Start the Pheasant Shooting With A Bang!

History of Pheasant Shooting

At a period of time where game laws would not have been enforced, it is highly likely that pheasants were first hunted in the sitting and perching position with both bows. It is also thought that they were shot for sport by people armed with crossbows.

After the 16th century, firearms began to arrive in Britain. Aristocracy including Henry VIII were thought to have hunted with firearms, again in the sitting or perching position. During the Civil War, pheasant populations suffered under foraging soldiers.

Shooting flying pheasants can be traced back to the time of the restoration, as Charles II returned, he and his group brought back lightweight flintlock guns, a revolution compared to the heavy long muskets of the time. Birds would be hunted from first stalking, then shooting.

It was not until the early 19th century and the invention of quicker double barrelled shotguns that driven days became achievable. The first driven days (where Pheasants are flown over guns) originated in France. Landowners often used them to display their wealth, the greater the bag, the greater the perceived wealth.

Half a century later, this new style of shooting was in full swing. Shooting had never being so fashionable and there were very few in the aristocracy who did not shoot. Other than two large world wars, which took up a lot of the young men who previously enjoyed the sport, shooting hasn’t changed much. The bags are often much smaller today, during the 1980’s a whole host of city boys making mega money joined the shooting scene, keen to embark on the leisure pursuits usually reserved for the gentry. Today there has never been such a wide range of people enjoying shoot days on all scales.

What to wear

If you have taken the plunge and bought a day’s shooting or have been invited, it is essential that you do things correctly, including adhering to a semi-formal dress code.  Quite often guns wear plus 4 tweed breeks on their legs with high socks. Boots or wellingtons can be worn too. On top, a shirt should be worn with a tie, a jumper if needed and a shooting jacket to protect you from the elements! Le Chameau have the perfect range of new season stock just in, to ensure you look your very best on the big day!

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Published October 2nd, 2013 by Jordan. Article ref 1135

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