It works for hunting, so why not a newcomers’ week for shooters?
By all accounts, the countryside Alliance hunting Newcomers’ Week, which this year ran from 15 to 22 october, was a great success. It clearly achieved the Alliance’s mission statement, which is
“to introduce as many new faces to the hunting field as possible and encourage them to have an enjoyable day seeing different country while learning about following hounds with like-minded people”.
I wondered if Basc or somebody could organise a newcomers’ week for shooting? I’m sure shoots would be more than happy to welcome new people, though I suppose they would have to have some experience at shooting clays. But then I don’t imagine the “newcomers” who go out with the hunt for the first time have never ridden before.
Perhaps some sort of initiative could get first-timers off the clay ground and on to the shooting field. It would go a long way to eliminating those “what do I do, what do I wear, where do I stand” nerves.
the benefit to shoots would be threefold; new members to add to the coffers, wonderful publicity — the countryside Alliance’s Newcomers’ Week always garners column inches in the national and regional press — and more people to spread the word about how warmly welcoming our glorious sport is to everyone. could this work, do you think?
D. Elliot, Kent
The Editor responds: Mr elliot, this is a superb idea. I agree completely. It is often said that some 600,000 people in the country have shotgun certificates but I suspect a far smaller number actually shoot game regularly. I will have a think about how your idea could work and speak to Basc and the Alliance about it. In the meantime, I think what we can achieve as individuals, by taking interested friends along when we are shooting, should never be underestimated.