Simulated grouse shooting replicates traditional grouse shooting in every way, except the guns are firing at clay discs hurtling through the air instead of live birds. This allows upland estates to maintain the presence of a grouse shoot and employment in every possible way, but removes the negative impacts on wildlife, habitat, tourism and the regional economy. There is no contrast in experience for the guns, with many outstanding reviews playing testimony to this.
Award-winning shooter George Digweed MBE has said: “You can shoot single gun, double gun, you can have it in flush formation…it really does replicate the exact driven grouse you would expect”. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) also notes: “Simulated game shooting has all the thrills, all the fun, all the scenery and all the good companionship. It’s an ideal way to entertain your friends or make new ones….[with] all the trappings of a traditional game shoot but the targets are clay.”
There is considerable economic and environmental stimuli driven by simulated shooting. The Bisley Shooting Group, one of the largest names in clay shooting in the UK, is a substantial employer within its local community, hosting around 170 full-time and over 200 part-time workers on site. The enterprise actively undertakes conservation work, with the majority of the 4,000 acre estate from which it operates having recognition as an environmentally-sensitive area in which there is a rich and diverse plethora of wildlife.
Despite a thriving clay shooting industry already existing in the UK, the sizeable ‘gap in the market’ for upland simulated grouse shoots is yet to be exploited. This is largely because game shooting presently occupies the estates which could so easily modernise by offering simulated grouse instead. There are additional benefits available from taking such an approach, on top of those associated with removing damage to wildlife, habitat and restrictions on regional economy.
Where as the number of red grouse available for shooting will always be limited by virtue of targeting wild birds, there are no constraints on the bag numbers for simulated grouse because there will always be an endless supply of clays. Furthermore, grouse shooting is legally constricted to the game season – August 12 to December 10 – whereas there is no actual, or reason for a, closed season for simulated grouse. Both of these factors present considerable economic opportunities for upland estates to offer sustainable, year-round, unlimited simulated grouse shooting