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Over the past few weeks we have brought you a selection of ‘Top Tips’ from our team of instructors.

The last in our series come from Royal Berkshire Managing Director Jonathan Irby. A brilliant game shot, Jonathan has worked in the shooting world for nearly 20 years.

Former Head of Sales for Purdey, he has previously worked as General Manager of Woburn Abbey and, prior to that, was General Manager of The West London Shooting School. An occasional contributor to the shooting press and a Judge for The Purdey Awards for Game & Conservation, Jonathan has a deep love for the sport of shooting.


Jonathans Top Shooting Tips are;


Tip 1- Prepare properly


This covers so many things.  Prepare your equipment…have your gun serviced, have your cartridges ready and your kit (that works) to hand. Prepare your mind…on the day be it game or clay shooting, try to avoid the distraction of the dreaded phone and emails.  You will enjoy the day much more, shoot better and be better company.  Finally, prepare yourself…. By taking the time to understand the terrain, judge the heights and distances and learn where your neighbouring guns are.


Tip 2- Keep practicing


It was Gary Player, the famous golfer, who once said “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.  This is true of any sport and, in my mind, especially true of shooting.  Shooting is all about confidence and timing.  You cannot hope to shoot consistently, if you do not practice.  However, don’t always practice the same thing and don’t only practice what you are good at.  Work with your instructor to find the “bogie” birds and then learn the technique to hit them and then practice that technique. 


Tip 3- Stay calm


When you are shooting, one of the greatest skills you can learn is to stay calm.  Easier said than done.   The great shots always look to have more time than the rest of us and a key part to this is the fact they only do what is necessary.  If you have a sound technique, then it is about slowing everything down and concentrating on the basics.  Focus on your footwork  and stance, this will ensure you are balanced throughout the shot.  Pay attention to the how you are using your front hand, this give you greater control of the muzzle as you mount the gun. Really watch the bird and be sure to understand its line and speed.  Do all of this and avoid rushing. 


Good luck with practicing these tips over the summer.  To really get to grips with them, why not book a lesson or guided round at the Royal Berkshire?