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Well, after trapsing around West Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and knocking on just about every farm door with 80 mile radius, I can't get a look in or permission on pigeons let alone deer. I've come to the conclusion this sport is definitely about who you know and not what you know, as the only perm I have are a big thanks to a special kind hearted gent on here who introduced me to the farmer...… I can see why people get despondent......

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If you are just a weekend shooter then you will have to work extra hard to get your foot in the door, its hard work to start with but the more you put your face and vehicle out around the country lanes and gateways the odds start to go your way a bit, I remember one farm that took me three years before he gave me permission and that was by pure chance as I was parked in his gateway watching pigeons on his rape, obviously time of year and being able to shoot midweek helps.

You have one farm, use that farmers name when you visit his near neighbours but make sure his neighbour is getting some attention from blacks or pigeons before you go and knock his door.

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14 minutes ago, lloydi73 said:

Well, after trapsing around West Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and knocking on just about every farm door with 80 mile radius, I can't get a look in or permission on pigeons let alone deer. I've come to the conclusion this sport is definitely about who you know and not what you know, as the only perm I have are a big thanks to a special kind hearted gent on here who introduced me to the farmer...… I can see why people get despondent......

i know that it can seem like an impossible task , but dont give up . many years ago , with the help of my wife , i sent 260 hand written letters , plus knocked on the door of just about every farm that i could find , it took many months and seemed hopeless  , but eventually someone said yes . from that first farm , i now shoot around a dozen farms and associated pieces of land . getting your first one is the hardest , after that they just sort of get offered without asking (as long as youre doing a decent job for the farmer).

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hello, have you tried to find some beating, there are some big shoots in West Oxon and Gloucestershire or even a small farmers shoot, not to late to find till end of season and maybe lead to a beaters day, helping keeper, maybe lead to some vermin and roost shooting,    

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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30 minutes ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

hello, have you tried to find some beating, there are some big shoots in West Oxon and Gloucestershire or even a small farmers shoot, not to late to find till end of season and maybe lead to a beaters day, helping keeper, maybe lead to some vermin and roost shooting,    

Tried that, nil point!!…..I've spoken directly to farmers and gamekeepers, offered services, I have printed business cards I give out, all I get told is "already have somebody thanks", or already have enough beaters..... Whats more annoying is fields I drive past are sometimes littered with birds and deer, I point this out, and still to no avail...….

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From a recent few of years experience of beating it is definitely the way to go I know it doesn't help for this season but getting in early for next season is well worth it now.  So far through beating I have picked up about three permissions of various sizes not by being pushy as soon as I got in the beating line but just by getting to know people and helping out on the shoots. It may not be regular all the time i.e. when you want it but you get asked to sort out pigeons at particular times or if there are a couple of deer causing an issue you get asked to sort them out at the right time as well. 

Knocking on doors is a way to start but people dont know you really from Adam however spending a full day every Saturday or Friday with people on a shoot really lets them know the type of person you are and if you are sensible and trustworthy. 

 

Edit seem above but dont get disheartened on the beating another way onto beating for shoots is head to the local clay straw bales shoot and get to know some people there you find a lot of people who run small syndicate shoots tend to shoot at those as well and they are usually on the look out for beaters. 

 

 

Edited by Zetter
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My first permission was a small farm, got to know the farmer really well, took him out once or twice to sort out a fox or two and just became friends, he recommended me to his mate, who suggested someone else and a couple of years later i had 6 farms, then when i knocked on some doors i was known as "the lad who shoots on so and so's" land by the farmers i was asking permission from, i stopped asking when i had 12 permissions, it can be hard work keeping them all happy, but some don't need visits very often, and i have a shooting partner added to others to share the load.

Don't get disheartened,it will happen, my mate got his first permission which was huge chatting to a farmer who noticed his basc badge in the car window, while picking their kids up from Sunday school, the farmer had a big fox problem, he now doesn't lol.

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2 hours ago, lloydi73 said:

Tried that, nil point!!…..I've spoken directly to farmers and gamekeepers, offered services, I have printed business cards I give out, all I get told is "already have somebody thanks", or already have enough beaters..... Whats more annoying is fields I drive past are sometimes littered with birds and deer, I point this out, and still to no avail...….

hello, i know what you mean i am lucky with 1 farm but known family many many years another small farm same and i go beating on a very enjoyable shoot more social for me and a great gamekeeper who appreciates an oldy like me doing my bit. its not all about the shooting for me now but getting out of the town i live in the fresh air and meeting up with nice people 

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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I started thirty years ago with one farm and then had other farms via recommendation. Scan the fields and be about when the birds are active. Turn up after work , always visit after a call and always inform the farmer of the numbers shot in the past twenty years send a picture via phone. I even had one permission while I was scanning a field when the farmer pulled up and said I've seen your pictures on Mr ........... Phone in the pub, instant access. 

Just keep at one farm took me three years of asking.

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1 hour ago, lloydi73 said:

Tried that, nil point!!…..I've spoken directly to farmers and gamekeepers, offered services, I have printed business cards I give out, all I get told is "already have somebody thanks", or already have enough beaters..... Whats more annoying is fields I drive past are sometimes littered with birds and deer, I point this out, and still to no avail...….

Your area must be completely different from around our way , beating or brushing as we call it is there if you want it , if you can make the mid week shoots then you can more or less take your pick , I often get asked by the shoot captain if I can bring another one or two beaters for the Saturday , last week I done the Friday and Saturday on the same place , unfortunately the Saturday clashed with another shoot I go on so they would have been a beater short .

Once you get in the right circles , word will soon get about if you are doing a good job , it will take time as you cannot expect a land owner letting a complete stranger on his land with a fire arm , as an example , if you were beating on our estate this season you would have three shoots left that you would get paid for , then they are talking about a walk and stand day for the beaters and helpers in a mid week day in the last week of the season as the boss have got the 31st , we have arranged a full beaters day on the 1st of February , and then the four weeks roost Shooting start the following Saturday , this go on for four Saturday afternoons that cost £20 , the £20 goes to a different charity each year or to somebody who have fell on hard times .

When the roost shooting is over if anyone want to go on the rape fields then all they need to do is ask , but don't expect all the above if you only turn up for the odd days beating , you would need to be someone to be relied on and then the benefits will follow suit .

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3 hours ago, lloydi73 said:

Tried that, nil point!!…..I've spoken directly to farmers and gamekeepers, offered services, I have printed business cards I give out, all I get told is "already have somebody thanks", or already have enough beaters..... Whats more annoying is fields I drive past are sometimes littered with birds and deer, I point this out, and still to no avail...….

No such thing as enough beaters!!! 

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It’s always about who you know, it’s the nature of the beast,  unless you’re paying to shoot. 
Despite what you say about beating, it’s still the best way to get into shooting and getting permissions, but you still need to work at it. Can you not ‘accidentally’ keep bumping into a local ‘keeper in the pub or elsewhere, and wear him down? Like someone else said, a keeper who always has enough beaters is a rare beast. Even on BIG shoot where we get paid, Saturdays are often the time when a ‘keeper runs short due to his beaters being invited to shoot, or they are in a syndicate which clashes with his shoot. I mostly beat on a Friday for this very reason. Persevere and don’t give up. 

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We often hear how hard it is to get shooting but for some people it will a site harder keeping your shooting once you have got your permission .

These are some of the things not to do , believe you me there are many more.

Once you have asked to go a certain field , do not take anyone else unless you have asked in the first place , this also apply with taking your dog ( if you have been bringing your dog on the shoots then it should be o k , but still ask.

Do not go on any other field except the one you asked to go on , on ours we let the stalking and if the stalker is out on the same day and is then told there is a pigeon shooter on x field and then he find he have wandered over four away because he saw pigeons dropping in on that field it could become very dangerous .

Do not leave any empties after you finish shooting as people will walk past where you have been and they wont be to happy if they find empty cartridge cases and the odd bit of rubbish , you would then be lucky to be asked back

Do not shoot anything else apart from what you ask to shoot in the first place , ask the keeper if it will be alright to shoot any other vermin while you are waiting for the pigeons , he will more than likely to say yes but don't take it for granted . 

Don't wander about the woods beside the fields you are shooting , he might have a pen in there and might be catching a few hen birds , again he wont be happy to find someone have been in there .

I could go on but I think you are getting the picture , like they say , hard to get and a site easier to lose 

All the above have happened in the past , so you can see why it can sometimes take a while to get yourself known . GOOD LUCK

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9 hours ago, lloydi73 said:

Well, after traipsing around West Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and knocking on just about every farm door with 80 mile radius, I can't get a look in or permission on pigeons let alone deer. I've come to the conclusion this sport is definitely about who you know and not what you know, as the only perm I have are a big thanks to a special kind hearted gent on here who introduced me to the farmer...… I can see why people get despondent......

Do not get to despondent. Relax and Look for any opportunities you can via any clubs or syndicates, Clay pigeon clubs are a good place for new comers to interact with other shooters.

  Cold knocking is not that successful but not necessarily a complete waste of time.

  You can travel of course you can but start relatively local or off routes you regularly travel. Watch Pigeon /Rabbit/ Whatever activity you see in passing, and take a mental note of any pending problems the landowners might be having. Like pigeons frenzy feeding fields with bangers and feathers thrown around scarecrows etc. Then look at that area a little more carefully.

IS there a car / truck ever parked anywhere. ? ever hee anyone shooting? > Now if you see the area is relatively inactive, it might pay to find the landowner, see if there is a chance. Its not sure fire and often the land is syndicate or some other local has it but never goes or landowner is just not into shooting. many reasons this can fail. But it can work.

  Get knowledge of an area, know who you are dealing with Note any  farm signs, do not be obvious but observe parked machinery trucks vans etc if clearly visible, then if you spot that Hilux parked in THAT field You can be reasonably sure that land could be that farms.

 As simple as YELL farmers look at names addresses Look on a map put together a knowledge base of an area. This builds up a picture of who is doing what and who has what land.

Be at all times discreet about your research, Keep a note book write names you learn down and relativity to land etc, do not relly on your memory no matter how good. The note book is there for accuracy in the details.

If you drive a jacked uo hilux with light bars and spot lamps, leave that at home the Sons Ford focus or the wifes Honda civic blend in that bit better, they don’t want to see you looking and remember you at all  , its about both respecting their privacy and your continued anonymity to enable you to do the research you need to do.

Use whatever public rights of way are open to you walk the dog take binoculars casually look about.

Gun shops Again blend in hear all see all say nothing, be polite and humble, do not impart any knowledge you might have over and above very general knowledge.  Too much knowledge in some circles of shooting scares the masses.  Many shooters especially when they start to get embedded in an area get lazy pick and chose where and what they do obviously, but are incredibly reluctant to give up a square inch of permission.

  In these times SOME landowners get frustrated, and a parting of the ways can happen, make sure you are the first to know when anything has changed, and be first in and best dressed, but be steady at utilising any land gained like this, make sure the love affair is really over, and even try and heal any rifts , between the two parties not alienating the landlord, but making sure the recently estranged shooter is well aware you are trying to help him.

Throughout any such dealings you will break eggs but if you try to be 100% genuine in such delicate matters, which realistically you should be,  You might find it pays off in more than one direction.

  Joust be yourself stay focused on what you want but be discreet and honest as i am sure you are anyway , nobody likes a bragger remember that too, watch such people they hemmer age shooting rights like confetti at a wedding quite often.

So Clubs / Clay / pigeon / wildfowling/ Syndicates. And build up your knowledge discreetly on areas you live in or frequently pass through or visit. Good luck.

 

 

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Do you have a trade they could find useful. A few years ago I knocked on a door and got a "no thanks". Then a couple of days later someone I knew turned up in his electricians work van, farmer asked him if he could do a little job for him and he ended up with a new permission. 

Failing that beating is definitely the way to go. Even on shoots where  i get paid we have people offering to come for free, just to get a foot in the door.

I'm lucky at some of the places I beat as I'm allowed to take the occasional guest, this again has got me invites elsewhere.

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Keep going mate you will be surprised. I started of clearing rabbits with a airgun and other pests as a kid. Would ferret in the winter months. You will find once you have one piece you will get others. I probably have too much for myself to cover as I would like now. 

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Yep, sometimes you just have to be patient. As a lad I had permission on some fields that were always grass. So a walkabout with the air rifle and later a shotgun. At the age of 16 I pushed off to join the RAF and Father took over. Myxy had already finished the rabbits and then  the elm disease put paid to the roosting pigeon so that was pretty much of a dead loss. Dad went to another farm and was looking around the yard to see who was about to talk to when he heard his name called and there was an old school friend who he hadn't seen for 50 odd years. When he asked what she was doing there she replied that she'd married the farmer. When he replied to the same question from her she replied that of course you can shoot here Eric, come and meet my husband. Now 40 years on I'm shooting for the son having tagged on at the end of my Service career.

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12 hours ago, fracture7 said:

Beatings the way  to go. I travel 20 miles to a shoot that is 13 miles from you, most of the days the guns are farmers plenty of contacts plus they know my face.

We keep advising about going beating but you need to want to beat in the first place , it is not about turning up with a stick and go along with the flow and expect permissions to come left right and centre , because they wont , you have got to show you are interested in what you are doing and be prepared to put other things in life to one side and that might include a days work , we give the shooting dates out early so the regular beaters can plan there days and put in the odd day's holiday if they had to , also a lot go on other shoots and they can then sort out the ones they can go , the keeper , or the captain will then know if he need to get in touch with anyone else because so and so cant make it that day or he give another shoot he go on priority .

There was a chap on here last year who got in touch with me when he advertised for beaters on the forum and never hardly got a single reply , he gave them rolls and coffee to start the day , lunch , a full days game shooting before the season was over and Pigeon and vermin shooting during the close season , he didn't pay his beaters but the day on the pegs and the Pigeon shooting would have more than made up for a small beater's pay .

So what are the people who want a permission prepared to do to get it ??

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Cannot agree I'm afraid about knowing the right people - I'm not far from you and my 2 biggest perms have come about by complete chance - once saw a guy carrying a bucket of wheat - when asked he informed me that he was filling feeders to attract squirrels so they could be shot - "I would love to have a go at that" led me directly to 5k acres of mixed woodland - second opportunity was passing a field of rape covered in pigeons - I found the owner outside the farmhouse - "your rape is covered with pigeons" led me to another 1k acres of really prime shooting land.

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Similar for me with my now local permission. We were putting in to build a house. Went to the parish council meeting and a farmer was there because he wanted to build a chicken shed. Got chatting and that was it. Few weeks later he was looking for someone to shoot pigeons on his rape. I was laid up with a broken leg but gave him a ring and said I might be able to help out. He'd already got someone so I asked about lamping and he said yeah and gave me a few hundred acres miles away. I kept an eye on his other ground and when we moved next door asked about the shooting. Same bloke was doing the pigeons but nothing else so I got another several hundred acres off him. It works because I haven't really got the time in the day to go pigeon shooting and the other chap doesn't go lamping.

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Just got to be in the right place at the right time. I moved here (suffolk) 11 years ago and knew 1 person, my wife. Happened to bump into the next door shoot while walking the dog after we'd been here about a month. Went beating there and then, the farmer ended up being my daughters god parents and I ended up helping keeper the shoot. Now shoot pigeons over the farm and lamp it for foxes etc and have upgraded the shoot I keeper on through a friend of a friend I met whilst on the first shoot. So stick at it, and eventually it will fall into place

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