In preparing this website it occurred to us that, for some, our terms will be second nature, but they may be less obvious for the unfamiliar. Here are some explanations: Gun - can be the actual gun but can also be a person who is shooting in the line - for example 'a line of guns' or an 'eight gun line'. Drive - it may be getting from A to B but it is also the process of pushing, or driving, birds over a line of guns. A typical day might be four or five drives. Shoot - it may be the action of pulling the trigger but it is also the term used for an estate that has shooting, it has 'a shoot'.
Single or double guns – this is not the number of people shooting, it is the number of guns they are using at any one time. Days with larger numbers of birds or days when the birds come fast and unpredictably (driven grouse for example) are typical ‘double-gun’ days which require a loader.
Elevenses - warm drinks and canapés often made of local game and/or produce by the estate. This may be a time to enjoy a small glass of Sloe gin or another estate-produced beverage. Freeda - not the name of the chef but a lively game played around a snooker table in all good country houses!
Plus-fours - are breeches or trousers that extend 4 inches (10 cm) below the knee (thus four inches longer than traditional knickerbockers, hence the name). They are worn with colourful socks by many in the shooting field but you DO NOT need to have them to go shooting, nor do you need any tweed!
Host - Your host can vary from the estate owner to the manager or simply a friend of the owner. Their job is to ensure you have a good day. Also to be sure that safety remains of utmost importance and to act as an intermediary between all the parties (guns, keeper, loaders, pickers-up, chefs) involved in the day. A good Shoot Host will also make sure you achieve your bag but not so quickly that you do not enjoy a full day in the field. Keeper - the individual responsible for the rearing and management of the birds on the estate as well as vermin control. They may have a team of under-keepers.
Tipping the Keeper is something which should be done personally while shaking him by the hand to thank him for the day. It is best to take advice on the expected amount. Loaders are paid by the day and you will be advised what to pay them at the end of your day or days and you may want to add a tip.