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Will Hewland

Sunday shoots now the poor relative in the south.

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Will Hewland

It’s now evident that almost all the best quality registered sporting shoots that I do are on week-days. EJ Churchill, Owls Lodge, Ian Coley, Atkin Grant and Lang, and College Farm. Most of these also run weekday FSP and STR, making even my part time working week hard to navigate around!

Southdown and Westfield are the better Sunday shoots still available to me, but that’s about it for QUALITY targets and DECENT facilities. You can count Honesberie at that farm they use for part of the year (although facilities not exactly top notch..). So Sunday’s are running way behind the week day offerings generally, caused by the big permanent grounds making the most of their time and facilities in the week. 

It was only when Steve Lovatt discussed dates for his new Surrey ground that many of us found ourselves saying “oh no, not another week day event..” that it really occurred to me. 

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PKB

And long may it continue. I used to do all my local Sunday shoots, Horne, Keston, Caterham (which is no more) and the odd venture to Southdown. The one thing that is still engraved on my mind was the endless waiting on stands! Get a break down or stuck behind a big group and and half an hour wait was standard. Pick the wrong time of day to start and 3 to 4 hrs was not unusual to shoot a 100 birds.  On top of this was the diplomatic efforts to slip off on a Sunday, between visiting friends and family or my good lady wife having the audacity to want socialise on a Sunday with her darling husband! 

Then came came mid week shoots, what a transformation. Before I wax lyrical about mid weeks I will admit to now being semi retired. The joy of squads at Owls Lodge, get there for 12 noon and you know you will be finished by 1.15 at latest. Churchill’s may not be squaded  but you can still turn up, shoot, have a coffee and a fine bit of home made cake and be a way in 2 hours. Have been to a few of AGL’s Friday shoots and they do take a little longer (think last one they got over 230 entries) which means you risk the Friday traffic but do love the ground and targets. The fact that all 3 grounds are now venturing into sportrap and FITASC makes things even better.  Have not been to College Farm but have heard great reports and look forward to a visit. I suppose the fact that flexible working is now becoming more common has helped. My only regret was that Southdown, who briefly ventured in mid weeks, did not give them time to catch on. Again, long may they continue and good luck to Mr Lovett and his new venture, we need another good ground doing competitions down this end.

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chippy

Even Saturday shoots are not well attended here in East Anglia. We have to work 6 days to pay for a Sunday shoot.

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wylye

Why have you never been to Gunsite Will? Its certainly one of the more popular shoots - look at the numbers who attend.

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Will Hewland
Just now, wylye said:

Why have you never been to Gunsite Will? Its certainly one of the more popular shoots - look at the numbers who attend.

I’ve been a good few times, not for a while. It’s a bit of a trek and has a reputation for being overly busy, but I do keep meaning to go again sometime. 

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schmokinn

Obviously shoots midweek for the retired/semi retired or people rich enough not to need to work.

For your average working person Sundays are really the only option and the occasional Saturdays.

Would be lovely to shoot every day of the week just need to win the lottery!

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OUSurrey

As a new shooter who works shifts, the midweek shoots are looking like a great option to me. I go to southdown most weeks for a bit of practice, and want to start branching out into the other shoots so it's nice to know that midweek registered shoots do happen.

However, weekend shoots will always be better for the average person who works a 9 to 5. I love shooting southdown midweek as it's so quiet and gives me plenty of time to practice targets that I struggle with.

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Doug Pinnegar

I have to agree with you, Will. The Sunday shoots are often over subscribed due to the popularity of the sport.

I make sure to book my holiday to shoot the Ian Coley Summer Series as its a very enjoyable mid week shoot. I could dedicate my whole holiday allowance and probably not be able to shoot all the mid week stuff!

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schmokinn

Holiday allowance...i wish.

Self employed in a job where customers expect service imminently after making a phone call.

Fighting them off at weekends is enough of a task!

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Westward

Weston Wood has proved to be a big loss to the south. That was 2 Sunday shoots a month - with one being a neat double with 4C - that are gone for ever.

Over at Gunsite Sean has been steadily improving the facilities, especially the catering, but he can't make the course any bigger, so it does get crowded at times and he can't really hold a shoot more than once a month thanks to the neighbours. It is a popular shoot though for good reasons and the keen shooters can often double up with Westfield.

This coming Sunday looks pretty barren for the south apart from Westfield and IOW, yet the following Sunday there are shoots on all over the south and west,  due in part to March being a 5 weekend month.

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chippy
17 minutes ago, Westward said:

Weston Wood has proved to be a big loss to the south. That was 2 Sunday shoots a month - with one being a neat double with 4C - that are gone for ever.

Over at Gunsite Sean has been steadily improving the facilities, especially the catering, but he can't make the course any bigger, so it does get crowded at times and he can't really hold a shoot more than once a month thanks to the neighbours. It is a popular shoot though for good reasons and the keen shooters can often double up with Westfield.

This coming Sunday looks pretty barren for the south apart from Westfield and IOW, yet the following Sunday there are shoots on all over the south and west,  due in part to March being a 5 weekend month.

Make the trip up to highwayman's less than an hour from M25 M11 junction

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GlawsterOldCodger
35 minutes ago, chippy said:

Make the trip up to highwayman's less than an hour from M25 M11 junction

Up from the M25 😦 that sounds like the frozen north to us west country boys 😉

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El Spavo

Although as a shift worker my time is free most of the week, for me as a newbie, the sunday/weekend shoot is quite a blessing cos having a bit of trepidation about looking a tool, showing yourself up, whatever you want to call it, there's more people around at the weekend for you to get in touch with and hopefully welcome you to the fold. I'm still twitchy about going shooting on my own even though everyone I've met at groundshave been lovely, but it's nice that the group of people I know to actually shoot with has slowly increased enough for me to feel a little more comfortable with going along and not feeling like a third whee and act a little less of a wallflowerl.

So thank you to any I've met along the way,; some of aren't the most flamboyant, confident souls in the world, but just want to carefully join in. :)

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Rammy

Where abouts are you based, I'm about during the week be handy to have someone to meet up and shoot with on a week day :imsohappy:

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Westward
14 hours ago, chippy said:

Make the trip up to highwayman's less than an hour from M25 M11 junction

I hear good things about Highwayman's but sadly it's between 156 and 200 miles and around 3 hours each way depending on route.

Unfortunately I have to travel by car as my helicopter hasn't arrived yet.:pleasantry:

14 hours ago, GlawsterOldCodger said:

Up from the M25 😦 that sounds like the frozen north to us west country boys 😉

Even worse than that...  It's next door to Essex!

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GlawsterOldCodger

So far this year I think Ive managed more mid-week shoots than w/e, have found the midweek events Ive been to are less populated / or squadded meaning one can get round easier, a real plus point in poor weather. 

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chippy
19 hours ago, Westward said:

I hear good things about Highwayman's but sadly it's between 156 and 200 miles and around 3 hours each way depending on route.

Unfortunately I have to travel by car as my helicopter hasn't arrived yet.:pleasantry:

Even worse than that...  It's next door to Essex!

just ask Will to drop in and pick you up in his.

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Will Hewland
1 hour ago, chippy said:

just ask Will to drop in and pick you up in his.

I would but Westward lives south west of me and I can’t fly into the sun to drop him home. That would upset me. 

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