A-Z of Useful Information

A-Z of Useful Information

We now have two Argo type 8 wheel all-terrain vehicles mainly for use on the Moors. These are available for anyone who may find walking difficult. I would stress that not all our lines of butts and pegs are easily accessible by an Argo however we do keep walking to a minimum.

Breakfast, lunch and refreshments are a very important social part of any shoot day and I feel that in order to fully appreciate and enjoy the company of the other guns and guests, it is important to join them and not spend too much time on your mobile phone or by rushing off at the end of the shooting, unless there is a valid reason to do so.

By popular request I am pleased to give details of my own recipe for "Bullshot". It is best mixed the previous evening and left to marinade overnight.

Sufficient ingredients to make a "brew" for 9 guns: approximately 3 litres
2 No. 400 g tins: Heinz Oxtail Soup
5 No. 415 g tins: Baxters Beef Consomme
1 No. 200 ml bottle: Schweppes Tomato Juice cocktail or V8 is even better
2 tablespoons of Geo Walkers Mushroom ketchup
A few drops of Lea & Perrins Worcester Sauce
A few less drops of McIlhenny Co. Tabasco pepper sauce
A pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper (or both if it is a very cold day!)
Then leave covered overnight. Heat up around 6.30 a.m. when you are half awake!
Bring to simmer and stir in 1 No. heaped tablespoon Knorr Beef Bouillon paste and 1 twisted table fork of Marmite
Stir well and bring to simmer then add Croft Original Sherry to taste. Do not spoil it with Vodka or similar

Store in a thermos or similar container until required.

I may try a few additional ingredients each season! I look forward to hearing how you all get on with this as getting the quantities right is the key to a good brew!

All guns are required to use felt or fibre wads, no plastic wads please, when shooting at Ripley Castle and Mountgarret or on Hardcastle Moor, Heathfield Moor and Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side. Our “bar steward” each day will always have available for sale lead and non-toxic Bismuth or similar cartridges suitable for 12 and 20 gauge English shotguns.

We strongly adhere to the restrictions on the use of Lead Shot which states that no lead shot is to be used for shooting duck, geese, coot and moorhen anywhere in England with effect from 1st September 1999. Lead shot is any shot material containing more than 1% lead and the restrictions cover all bores and types of shotgun or smaller guns.

Anyone shooting with Ripley Sporting who blatantly contravenes this regulation does so at their own risk and will not be welcome to shoot with us in the future. Ripley Sporting will accept no liability for their actions.  

When we shoot a dedicated duck drive each gun will be given a number of Ely Bismuth non toxic cartridges with our compliments.

In the interests of safety the heaviest load and largest shot size used on any area under the management of the Ripley Castle Shoot should be 34 gm No. 4 shot.

When on the Moor this is restricted to 32 gm No. 5 shot.

There can be no exceptions to these rules. 

A number of Members have asked for details of the Caterer who provides our excellent lunches at Ripley Castle, Mountgarret and on the Moor:

Ripley Castle Kitchens, Ripley Castle, Nr Harrogate HG3 3AY
Contact Ollie Stewart on 01423 770152

All proceeds from our daily sweep, non-shooting guest lunches and fines are donated to our Shoot Charity Fund. Each season we raise in excess of £10,000 (in our 2014/15 season we raised an amazing £16,690 and in 2015/16 £16,500!). The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust GWCT received a major part, with the remaining distributed to worthy causes allied to Field Sports, or local to the Shoot.

The location of meeting places and start times are detailed on your booking confirmation.

Guns are most welcome to bring their own dogs, however it is most important to keep them pegged during a drive if you feel there is any possibility of them running in. Once the drive is over the dogs (and owners) may do whatever they wish provided they keep count of what they have picked. Although we have a very experienced team of pickers up, guns will always have the opportunity to work their dogs provided they work closely with the pickers up.

We normally shoot only single guns but double guns may be shot on a Roving Syndicate Day if the host wishes. On grouse we only shoot single guns.

It is important to add to the sense of occasion and dress smartly out of respect to our quarry, gilet or jacket, tie, breeks, waterproof coat and cap. However dressing sensibly and comfortably is more important in our variable climate. I suggest boots in preference to wellingtons.

At the end of each shoot day guns will receive a brace of dressed and chilled game of their choice, ready for the oven or freezer. On Grouse days the birds will be in feather.

We take a number of drinks and pie breaks throughout the day and as the weather turns colder we also provide my unique brew of bullshot which is most welcome on a winter’s day. Champagne, Sloe and Damson Gin are also served, which must be taken in moderation. Soft drinks and other snacks are always available.

As in previous seasons this will be available to everyone who book days to the value of £2,500 or more before VAT during the season. Full details are available on page 11 of our brochure and on our website.

The Shoot cannot accept any responsibility for damage cause to property or injury, i.e. vehicles or person, from falling birds. It is often the case that in a flush of birds it may be difficult to know for certain who has shot each bird. Yourself, your guests and vehicles attend the shooting field at your own risk from falling birds.

We have released a number of white pheasant and white partridge at Ripley Castle and Mountgarret. If you shoot either, a fine of £25 will be levied and donated to our Charity Fund. If you would like the bird or any bird you shoot mounting, the cost is £50 for our Charity Fund and £100 for the taxidermist. We have a good stock already prepared for you to take one with you on the day. Fines may also be levied by the team on the day for habitual use of mobile phones and other trivial offences!

There should be nowhere on our Shoot where you will get your feet wet if you are only wearing boots. That is of course unless you wish to cross a stream, I have not worn wellingtons on our Shoot for over ten years and recommend boots and gaiters to be an ideal combination.

As more and more guns are travelling some distance to shoot with us, often in a normal two wheel drive vehicle which is unsuitable for travelling around the shoot. We now have available with a driver a long wheel base Land Rover Station Wagon on each of our Shoots at Ripley Castle, Mountgarret and Eagle Hall/Moors. These vehicles will seat up to five passengers comfortably.

Each vehicle is available at no cost to the guns and their guests. However prior booking is recommended to ensure space is available. Your dogs may travel in our Keepers vehicles. 

There will always be adequate parking to leave your car all day and everyone is welcome to bring their own four wheeled drive vehicle, there is no restriction to the number on the day, however I prefer no-one to be on their own, unless this is necessary for private phone calls etc. If you travel to the Shoot by car, there is normally space available in the other guns vehicles for you to travel with them or in our courtesy Land Rover. However please bear in mind that not everyone wishes to give a wet muddy dog a lift in their vehicle so your dogs would travel with my Keepers. 

We are able to offer a bespoke self drive or chauffeured service provided by a local company trading as both The Yorkshire Chauffer Company and 4 x 4 Solutions.
Contact: Nikki Gray 01423 329154 or 01423 323335
E-mail: info@theyorkshirechauffeurcompany.co.uk
Web: theyorkshirechauffercompany.co.uk
E-mail: northyorks@4x4vehiclehire.co.uk
Web: 4x4vehiclehire.co.uk/northyorks

Self Drive 
All Land Rover/Range Rover models 
Delivery to your location Shoot day driving and loading
Airport meet and greet Luggage transfer and storage
Fully comprehensive insurance included
Short and long term options
Season discounts 

Transfer to/from airport, hotel, estate
Shoot day driving and loading
Luggage transfer and storage

Guns are most welcome to bring either shooting or non-shooting guests, Ladies or Gentlemen, just to enjoy the day, as a day with the Shoot is just as enjoyable for non shooting guests as it is for the guns. It is important that any gun or guest gun with limited shooting experience must be accompanied by a friend who is an experienced shot or an experienced instructor or loader in order to assist them on the day. It is also important to ensure that any shooting guest has the required £10 Million, personal liability insurance in place prior to the shoot day. If you are bringing a non shooting guest some prior notice is necessary in order to plan the catering for the day.

We welcome non shooting guests to accompany the guns and enjoy any shoot day, including breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day when they are requested to make a donation to our Charity Fund. Some prior notice would be appreciated for catering arrangements. 

The majority of our days are sold by the gun per day to individual guns or small parties and it may not always be possible to sell every gun on each day. We will field a team provided we have six guns or more; however we reserve the option to adjust the target bag in line with the number of guns fielded.
HOTELS: Full details of local hotels are detailed on pages 30 to 33 of our brochure and on our website www.ripleycastleshoot.com

This website is a must for anyone looking for driven shooting.

GunsOnPegs.com is a free trading portal to buy and sell driven game shooting days within the UK, Europe and now launching into the worldwide market. The site is simple and extremely effective for both buyers and sellers, the key attraction is that the site is free for subscribers, with both shoot owners and guns gaining access to a wealth of opportunities that previously were only available by word of mouth.

It has been invaluable to the Shoot in selling days and has introduced more new guns to our Shoot than any other media.

Contacts: Chris Horne
E-mail: chrishorne@itapgroup.com
Website: www.gunsonpegs.com

When you buy a new pair of gloves they may keep you warm but are uncomfortable and awkward until you have worn them in to fit you. The same applies to your shotguns. You may buy a shotgun and find the stock to be the ideal length for you so you feel you have the right gun. You may shoot well with it. However if the stock had been finely adjusted to fit you, you may well shoot even better. If you have never had your gun actually fitted for you, I do strongly recommend that you do this. It is not expensive and can make your favourite gun even better.

If you are considering buying a shotgun, fitting it to suit you is a must. Finding a competent gun dealer and gunsmith is not easy. However I am pleased to advise we have this facility 5 minutes’ drive from Ripley Castle.

The Yorkshire Gun Room and Shooting Ground, Bishop Thornton, Nr Harrogate HG3 3JN
Tel: 01765 620602 E-mail sales@yorkshiregunroom.com www.yorkshiregunroom.com

Jeff Lupton, who in his younger years was a clay pigeon champion, holds an extensive stock of shotguns and rifles so is well worth a visit. If you are considering buying a shotgun you can try it first on the shooting ground. Jeff also offers a shotgun storage service which has proved very useful for many of my Shoot Members.

Just as importantly we have a very experienced gunsmith, Steve Baren working from the Yorkshire Gun Room. Steve can also often be seen loading for me on a shoot day. Steve can be contacted on the Gun Room number or direct on 07786 370848. Steve offers speedy and efficient servicing and repairs and will travel to assist you with an emergency repair if required. There is nothing more frustrating than your gun letting you down when you know you should have had it serviced. 

Finally and most importantly, for actual shotgun fitting you will find it very hard to find anything better than the combined knowledge and experience of Jeff and Steve. I do strongly recommend their services.

Other local gunshops and shooting accessories suppliers

The Brown Trout Co., 26 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate HG2 0NA
Contact: Tim brown 01423 709741 sales@brown-trout.org www.browntroutonline.co.uk

Northallerton Shooting and Countrywear. The Paddocks, Breckenbrough, Thirsk YO7 4EL
Contact: Tom Bell 01845 587207 northallertonshooting@btconnect.com

Mobile: 07836 735551

The Shoot has a policy of ongoing Risk Assessments.

We are able to land helicopters at both Ripley Castle and near the Shoot Box on Hardcastle Moor. Ordinance Survey Co-ordinates - please contact us for co-ordinates.

The majority of our days are let to individual guns or small parties, sold by the gun per day making up the team.

We are fortunate in having available the services of a number of experienced clay pigeon and driven game shooting instructors. No matter how experienced a shot may be, having an instructor for the day soon rectifies all the bad habits - shooting ones - which we seem to perfect without too much of a problem! Having an instructor is a necessity for a novice game shot and even for an experienced shot an instructor can make quite a difference to your performance. The cost of an instructor/loader for the day is £90 which should be paid direct by the gun. This service is now very popular so as much prior notice as possible would be appreciated. If you do not require instruction, a loader is always useful to look after you for the day. If you bring your dog, having a loader gives you more time to work it at the end of a drive. (See also Shotgun Hire at the bottom of this page)

Full details are available on page 15 of this brochure and on our website.

This is a new free service we offer on our website. Please contact my secretary Lynda on 01423 323321 for further details.

It is becoming more and more difficult to find someone able to repair gunslips and other leather items. I can recommend:
Claytons, High Street, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire,
Tel: 01423 323907.

They also have a selection of leather and deer hide cartridge bags and gunslips.

Nigel McConnell Master Sadler
Newfields, Galphay, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3NT
Tel: 01765 658565
E-mail: nigelmcconnell@btinternet.com

Members who are not shooting are most welcome to join the Shoot on any day to go round with the guns or pick up with their dog. However on an Exclusive Day, Members are welcome to pick up but should make their own refreshment and luncheon arrangements. 

As we may be under more stress without our phones than with them, all I ask is that they are used with the minimum of disruption to the other guns, preferably in the vehicles between drives and certainly not during a drive or at lunch. Suitable fines may be imposed on habitual offenders with all proceeds to our Charity Fund!!


It will probably be the case that communications using mobile is not always as good as expected on shoot days and with many guests travelling miles to shoot and at the same time be able to transact business at the same time. Mostly due to having the wrong contract in the wrong part of the world at the wrong time.
We hear a lot from the Sporting Fraternity and Agricultural Market (Farmers and Suppliers) in the rural areas about how poor mobile service is. 
RURAL SIM allows you to use a single SIM which roams across Multiple Networks giving you the best chance of Staying Connected and Staying in Touch.
Please contact www.ruralsim.co.uk and look forward to a better connected shooting experience.

We welcome non shooting guests to accompany the guns and enjoy any shoot day, including breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day when they are requested to make a donation to our Charity Fund. Some prior notice would be appreciated for catering arrangements.

Each day at Ripley Castle and Mountgarret we normally field 5 drives and at Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side 4 drives. On Hardcastle & Heathfield Moors we normally field 4 drives.

Everyone who shoots with me is well aware of my total dislike of overages. At Ripley Castle, Mountgarret and Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side, on all our Members and Ladies Days no overages are charged. However on Roving Syndicate/Corporate Days I regret I must include a clause to make a charge if necessary, this may be after 10% free over the agreed bag on the day. No credits or refunds are given if we do not achieve the target bag or expected number of shots on the day.  

I much prefer to agree the bag before we start the day rather than after!

I have no objections to peg sharing, however I suggest alternate drives. Unfortunately this may not give an equal number of shots. Both guns shooting is possible but I suggest 10 shots each and change over – not alternative shots as two guns recently tried!!

Our Shoot fees are detailed on the list of available days. It is worth noting that with the ever increasing popularity in our partridge days and as September and early October are mainly partridge days at Ripley Castle, Mountgarret and Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side, our September shoot fees will continue for the first two weeks of October. November and December prices come into effect mid October onwards.

For real quality products such as silver and gilded drinks tumblers, peg place finders, gun bag and gun sleeve straps:

Fine Shooting Accessories, Hirsel Law, Coldstream, Berwickshire, TD12 4HX
Tel: 01890 882139
Fax: 01890 883334
Web: www.fineshootingaccessories.com

Should you be considering a new suit for shooting, business or any other sporting clothing, I can strongly recommend Jeremy Shaw at Carters Countrywear, 
7 The Market Place, Helmsley, YO62 5BH. 
Tel: 01439 770688.

The Ripley Castle Shoot tweed is available from Jeremy.

We also have an excellent gentleman's tailors and outfitters in Harrogate. Jeremy Beaumont at: 
Rhodes-Wood, 56 - 58 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2RL
Tel: 01423 505878 
E-mail info@rhodeswood.co.uk

The law states that anyone may use a shotgun without a UK Shotgun Certificate or Visitors Permit provided it is in the presence of the owner who has it registered on his Shotgun Certificate however you must have the required personal insurance cover is in place. Shotguns are available for hire, provided notice is given, from one of our instructor/loaders at £50 per day. Knowledge of height and if he or she is left or right handed would help in selecting the most ideal shotgun available.
You must have in your possession on all shoot days a valid UK Shotgun Certificate or UK Visitors Permit, with serial numbers of the shotguns to be used entered on the Certificate.

Anyone shooting with us and using their own shotguns must have a valid Shotgun Certificate or Visitors Permit for overseas visitors with the shotgun(s) used detailed on the Certificate/Permit. You may use a shotgun without a Shotgun Certificate providing the owner of the shotgun is present and he or she has a valid Shotgun Certificate which includes details of the shotgun and the serial number; this is permitted under Section II of the Firearms Act 1968. This applies when an instructor/loader or friend brings a shotgun for your use and stands with you; it also applies to overseas visitors. However whenever a shotgun is loaned or hired it is most important that the person shooting has adequate liability insurance in place before the shoot day. We can arrange overseas Visitors Shotgun permits, however North Yorkshire Police insist on receiving the completed application form a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your shoot day. Failure to give this period will mean the Permit will not be granted.

Emergency repairs are available from our local gunsmith; Steve Baren. Tel: 01765 620602 Mobile: 07786 370848
Based at The Yorkshire Gun Room, Bishop Thornton HG3 3JY. 5 minutes from Ripley.

This is available from The Yorkshire Gun Room, Bishop Thornton HG3 3JY. 5 minutes from Ripley.
Contact: Jeff Lupton 01765 620602 Email: mail@yorkshiregunroom.com

A very good friend Nick Radclyffe supplies the Shoot with excellent Sloe, Damson and Plum Gin which are produced for us from a unique ancient recipe. I now much prefer Damson to Sloe. We often mix with Champagne, for Sloe with champagne it makes a “Sloegasm” for Damson with champagne it’s “A Dam Shame”. Bottles are always available for sale on a shoot day or you can purchase direct.
Foxdenton Estate Company Limited, Northfield House, 162 High Street, Winslow, Bucks, MK18 3DQ.
Tel: 01296 713306

If you require a bird or fish mounting for display:

Brian Lancaster, Manley Farm, Masham Road, Bedale, North Yorkshire DL8 2SE
01677 423358

Edward James Taxidermy Ltd, Cleveland Way, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AT
07774 369219 info@ejtaxidermy.com

D.H., Taxidermy: Dave Hornbrook
Redlands, Reid Terrace, Guisborough, Cleveland, TS14 6EB
Tel: 01287 630940. 
Mobile: 07809 004783.
E-mail: dave@taxidermists.co.uk 
Website: www.taxidermists.co.uk

Carl Church, Specialist Bird Taxidermist, 19 Elm View, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7EF
Tel: 01751 472019
Mobile: 07840 451590 
E-mail: carl@birdtaxidermy.co.uk
Website: www.birdtaxidermy.co.uk

Mike Gadd
Hollydene Cottage, Padmans Lane, Boston Spa, West Yorkshire LS23 6BR
Tel: 01937 844580
E-mail: mike@taxidermy.co.uk
Web: www.taxidermy.co.uk

This is kept to the absolute minimum, we erect gates rather than having a stile but unfortunately in some fields our farmers insist on stiles in boundary fences. By the very nature of the terrain the walking at Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side and on the Moors can be more demanding compared to our parkland and fields at Ripley Castle and Mountgarret. However we build steps and strim tracks to make walking as easy as possible. If in doubt it is always useful to have a stick with you for any rough ground.

There has been much in the press regarding the Police targeting muddy vehicles with a view to checking if the driver and passengers had been drinking and also if any shotguns were stored safely. The Shoot does not condone excessive drinking at any time; however I feel we should avoid unnecessary attention if at all possible.
We have the necessary equipment available for either the guns or shoot staff to clean off any excess mud and in particular to ensure all lights and number plates are clean. In addition to this we also have washing facilities for our dogs. At present this only applies to Ripley Castle and Mountgarret and situated in the Shoot Yards.

As supplied to the Shoot and installed in the Shoot Yard:
James Keyser Products.
Tel/Fax: 01285 712206
Web: www.jameskeyserproducts.co.uk

Guidance for young people as advised by North Yorkshire Police Firearms Department
There is no minimum age to acquire a shotgun certificate but there are certain restrictions that apply:-
It is an offence for a person under the age of 15 to have an assembled shotgun with him/her unless
• He/she is either under the supervision of a person aged 21 or over.
• The gun is covered with a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired.
• Persons under the age of 15 may NOT accept a shotgun as a gift.
The aim of the provision is to ensure that before they reach the qualifying age children should not be given shotguns of their own which may tempt them to shoot without supervision. It is in the interest of safety that a young person should be properly taught at a relatively early age. For further information please view our website www.ripleycastleshoot.com under “Important Information”. 
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