Beating - any gaffes to avoid etc?

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
867
273
North West Somerset
Hi All. I am hoping to help out a local shoot with some beating in the coming season, but I’ve never done it before. As I am a complete newbie, and have never even been near a shoot, I’m hoping to avoid any gaffes that would see me not asked back. So are there any common mistakes to avoid, unwritten rules, etc etc that I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance, Bob
 
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sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,424
402
derbyshire
Keep In line. You will forget to look left and right and keep pace with the rest of the line.
That was the most annoying thing when I was keepering folks with no sense of where everyone else was.....but we did run a tight beating line

Don't hit the release pens with your stick or put your foot into a square of any sheep netting to climb over a fence

If you get put on stop downwind of the guns ignore anyone who laughs at you for kneeling down

Have a decent stick. Say four foot long inch or so thick at the top

Perhaps have a few pre cut lengths of string in your pocket for tying birds together.
Much easier to carry slung over your stick

I would recommend everyone a pair of lined wax chaps. Esp if your ground is full of bramble and such
The ones with poppers up the side are my favourite for venting and easy on/off
 

baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
1,375
148
45
Coventry (and up trees)
Most shoots i've been on are full of very friendly and helpful folk. At the beginning of the day, there should be a safety talk for everyone, where the shooters will be and where the beaters are expected to be coming from.nAs you've never done it before, you'll probably be paired with someone more experienced, but, to be honest, beating is a pretty sociable day out, and i'm sure you'll have a great time.
 
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MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,265
43
58
Cambridgeshire
In no particular order, and in addition to what has been said before:
  • Wear rubber boots (cheap wellies will do to start with).
  • A lightweight waterproof is good - quiet colours of course.
  • Do what the keeper says.
  • Be prepared to walk and work hard, you can easily do 5 to 10 miles in a day.
  • Find out if you need to take a pack up before you go.
  • Gloves of some sort are a good idea, as is a hat.
  • Keep a bottle of water on you, you can work up a thirst.
  • Old clothing, in layers.
Enjoy it, it can be really good fun.

Dave
 

mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,711
76
uk
If theres any idiot MP's attending don't bother going, your likely to get shot. (That happened to Lindsay Waddell when w whitelaw couldn't spot the difference between a grouse and a man).
I did grouse beating 3 or 4 years on bowes moor, including the summer of 1976 when the entire moor was a tinder box. IIRC there was an "informal" smoking ban. It got a bit out of hand when some of the girls started stripping down....Hard work for £2 a day. Just do as the keeper/s ask and don't break the line. We never had posh barbour chapps we used fertiliser sacks instead. That and a cracking flag made from the same plastic nailed onto a broom handle. Carry plenty of bait and fluids, use sun block on your neck, and make sure you get paid.
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
867
273
North West Somerset
Thanks All for the wise words. As far as I know the shoots round here are for pheasant and partridge, and a large proportion of the grounds are farmed, but presumably there will still be pockets of rough land to walk through. So I will bear in mind the comments about clothing.

Sunndog, when you say ‘put on’ do you mean when you flush a bird into the air ? I could see that kneeling at that time might be a good idea...
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,424
402
derbyshire
Thanks All for the wise words. As far as I know the shoots round here are for pheasant and partridge, and a large proportion of the grounds are farmed, but presumably there will still be pockets of rough land to walk through. So I will bear in mind the comments about clothing.

Sunndog, when you say ‘put on’ do you mean when you flush a bird into the air ? I could see that kneeling at that time might be a good idea...
No mate. Being put on stop means standing at one end of a drive to keep the birds in so they don't trickle out on foot while the rest of the beating line sorts itself out
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,190
205
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If theres any idiot MP's attending don't bother going, your likely to get shot. (That happened to Lindsay Waddell when w whitelaw couldn't spot the difference between a grouse and a man).
I did grouse beating 3 or 4 years on bowes moor, including the summer of 1976 when the entire moor was a tinder box. IIRC there was an "informal" smoking ban. It got a bit out of hand when some of the girls started stripping down....Hard work for £2 a day. Just do as the keeper/s ask and don't break the line. We never had posh barbour chapps we used fertiliser sacks instead. That and a cracking flag made from the same plastic nailed onto a broom handle. Carry plenty of bait and fluids, use sun block on your neck, and make sure you get paid.

Beat me to it with the Willy Whitelaw comment and the use of the word "Bait" meaning your sarnies marks you as someone from North of Shap but south of Gretna I'd guess.
 

mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,711
76
uk
Beat me to it with the Willy Whitelaw comment and the use of the word "Bait" meaning your sarnies marks you as someone from North of Shap but south of Gretna I'd guess.
LOL and "snap" is sarnies in Derbyshire or Sheffield...William Wallace raided as far south as Bowes moor back in the day, although its probably 60 or 70 miles from the current border with Scotland.
The A66 runs from Teesside in the east to the lakes in the west and right across Bowes moor, mid way between the 2. A very exposed spot in winter. I don't live there any more (Norfolk now) In fact when I attended my fathers funeral 2 months ago it was the first time I'd been up the A1 for around 15 years
 

Buckshot

Mod
Mod
Jan 19, 2004
6,111
144
Oxford
Lots of good advice here
Spacial awareness is a really good thing.
by which i mean not only keeping in line with people left and right but also about equal distance between them too.
Listen to the experienced ones and especially the keeper
Generally keepers will look after newbies or put you with someone experienced to learn the ropes
enjoy the day!
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
867
273
North West Somerset
Hi All, completed my first day’s beating today. All went well and it seems I will be welcomed back, so thanks for the advice :). In my favour, it was a cool but dry day, and the drives were over reasonably level ground, considering what it could have been. I learned quite a lot, for example what “game crop / game cover crop” is, and it was a very sociable event.

Cheers, Bob
 
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