Saturday 27 January 2024

What does a picker up do .And the shooting year

When we talk about Jack going picking up often people who have never been on a shoot wonder what we are talking about. The most days he and his dogs have done is 106 in a season in his prime but more likely to be 50-60 days these days . A season is starting on the grouse moors on 12th August known as the Glorious Twelfth and finishing on the 1st Februrary. They work just as hard as the loaders and beaters. Working teams of dogs and often walking and sending the dogs massive distances to find that one elusive wounded runner. A picker-up has to have a dog — the job cannot be done without them. A good beating dog is undeniably a huge asset, but many beaters do not have nor require a dog to do their job. Many shoots insist a picker-up has a team of dogs, so if one is injured, in season or has to retire, they have another to replace it. So this is why we have a lot of dogs.aand when it is really busy days we run two teams on alternative days so if the workload is too much it gives them chance to have a day off and rested up but most of them bark furoiously when the other set off to work as they love their job and want to go along too . So you could argue that a picker-up has increased costs purely from the fact that they need a full team of dogs, whereas for a beater it is often an option not a necessity. A picker-up frequently uses their own vehicle, so incurs those costs too. They also require essential equipment such as a priest, game bag or carrier, first-aid kit, drying coats for dogs and so on. Every single job on a driven day — where done by beaters, loaders and pickers-up — is just as important as the next and if done well they become a priceless asset to the shoot. On the last day of the shooting season it is known as "Beaters Day" which is when all the people who have worked on the shoot throughout the season have a free days shooting as a thank you for working hard and often closes with a meal at a local pub. With plenty to eat and drink there are plenty of tales to tell of what has gone on during the last six months. And if George Lupton had still being here he would have already been planning for the coming season to start again. As we look back at photos of him out on a hoot day over the years he always has a smile on his face .Never was he so happy than when he was out for the day giving guests a wonderful day at Wass Grange. He got great pleasure from giving memorable days to many people for years . He was a crack shot often managing to bag the first and the last bird and only handing his guns over when he was 99.

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