Loader or Safety Minder or Both?

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I was recently privy to a conversation about whether or not it was necessary to have a loader on driven shoots including grouse shooting where double gunning was deemed not totally necessary.

Some seemed to think it was a good idea and helped make the day run more smoothly – especially if one had not shot at the estate before and was not aware of the estate’s “local rules”.

Other chaps were miffed about the additional financial cost a loader adds to a day’s sport when they thought their presence unnecessary.

A lawyer amongst the group pointed out that it may well be in the estate’s insurance policy that Guns shooting on the estate must use loaders not because of the high volume of birds that they may encounter but to act more as a safety officer. In these days of excessive hand-binding red tape and the constant threat of litigation, one can see the safe-guard logic behind this.

With our international clients we always provide a loader cum safety minder. Having a loader takes pressure off the Gun. They do not have to worry about having shotguns and cartridges ready for the next drive and it also significantly reduces their chances of inadvertently tripping up on the nuances of British shooting etiquette and any of those little idiosyncrasies that all shoots seem to have. The Guns concentration is then focused where it should be; on shooting well, having a great day out in the field and meeting and conversing with new friends. And that is what shooting should be all about.

If you are advised that a loader will be provided on a shooting day, you may wish to make a discreet enquiry as to whether the provision of the loader is an offer or a requirement and take it from there.



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