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WalkedUp

Going rates & respect

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Just curious about the going rates for beaters and pickers up across the country? On the grouse moor in the Peaks it is £50/day. Lowland I’m normally shooting but if I’ve helped out I’ve been given £20, normally put it behind the bar for the team as I’m either helping the keeper or with a gun pal so not a ‘dedicated’ picker upper.

One year on a grouse moor adjacent to Abbystead, I was working my two HPR’s the entire day. Was given £50 at the end, then one of the guns’ wives was chatting to me and said “I suppose it’s pretty decent money for a day out walking the dogs”. I told her that it had actually cost me more in diesel for my Land Rover to get there; the dogs cost me £1000s each year to house, feed and insure; but to top it off I am a partner in an architecture practice and so taking a day off a week during the summer so the moor can put on shoot days costs me a substantial amount in lost revenue.

For me the money is just a mark of appreciation of a job well done and acknowledgement of the cost of housing the dogs we all need for our sport. 

Edited by WalkedUp

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11 minutes ago, WalkedUp said:

 On the grouse moor in the Peaks it is £50/day. 

Ladybower and over towards Sheffield off the A57 my Son and his friends beat in that area. Several shoots in that area. Average pay is £25 - £30.  He's a company director and his friends are all self employed buisness men. As you say, it's not for the money it actually costs them to attend. 

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Heard its £40 here. As for the respect part, I heard for the beaters day at bowood, the syndicate point blank refused to return the offer and beat for the beaters day. I'd be fuming with the stuck up ***** 

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I know some shoots that will pay £40-£50 for a days beating, others will offer no cash at all but pigeon/vermin shooting and the odd walked up day, others can be both cash and money.

I think the majority of people involved in shooting voluntarily do it because they enjoy being part of it, they love the opportunity to work their dogs, etc.

I also know a few keepers who could stuff a comfy mattress with the cash they have tucked away so some do very well out of it.

 

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Both shoots I do either beating or picking up whatever they want £20 and a beaters day shooting on both. 

On one I have to save 9 days holiday from work.

Edited by B725

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I get paid £45 cash and lunch when picking up or beating. The estate also takes care of all the national insurance and other parts to it. 
Also get invited to two walk one stand one beaters day.

i don’t do it for the money but it helps pay for my own shoot. 

Edited by Nmb

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13 minutes ago, Nmb said:

I get paid £45 cash and lunch when picking up or beating. The estate also takes care of all the national insurance and other parts to it. 
Also get invited to two walk one stand one beaters day.

i don’t do it for the money but it helps pay for my own shoot. 

That is the way I would like to see it done, till then I just will not bother!

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£35 is the going rate, and a beaters shoot at the end of the season, however it the other benefits, I now have stalking on two areas, new friends, and the best laugh for five months,  you cannot put a price on that. 

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Been on 4 shots this past season . All paid £40 a day, hot pie or pie and soup in some  instances, beaters days on 3 of the shoots the fourth just a small farm shoot.

 

Blackpowder

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You lads must be going on big shoots 😬

 

I beat on one that’s just a small farm shoot, it’s just friends and family and they will shoot between 5-15 birds - no pay but everyone sits around the farmhouse table afterwards and share some drinks and a home cooked meal.

 

 

I then went on another shoot just at the end of the season. They shoot between 50-75 per day apparently.
 

Again there was no pay but mostly friends and family, stopped for food at 11, then a big formal dinner 4 courses and plenty of drink. 
 

 

 

This year I have also shot on a small syndicate I joined. We don’t pay our beaters, but as above, we may only shoot between 5-15 birds. It’s a small hobby syndicate and at the end of the season we take our beaters for a meal and they have a beaters day, although as we hardly shoot any ourselves they don’t shoot a lot and some of them don’t want to shoot, they just come to work their dogs. 
 

 

 

 

I think some of these small hobby shoots aren’t comparable to commercial shoots, which are making a profit off the top of the shoot and then some complain that they are unable to pay beaters who are doing a full day of hard going walking. 
 


 

About 4 Years ago when in uni, I went beating up North of Bristol, it was hit and miss on pay, the first time I was given £20. The next time nothing (and nothing said by me nor them) and another time I was given £10. I didn’t really mind as I only went for a day out, after I bought myself and a few of the friendly beaters a drink at the pub afterwards the money was soon gone, it was just w nice gesture to receive it. 

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Beaters, pickers up et al never used to get paid in money, maybe with the exception of a few estates.  The traditional practice was always to reward the beaters with food & drink etc on the day and a certain amount of free shooting.  Smaller shoots like syndicates, farm & family shoots etc obviously don't want to get tied up in the rigmarole that goes along with an official "payroll" so they mostly maintain this tradition.

Commercial shoots HAVE to have all their spending accounted for on paper, therefore the pay will (should) be "above board", i.e. declared to the tax man.  The standard way is for them to pay the beaters minus the tax and the shoot does the paperwork and tax payment, as per any normal employment.

It's my opinion that since game shooting has become much more commercialised and more widely participated in, the demand for decent beaters and pickers up has become so great that commercial shoots have found themselves having to secure the services of their personnel with offers of money on top of the other benefits.  It's a classic case of supply and demand dictating the going rate.

That said it's still slave wages even if you get £60 a day!! If you're doing it for the money you're in the wrong job!

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I know late to the party.

But seen this and thought I'd comment.

Possibly a bit controversial, but just my view give a different perspective

 

While I agree with Jim  to some extent, but the reason why beaters have never been paid or only paid a nominal fee + food etc, 

On most estates when shooting first started up and till relevantly recently the beaters would already be paid employees of the estate, so most likely already paying them for the day and most likely giving them a house too.

Chances are they would be any kennel/stable staff, gardeners, farm workers, forestry workers even house staff, it wasn't all that long ago that that was the norm on most estates with big numbers of staff which could easily beat the day all inhouse.

 

Shooting has moved away from being owner ran and even the very few estates who still run the shoot no longer have the work force they once did, so even the staff they have can't afford to order them to go beating instead of doing day job.

Far cheaper to get us part timers in who are daft enough to work for peanuts, well really pies/bar meals

 

I think beaters/pickers up etc wages need to rise dramatically across the board, even on family/farm shoots.

By beating for peanuts ur only subsidising someone else's shooting, why should I lose money so a stranger I don't know can pay less??

No matter how fun it is

Even on a farm DIY shoot why should anyone expect anyone else to lose possibly a hundred pound a day by coming to a shoot to save them a few hundred quid over the year.

I bet any SE lads beating on a mid week small family/syndicate shoot will be losing more in wages than it costs the guns to shoot there

That's all it would take to pay beaters money, not a lot really

I know I would never expect someone to give up there time for me for nowt so i can save a few quid for wot is a luxury day out.

I don't think my time is any more valuable than anyone elses no matter how much were both enjoying our days out wether shooting or with dogs

And a few days working instead of beating for free would soon pay for ur own day out.

 

Don't get me wrong I still book days off to work my dogs but far more picky where I go than used to be. 

So still not financially viable but getting near it now locally

No shoots in this area pay less than 40 many a lot more, most grouse moors are up to 3 figures now for picking, but u need it if running a mob of dogs + 4x4, I travel 2hrs to 1 but owner is very nice but a bloody long day

 I do have mates in other parts of country I go to grouse with can make a decent enough wage most years now from aug to Feb just working dogs full time

 

I use to have this view more just for commercial shoots making money, no other business could price a job needing 10 labourers at 30 quid a day

But as I've got older must be getting tighter/more miserable as think even on farm or syndicate days ur still subsidising someone else's sport just the same.

That's why when I ran a DIY syndicate I tried to avoid beaters as most 1 for 1s do

but any extra beaters I needed for a day if short just came as a guest and stood drives as well only fair way to do it if not paying proper money/ other incentives

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1 hour ago, scotslad said:

I know late to the party.

But seen this and thought I'd comment.

Possibly a bit controversial, but just my view give a different perspective

 

While I agree with Jim  to some extent, but the reason why beaters have never been paid or only paid a nominal fee + food etc, 

On most estates when shooting first started up and till relevantly recently the beaters would already be paid employees of the estate, so most likely already paying them for the day and most likely giving them a house too.

Chances are they would be any kennel/stable staff, gardeners, farm workers, forestry workers even house staff, it wasn't all that long ago that that was the norm on most estates with big numbers of staff which could easily beat the day all inhouse.

 

Shooting has moved away from being owner ran and even the very few estates who still run the shoot no longer have the work force they once did, so even the staff they have can't afford to order them to go beating instead of doing day job.

Far cheaper to get us part timers in who are daft enough to work for peanuts, well really pies/bar meals

 

I think beaters/pickers up etc wages need to rise dramatically across the board, even on family/farm shoots.

By beating for peanuts ur only subsidising someone else's shooting, why should I lose money so a stranger I don't know can pay less??

No matter how fun it is

Even on a farm DIY shoot why should anyone expect anyone else to lose possibly a hundred pound a day by coming to a shoot to save them a few hundred quid over the year.

I bet any SE lads beating on a mid week small family/syndicate shoot will be losing more in wages than it costs the guns to shoot there

That's all it would take to pay beaters money, not a lot really

I know I would never expect someone to give up there time for me for nowt so i can save a few quid for wot is a luxury day out.

I don't think my time is any more valuable than anyone elses no matter how much were both enjoying our days out wether shooting or with dogs

And a few days working instead of beating for free would soon pay for ur own day out.

 

Don't get me wrong I still book days off to work my dogs but far more picky where I go than used to be. 

So still not financially viable but getting near it now locally

No shoots in this area pay less than 40 many a lot more, most grouse moors are up to 3 figures now for picking, but u need it if running a mob of dogs + 4x4, I travel 2hrs to 1 but owner is very nice but a bloody long day

 I do have mates in other parts of country I go to grouse with can make a decent enough wage most years now from aug to Feb just working dogs full time

 

I use to have this view more just for commercial shoots making money, no other business could price a job needing 10 labourers at 30 quid a day

But as I've got older must be getting tighter/more miserable as think even on farm or syndicate days ur still subsidising someone else's sport just the same.

That's why when I ran a DIY syndicate I tried to avoid beaters as most 1 for 1s do

but any extra beaters I needed for a day if short just came as a guest and stood drives as well only fair way to do it if not paying proper money/ other incentives


I also think beaters not being paid properly etc etc is just subsidising the guns shooting for cheap. 
 

However, if you want to be paid a proper wage, you have to do a proper job. 
 

That means knowing what your doing, having dogs properly trained and under control. 
 

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a shoot that didn’t have several dogs that just ******** off 100+ yards away from the handler (mine as well at times 😭🤣) ... weren’t trained and the owners weren’t bothered. Many a time you are getting people bringing along to family pet with no training, no introduction just to “see how he does”. 
 

 

I think if you want to really up the pay of beaters etc then they would have to up their standards, and many of them would be told to P off because they’re not worth a full days wage. 
 

Often you get people bringing along small children for a day out, old folks just wanting a walk. 
 

One shoot I went on paid beaters extra if they had a dog ... the amount of random dogs of any breeder the “beaters” could beg, steal and borrow for the dog was ridiculous 🤣😂

 

 

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8 hours ago, scotslad said:

I know late to the party.

But seen this and thought I'd comment.

Possibly a bit controversial, but just my view give a different perspective

 

While I agree with Jim  to some extent, but the reason why beaters have never been paid or only paid a nominal fee + food etc, 

On most estates when shooting first started up and till relevantly recently the beaters would already be paid employees of the estate, so most likely already paying them for the day and most likely giving them a house too.

Chances are they would be any kennel/stable staff, gardeners, farm workers, forestry workers even house staff, it wasn't all that long ago that that was the norm on most estates with big numbers of staff which could easily beat the day all inhouse.

 

Shooting has moved away from being owner ran and even the very few estates who still run the shoot no longer have the work force they once did, so even the staff they have can't afford to order them to go beating instead of doing day job.

Far cheaper to get us part timers in who are daft enough to work for peanuts, well really pies/bar meals

 

I think beaters/pickers up etc wages need to rise dramatically across the board, even on family/farm shoots.

By beating for peanuts ur only subsidising someone else's shooting, why should I lose money so a stranger I don't know can pay less??

No matter how fun it is

Even on a farm DIY shoot why should anyone expect anyone else to lose possibly a hundred pound a day by coming to a shoot to save them a few hundred quid over the year.

I bet any SE lads beating on a mid week small family/syndicate shoot will be losing more in wages than it costs the guns to shoot there

That's all it would take to pay beaters money, not a lot really

I know I would never expect someone to give up there time for me for nowt so i can save a few quid for wot is a luxury day out.

I don't think my time is any more valuable than anyone elses no matter how much were both enjoying our days out wether shooting or with dogs

And a few days working instead of beating for free would soon pay for ur own day out.

 

Don't get me wrong I still book days off to work my dogs but far more picky where I go than used to be. 

So still not financially viable but getting near it now locally

No shoots in this area pay less than 40 many a lot more, most grouse moors are up to 3 figures now for picking, but u need it if running a mob of dogs + 4x4, I travel 2hrs to 1 but owner is very nice but a bloody long day

 I do have mates in other parts of country I go to grouse with can make a decent enough wage most years now from aug to Feb just working dogs full time

 

I use to have this view more just for commercial shoots making money, no other business could price a job needing 10 labourers at 30 quid a day

But as I've got older must be getting tighter/more miserable as think even on farm or syndicate days ur still subsidising someone else's sport just the same.

That's why when I ran a DIY syndicate I tried to avoid beaters as most 1 for 1s do

but any extra beaters I needed for a day if short just came as a guest and stood drives as well only fair way to do it if not paying proper money/ other incentives

Interesting points, especially regarding the historic reason behind no payment. 

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2 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

Interesting points, especially regarding the historic reason behind no payment. 

 

If u think back to early days of shooting and probably right throu to 60s or 70s normal working folk just couldn't afford to take a day off work and prob working a 6 day week as a normal week.

I always mind my mates dad who was a rural tradesmen ( about 75 now) used to talk about when he 1st started. Christmas trades, in those days u got 2 days off and many in Scotland would chose to work Christmas to get 2 days of for new year, not the 2+ weeks that's normal now

 

When u look at some of game returns was some big bags shot much off it wild so probably ( I'm guessing) taking in far more ground per drive than u would now so would need a lot off beaters.

 

Another old fella I know his dad ran the hedge cutting squad on a small local estate, it employed 6 ft just cutting hedges throu winter and it was a small estate. All done with hedge knifes in those days

It was amazing the massive labour forces that used to be employed on every estate/farm back in those days.

Think about all the things we take for granted now with diggers, machines etc all done by hand, field drains dug, stone walls built/transported, all those fancy gardens landscaped maintained not too mention any builders etc when u see how ornate many old buildings are, some hunt kennels or stables are stunning even now all tiled and carved sandstone

Labour was cheap then.

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Aye llyod u do have a point about the standard off beater but mibbee a chicken and egg situation.

 

Not that I beat often nowadays but on better shoots paying better money u do have better beaters, u often have a waiting list to get on.

By same token if u have a lot of birds u just can't afford to have terrible dogs running free, see plenty terrible dogs but usually pulling like wild horses on leads all drive.

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16 hours ago, scotslad said:

Even on a farm DIY shoot why should anyone expect anyone else to lose possibly a hundred pound a day by coming to a shoot to save them a few hundred quid over the year.

Mostly because every DIY/farm shoot I've ever heard of doesn't shoot on weekdays.  The guns, along with the beating team, are all too busy working for a living.  Also, on said shoots, it's been my experience that the guns and beaters aren't rigidly divided into those camps.

 

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In the historical, context Lloyd is correct on beaters but I can’t speak for pickers up. I have seen and still experience, both ends of the spectrum. The local, farm or small syndicate where you shot Saturdays to the large commercial shoot where It is weekdays.

In the former I was happy to have any beater who could walk in a vaguely straight line, without holding hands and make a little noise. They were paid in cash at the end of the day. Money collected from the guns and distributed at about thirty quid for the day.

On the commercial shoot you have an employment contract, are clocked in each day electronically and paid monthly after deductions for tax. Holiday pay is added at the end of the season. You have to be a very competent picker up as there is a lot at stake but even so put an extra couple of birds in the bag and you have covered your cost and more. That just about covers my travel and dog expenses for the year and as I do it for the love of it I have no problem with that.

If we think about the dreaded Covid the formal approach is probably a must for at least this season so you know who has been in contact with who. As to money you probably get what you pay for and remember in rural areas beating might be the only employment for some for the whole year.

 

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Never taken money  for beating not that i do it very often, if money was ever offered it went behind the bar for everyone or a few days pigeon/crow shooting.

The simulated shoot i help out at pays well enough to cover all your costs for the day including the bar bill plus a couple of days shooting

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3 hours ago, udderlyoffroad said:

Mostly because every DIY/farm shoot I've ever heard of doesn't shoot on weekdays.  The guns, along with the beating team, are all too busy working for a living.  Also, on said shoots, it's been my experience that the guns and beaters aren't rigidly divided into those camps.

 

 

I knew off 2 DIY shoots that shot mid weeks, but yes not the norm.

But many folk do/can work a Saturday too. Still losing a wage

 

I agree with u and it's up to urself, but would ur day not be slightly better if ur costs were covered.

If ur a beater u still get the hard yards to do should u not get paid for it too.

How often are the 'guns' busy when it's there turn to beat on keepers day??? Or even when they do turn up they just go throu the motions.

Seen it with many walk 1 stand 1 shoots the rival teams are either in such a hurry to stand next drive or worse know there standing the drive next time, a lot of birds are either missed escape of fly wrong direction.

 

My view u either pay well or u all get the chance to stand so ur all even.

Otherwise ur all even but I'm more even than u.

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Posted (edited)

I more or less packed it in due to the unequally lines i had come a cross ,beaters eating a sarnie in a leaky barn, guns on lunch and drinks and one was heard to say its raining let the beaters beat 2 drives into one we will stop here and have some more drink down our necks,the keeper was not happy and let it slip and consequently many of us never went back.the boss used to scream and shout at the keeper in front of every one what a tw*t,do not need them in my life.

 

Edited by williamwansbeck
mis-spelling

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