May 7, 2019

Autumn Hunt Traditions in the UK

hunting in uk

One of the traditional benefits of owning property has always been having the right to hunt. Nobles would look to have their own estates for the freedom to do as they wished on their land. Hunting has been a recreational sport throughout history, and royals traditionally enjoyed the right to hunt on any land within their kingdom. It could be said that hunting was a chance for nobility to show their dominance over their citizens.

Game creatures are intelligent, and they gradually moved away from inhabited lands. So, the forests nearby would become hunting reserves where royals would go on their steeds, with hunting dogs, and search for creatures. By the 12th century, the role of the gamekeeper evolved, and those men would monitor game population in forests and warrens, and track the health of the populations.

Hunting gradually became a sport for all demographics, but in England it did not take long for it to become a regulated activity, because of the falling numbers of wildlife. Nobility were still allowed to hunt, but others became poachers – a crime that was punishable in court. Hunting became something that was done by the aristocracy and as a part of military training. No longer a right, hunting became a clear privilege for the upper classes.

Autumn hunting is a tradition that is often used to introduce young hounds and horses and new hunt staff to the practice. It’s also the perfect time for investment in one of these shooting jackets. If you are going on an autumn hunt then it is important that you learn the rules so that you do not commit a social faux pas, or worse, put the hunt in danger.

  • Find the hunt master, and be sure to greet him at the start of the hunt
  • Follow the directions of the field master and never overtake them
  • Thank traffic that stops, slows down or moves out of the way
  • Do not block the road
  • Stay away from gates or driveways unless given permission to use them
  • If you hear ‘whip please’ or ‘huntsman please’ step out of the way
  • Say ‘hounds’, rather than ‘dogs’
  • Shut the gate if you are the last one through. If the person in front of you calls ‘gate, please’, then pass that back as well
  • Switch off your mobile
  • Speak quietly when having conversations
  • Do not ever ride across a field of sown corn; sometimes hunt staff will do so, but novices should not
  • It is OK to ask questions about what is going on
  • Find the field master or hunt master and say “thank you and goodnight“, even if it is morning by the time the hunt is over, “goodnight” is the traditional way to say goodbye

Be polite, be considerate, and enjoy the hunt. You will learn a lot as you go along and should find that most people are happy to help novice hunters.

A Detailed Look At What To Wear When Shooting

Here are our main suggestions for choosing clothing for shooting:

– Ask your host what style of clothing is most appropriate

– Consider wearing clothing in shades of green or brown since these are the traditional colors

– Wear high-quality ear protection

– Put on a hat

– Choose shoes that are comfortable, functional, and appropriate for the conditions

Hearing Protection

Never skip ear protection when shooting. Choose between disposable earplugs, molded earplugs, or noise-blocking headphones with digital technology. Ideally, you should look for a solution that also provides warmth for your ears.

Hats

You can’t go wrong with a classic flat cap made out of tweed.

Shirts

Traditionally, most people where brown or green shirts with small checked patterns while shooting. Darker shades are better for grouse shooting since they make it harder for the birds to see you.

Neckties

For formal shooting, you may be expected to wear a necktie. Discuss appropriate attire with your host ahead of time.

Waistcoats And Shooting Vests

Guns often wear three-piece suits that are made out of tweed on formal shoots. These suits are usually made up of a jacket, a waistcoat, and matching trousers.

Outerwear

Winter is usually the season when most shooting occurs. Be prepared by investing in a coat that will keep you both warm and dry. Choose a jacket that allows you to move freely so that you can easily raise or move your gun. A jacket that has plenty of room in the pockets is also a good choice since it makes carrying cartridges easier.

Cartridge Bags

If you use up all of your cartridges, you won’t be able to shoot anymore. That is why it is important to bring along a cartridge bag so that you can carry plenty of spare cartridges.

Trousers Or Breeks

For shoots that are formal in nature, trousers or breeks that are made out of tweed are a good option. When it comes to more casual shooting, trousers that are made out of moleskin are appropriate

Long Socks Or Stockings And Garters

Combining garters with stockings or long socks will help keep them from sliding down during the day. Consider doubling up your socks during the winter to provide additional warmth for your feet.

Shooting Boots

When choosing boots for shooting, consider the amount of support that they provide for your ankle. Supportive boots will make walking over any type of terrain easier, whether the surface is rough or flat.

Clay Shooting Clothing

When it comes to clay shooting, there isn’t really a strict dress code. Despite that, you should still choose clothing that is comfortable, attractive, and functional. Opt for pieces that are suitable for the weather and that allow you to move freely.

Protection For Your Ears

Ear protection is more vital with clay shooting than it is with game shooting. Choose hearing protection that is comfortable to wear and that won’t interfere with your ability to use your gun. There are quite a few options available ranging from simple disposable earplugs all the way up to advance digital headphones.

Protection For Your Eyes

Anytime you are clay shooting, it is also important to wear protection for your eyes. You may want to choose tinted safety glasses to make it easier to spot the clays. Try out different styles to see which ones you prefer. You can also purchase safety glasses that are customized with your vision prescription if you normally wear glasses.

Shirts

Clay shooting usually takes place during the warm summer months. In most cases, you don’t have to exert yourself nearly as much as when you are game shooting. You also don’t have to worry about packing all of your clothing along with you like you would if you were out in the field. Dressing in layers is a good option so that you can add or remove clothing as needed throughout the day.

Vests For Shooting

Invest in a high-quality shooting vest that fits your body well. A good vest can make a big difference in your comfort while shooting.

Guns

Each individual who participates in clay shooting needs to bring along a gun of their own. The only exception is if you are taking lessons in clay shooting. In that case, the gun is usually provided by the school. When you are waiting for your turn to shoot, make sure to put your gun away properly.

Shoes Or Boots

The type of footwear that you choose depends on what the weather is like. If it is wet outside, consider going with Wellies. If it is dry, on the other hand, boots or shoes that are comfortable and supportive are the best choices.

A Waterproof Bag

Invest in a waterproof bag that is large enough to hold all of your shooting gear. With clay shooting, the bag will need to hold everything from chokes and cartridges to a spare cloth. You may even want to stock it with healthy snacks so that you can concentrate all day. If you need to add or remove clothing, you can also use your bag to store any extra pieces. The Tethera bag shown above is a great choice.

Jackets

If you are going to be shooting in the rain, you should wear a waterproof jacket that provides you with a complete range of motion. During periods of nicer weather, you should take your jacket off before shooting to get the best fit with your gun.

Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of thebigdeer.com where I share my hunting experiences and gear reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

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