes ‘deaf’ a lot and does its own thing from experience. It worked a bramble bush (she asked it too) said dog then ignored her, ran straight towards the flush point and flushed all of the birds at the wrong point. The dog ran back after and remained on the lead. The birds all flew back into the cover, the opposite team managed to hold a good 100 and they were flushed at the right point meaning the guns were happy enough.

My other half and brother didn’t mention anything to the beaters, kept the frustration between themselves. Mind at the end of the day, another beater quietly mentioned that a few beaters need to go, as they just don’t listen and don’t take any of it seriously now the days are bigger than more serious. We had a few other problems throughout the day with another drive nearly going badly wrong.

I can see both sides of it, my other half and brother put SO much time and effort into the shoot after work daily, it must irritate them when a drive goes wrong. They don’t want to upset the beaters but do keep considering 'laying a few off'. The beaters do try their best and i'm sure the beater was trying to help by getting her dog to work the bramble bush, I suppose she didn’t know said dog would run off and ignore her. You can't 'blame' beaters for the day not going to plan, they know that, but surely asking them to listen to the beat captains on a few drives regarding dogs on the lead isn't much to ask for?

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trekmoor
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by trekmoor » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:46 pm

As a picker-up I regularly put my dogs on leads during drives if there is too much chance of them getting out as far away as the guns and perhaps spoiling their shooting. I see no harm in requiring the beaters to put their dogs on leads when nearing the flushing point and it's masses of birds. The keepers put a lot of work into keeping those birds and then producing them in a steady trickle for the guns to shoot..... I don't think their work should be ruined by beaters too thoughtless to put their dogs on leads for a few moments during drives. I know leads tangle in undergrowth and can be a bit annoying to use but I'd still insist the beaters did as they were told to do during those few moments. If they did not and if I was in charge, I'd quietly tell the offending beaters not to return to the estate.

P.S. ---- for the many good things your shoot seems to provide the beaters with I think they should at least do as they are told !

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

Naj
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Naj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:02 pm

Can’t comment on the beating dilemma but did wonder why you bother with the hassle of a syndicate shoot when you can just roughshoot over it yourselves with perhaps one or two close friends if you like a bit of company. I’m sure the family would have much more fun. :think:

Naj

Aimeetess
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Aimeetess » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:22 pm

Naj wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:02 pm
Can’t comment on the beating dilemma but did wonder why you bother with the hassle of a syndicate shoot when you can just roughshoot over it yourselves with perhaps one or two close friends if you like a bit of company. I’m sure the family would have much more fun. :think:

Naj
I often wonder that - they use to do it as the syndicate members were good friends, and would help out and appreciate it, but now that isn't the case as times moved on. Wondering now what they'll do next year.. :think:

Naj
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Naj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:30 pm

I know what I’d do. :-D

Nickheref
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Nickheref » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:40 pm

I've seen it before where what was fun becomes a bit too serious and the fun is lost. A small shoot I used to pick up on was going the same way, bags getting bigger every year, then the owner had a reality check and realised the unnecessary pressure he was putting himself under, in his case by a bunch of thankless guns who had been happy shooting 50-70 birds a day suddenly expecting 150.

Aimeetess
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Aimeetess » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:54 pm

Nickheref wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:40 pm
I've seen it before where what was fun becomes a bit too serious and the fun is lost. A small shoot I used to pick up on was going the same way, bags getting bigger every year, then the owner had a reality check and realised the unnecessary pressure he was putting himself under, in his case by a bunch of thankless guns who had been happy shooting 50-70 birds a day suddenly expecting 150.

Everyone gets on well and looks to have a lovely time but just keeping dogs on a lead for a short period so the flushing point isn't done at the wrong point isn't a massive ask, I don't think so anyway. I suppose some of the beaters are from years ago and they did use to just let their dogs run riot with the hope of flushing a odd bird here or there for the guns, now they have to control them maybe it isn't as 'fun' for them. Didn't think of that, but most shoots you have to be able listen and control them in some way? :think:

Nickheref
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Nickheref » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:08 pm

I'm not arguing, it is not as you say a big ask but some people don't care or can't control their dogs anyway, sadly the same ones think a dog out of control is a good rough shooting dog!!

Aimeetess
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by Aimeetess » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:12 am

Nickheref

I didn't take it badly, sorry if it came across that way. Made me think about the situation from the beaters prospective - they use to let the dogs run and flush a odd bird, guns would shoot. This was back several years ago, now its changed and more serious i guess they don't find it as fun.

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ips
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Re: Day didn't go to plan...

Post by ips » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:54 am

Aimeetess, as you know and as I have found out beating a small shoot is a far cry from the military exercise of a large estate. Small shoot much more relaxed for handler and therefore the dog, no major damage can be done but beaters need to do as they are requested. Most if not all dogs on the estate I beat on are popped on the lead at numerous occasions in order to avoid what happened on your shoot.
One thing I note from the very best FT handlers is that the dogs are on a lead up until they start working and put straight back on a lead when finished, there does not seem to be the "look how steady my dog is at loose heel" situation that most beaters do or at least attempt to. All that seems to happen is a constant tone of "heel" resounding as we all nag the dog to death. 😉
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

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