There are so many events each year that it is impossible to list them all. The following are events which are permanent fixtures in the calendar specific information and dates for each event can be found on our facebook page and blog.
These days are designed to give girls who are interested in joining the Dorset Game Birds, a chance to meet us before committing. Following a quick introduction and safety talk, those that have never shot before will go off with an instructor to have a go at shooting some clays and everything will be provided for them. Those that already own their own gun, have a licence and insurance and consider themselves to be a safe will be invited to go and shoot with an existing Dorset Game Birds member. For those who are already shooting, our concern is to ascertain your understanding of safe practice, not whether you are a good shot or not. Following shooting, lunch is optional and can be bought from the cafe. There will be the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want and to join the club if that is your choice, but no one is put under any pressure to do so. These days will take place at different shooting schools across Dorset and a £5 booking fee is taken in advance. If you are a novice shot and wish to 'have a go' with an instructor the cost is approximately £45. If you are already a competent shot and simply want to have a chance to meet some members and shoot some clays, it is your responsibility to pay for the clays you shoot.
Held on the last Saturday of February, May, August and November. The shoot alternates between Sorset Shooting School at Southern Counties in Evershot and Purbeck Shooting School in Wareham. Girls are divided up to shoot in teams, but scores are taken individually for those who want to compete for the much sought after Dorset Game Bird rosettes! The shoot is approximately 50 to 7 birds and by the time we've all met, had a natter, shot and had a cup of tea and slice of cake afterwards it's normally a good two and a half, three hours... some of the girls can really talk!
This is one of the highlights of the Dorset Game Bird calendar and incredible value at approximately £90 for the weekend. Hosted by one of our committee members on their private farm in Wynford Eagle, the event takes place over a weekend. Limited to approximately 10 members, we all meet up on the Saturday morning, including instructors, trappers, guns and general taggers-on. Our chair lady get everyone settled in and rooms allocated before giving a quick intro, which is followed by our host who will take you through the safety procedures amongst other things. Guns are then paired up and make their way with the instructors to their pegs, where they spend the morning trying each peg in turn and receiving instruction. It is then back to the barn for lunch and a warm up, before heading out for the afternoon. Two drives take place in the afternoon, one usually in the chalk pit, a fantastic location where guns shoot in pairs with an instructor. The chalk pit provides fast moving birds with very little warning of their impending arrival and speed is of the essence... a huge adrenalin rush and ending with steaming barrels! Then the guns and their instructors move onto the second drive of the afternoon, which is normally more civilised, other than the poaching from neighbouring guns which has been known to happen! At the end of the shooting it's back to the barn for tea and cake. At this point some of the trappers and instructors will beat a hasty retreat. The girls then freshen up and supper is served sometime around 7.30/8pm. Any males who have been brave enough to stay on are asked to leave by 10pm, allowing the girls to have a good natter over a glass of wine (or two) before crawling into bed.
The following morning a full cooked breakfast is served and allowing trappers time to arrive. Everyone then makes their way out to take part in a 25-30 clay competition, following which a few fast and furious rabbits are laid on to have a pop at, or catapults is an alternative option. The weekend is normally wound up by the 'guess the number of cartridge' sweep stake being called and prizes being presented for the competition.
Taking place in May, this is event is not organised by the Dorset Game Birds, but one in which several DGB teams take part every year. Held on the Illchester Estate, by the kind permission of Lady Townsend, the event costs approximately £30 and is in aid of various conservation charities. Teams of three are needed + dog. Everyone assembles in the morning and is give a quick welcome and intro. The day is run as a competition and each team is given a score card. There are various activities which you are scored on, including archery, clay shooting, fly casting, trailer driving, gun dog retrieval, catapults and more! It is up to each team to choose the order in which they are going to do the various activities and a hog roast is provided for lunch. At the end of the day the scores are counted and prizes are given. This is a great fun, social day that is to be highly recommended.
The Pink Picnic is a really fun afternoon and evening spent shooting and doing other activities followed by a bar-b-q. As you may have gathered from the name, the general theme for the day is pink! The event is a competition which includes a mixture of clay shooting, archery, rifle shooting, fly casting, gun dog retrieval, gun reassembly, a quiz and so much more. Each annual event will be slightly different as we try to organise something entertaining for our members every year. Following completion of the various tasks, we all get together for a relaxed bbq and a few drinks, followed by a prize giving before making our weary way home.
Held in July at Purbeck Shooting School in Wareham, this event is the annual competitive clay shoot for the DGB members. Clays range from easy to impossible and everyone is encouraged to give it a go. Members are paired up to shoot together and to take each others score. It is up to the individual members to decide in which order the clays are shot, but stands are specified and all have to be completed to be in the a chance for the amazing prize! A really fun and challenging day.
This is an annual event for 10 to 12 members who are competent shots. Held at Buckland Newton, this event is more expensive than the others, coming in at around £200 per head, but offers an extremely entertaining day. We all meet for tea, coffee and a bacon bap and following a briefing and safety talk we head off for the first drive. Following another one or two drives in the morning lunch is served. Three more drives are offered in the afternoon, followed by tea and coffee and a good de-brief at the end of the day.