It works for hunt­ing, so why not a new­com­ers’ week for shoot­ers?

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - LETTERS -

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.

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