Dressing for Game Shooting
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that everyone should try and look their best when they’re on the peg. Granted, the way you dress won’t make you a better shot, but there are definite dos and don’ts about what (and what not) to wear when you’re (hopefully) bringing down countless birds to the awe and admiration of your fellow guns and the soon-to-be-very-busy pickers-up.
Ultimately, how you dress all depends on the day itself and the people you’ll be shooting alongside, especially if you’re new to the sport. The British landscape is unique so there are plenty of brownie points to be scored in reflecting that in the way you dress – we’re not encouraging you to drape tree branches across your back or covering yourself in mud, of course. No, a wardrobe of a cap, shirt, tie, jumper, coat, plus twos or fours, socks, the all-important garters and appropriate footwear is all you really need, removing or adding those top layers as appropriate. Colour, though, is everything.
For example, when the grouse season starts, many guns will wear rich greens, purples and even pinks to reflect the carpet colours sweeping across the moorland in August, blending in and making a statement at the same time. It’s best to avoid blindingly bright colours or something alien to the moors unless there’s only a hint of it under your shooting coat given that any grouse that sees a beacon of light is likely to be spooked and not present a sporting target. It’ll be Autumn once the partridge and pheasant seasons have commenced in earnest, so you will find that plenty of burnt oranges and reds, mustard yellows and moss greens are popular on the peg; it’s on these shoots that you’ll find more guns willing to unleash their inner peacock, too! Keep it simple with flashes of colour here and there.
High street fashion is never the shooter’s friend, so if you’re thinking about buying or borrowing a coat for your first day do not, under any circumstances, choose something that is going to impede your swing, even if it does look “a bit country”. It could be unsafe, and it definitely isn’t sporting. With shirts, if you’d wear it in town, keep it off the shoot – no one wants to look like they’ve just come from the office after all. As far as footwear is concerned, again, keep it dark, and as with coats, keep it functional; boots for when the ground is hard, wellies for when it’s muddy and wet.