“When you are picking a bird that you want to shoot try and look for the one that is in clear air, that is, not right next to other birds.”
QHow should I tackle high partridge during the season?
AWe are now seeing more and more shoots presenting partridges like pheasant and as a result they are getting taller and taller. Indeed, on certain shoots like Drumlanrig or Linhope the partridges could be argued to be extreme and often higher than most pheasant shoots. However, for the purposes of this article I am going to talk about a normal 40-yard partridge.
The first thing to get right is your equipment. I have talked at length about this in previous articles so won’t dwell on it, but I would advise somewhere around a ¼ to ½ choke and a 30gram No.6 cartridge, preferably copper coated as I know it will improve the pattern.
With partridges, bird selection is everything, especially when there are multiple numbers or coveys coming at you. Keep in mind how the human eye works; it is drawn to movement and as a result your eyes will be trying to look at all of the birds. Try and resist the temptation to do this and force yourself to maintain a hard focus on the bird you are trying to kill. remove any thoughts of a showy right and left. Kill them one at a time and do not be tempted to move onto the next bird until the first one is dead. When you are picking a bird that you want to shoot, try and look for the one that is in clear air, by that I mean one that is not right next to other birds. This way it is easier for your eye to focus on the bird and as you give it lead you will not be drawn into looking at another one.
partridges are much more prone to influence from wind direction and as a result when you get to peg it is well worth working out how the wind may affect the birds. If time allows then study the line very carefully and watch for the curl of the bird.
Then hopefully you will put into play what you have learnt on the shooting ground; make sure your feet are set correctly, match the gun speed to the target speed, collect the bird with your muzzle and pick the gun speed up and accelerate to the kill point being careful to keep the gun moving and watch the kill before breaking the swing.
Above all, enjoy your day.
Getting your cartridge choice and choke configuration right is crucial to taking down those higher partridges.
Adam Calvert is a freelance shooting instructor with a global reputation, offering bespoke shooting instruction in addition to being a Fabbri ambassador.