What Happens on a Shoot Day?

What Happens on a Shoot Day?

A day with the Ripley Castle Shoot is “Just how a Proper Driven Shoot Day should be” 
or should I say, this is what we always try to achieve!

After shooting driven game for more years than I would like to admit to, mainly in God’s own Country, our beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. I have found that every shoot is different and have their own unique way of presenting a shoot day. On our shoot, although the shooting is important, there are a number of other factors which I feel are just as important on the day.

The majority of us take a day’s shooting not only for some testing birds but also to forget about work, enjoy the countryside and meet old and new friends. With this in mind my Vice Captains Nigel Graham, Stuart Thompson and Jonny Dimsdale my Head Keepers, George Reap at Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side and David Cockshott at Ripley Castle and myself always try to create a relaxed atmosphere for everyone to enjoy their day by ensuring everything runs smoothly with excellent hospitality and memorable shooting.
Frank Boddy - Shoot Captain
The Ripley Castle Shoot is a traditional driven game shoot and grouse moors. Established in 1995 by myself and three good friends, the Shoot has grown and although run as The Ripley Castle Shoot, trading as Ripley Sporting, it is actually two driven pheasant and partridge Shoots and two driven grouse Moors.

Our parkland and farmland shooting near Ripley Castle covers over 7,000 acres and includes four estates, Ripley Castle, part of Nidd, Hob Green and Cayton Estates together with land leased from neighbouring farmers. Near Pateley Bridge we have the Eagle Hall and Ashfold Side Shoot which covers 3,000 acres of high ground pheasant and partridge shooting, this also includes some moorland edge drives below our grouse moors. Finally we have our little piece of heaven with Hardcastle and Heathfield Moors which gives us over 4,000 acres of some of the finest grouse shooting anywhere – so I am told! That is providing we have the grouse!

In total I employ 9 full time Keepers, 4 at Ripley Castle and 5 on our Moors and at Eagle Hall and Ashfold Side together with a number of part time staff which includes retired Keepers and Tradesmen who are invaluable to the Shoot. I am a great believer that there is no substitute for experience, particularly when running a Shoot.

At a time when many shoots of our quality and size are run purely as a commercial enterprise fielding only full teams. The Ripley Castle Shoot is quite different with approximately 80% of our days being sold by the gun per day specifically catering for individual guns and small parties. On a scale which provides a large variety of drives together with the type and size of bag to suit all budgets, maybe I would prefer to describe the Shoot as a large Syndicate providing something to suit everyone.

On these days, which we refer to as our Members and Keepers days, we offer bags from 200 to 450 birds, no overages are charged and we always aim to exceed the target bag each day.

The remaining 20% of our days are for full teams. These are ideal for Roving Syndicates and I find many of these days are taken up by Shoot Members to entertain their friends and business clients. This is the nearest we come to commercial shooting and I do stress the Shoot is still very much my hobby.

Each Shoot day at Ripley Castle, Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side or on the Moors is special and as today we all seem to live under quite enough pressure and stress, although the actual shooting and the sporting quality of our birds are very important, one of my main priorities on the day is always to enjoy ourselves in the good company of like-minded people, whilst experiencing some memorable quality shooting. I feel it is important that the guns have an opportunity to meet each other before the shoot day starts. With this in mind, on each day we meet for breakfast or bacon buns before the brief for the day. Well behaved non shooting guests and dogs are also most welcome to join us on any shoot day!

We endeavour to run our shoot days in a safe and business-like manner, trying to include the good points and hopefully avoid the bad ones we have experienced elsewhere. Walking to the pegs and butts is kept to a minimum wherever possible and we run our days at a leisurely pace with “no rush” being one of our priorities. By the very nature of the terrain the walking and shooting on the Moors or at Eagle Hall & Ashfold Side can be more demanding compared to our parkland shooting at Ripley Castle.

I ask that everyone reads my Risk Assessments detailed on our website. Shoot only at birds which give you pleasure and please respect your neighbour’s birds.

In this brochure I have tried to describe what I hope you will experience on a shoot day with The Ripley Castle Shoot. However our website www.ripleycastleshoot.com gives an in depth background to the Shoot and I do hope you enjoy viewing it.

I look forward to welcoming you to The Ripley Castle Shoot.
Share by: