Thursday 16th January saw members of the shooting syndicate gather with excitement on an overcast day at School House for our final shoot syndicate day of the 2013-14 season. Once we had all arrived at the Shoot we were briefed by Shoot Captain George Parkinson (E) and were given jobs for the day, and were reminded about being safe.
The Pond Drive was the first drive with the Year 9 boys in School House being there since the early hours of the morning to stop the birds from running through the fields – they did a great job. The drive got off to a magnificent start with Charlie Stephenson (SH) getting the best right and left I have seen on the Shoot. Followed quickly by several shots and pheasants not getting past Lawrence Wallace (H), who had the camera on him during this drive. 
Grove Gill once again produced some of the best birds on the shoot. I stood at the top of the hill watching plenty fall down onto the fell side with William Westgarth (SH) shooting really well. It was an absolute pleasure to be stood behind T. Savage (SH) when he shot his first pheasant and shared a second one with W. Player (SH). Charlie Cowen (HH) has had a really good season’s shooting and showed us all up on this drive when he shot several birds and shot his first Woodcock which was also a huge delight for us all to see.
Then came T. Savage’s highlight of the day – pies and soup which brought the syndicate, beaters and parents together to enjoy some well- deserved tasty pies. Thank you Mr Wallace.
Before we moved onto the next drive we saw Tom get blooded by Mathew Hawley (W). It is usually tradition to get blooded from your first pheasant so he enjoyed that I’m sure! As we moved onto Round Wood, the wind picked up and we lined the guns up around the wood. There were plenty of shots and several more birds hit the ground but they were challenging birds, so Well Done to all!
We then approached Middle Pasture where we once again surrounded the wood. Mr Hattam said at the start of the day that he did not want a single bird to get past us. Unfortunately Josef Westgarth’s (SH) stopping was too late on this drive and he told us that at least 30 pheasants had headed towards the next drive. However this did not stop the talented Will Guthrie, from Aysgarth School, who had shot extremely well, hitting a very high bird.
It is not often that we shoot Clondyke, however it was well worth it on our last day of the season as we saw at least 15 pheasants shot, and a pigeon. George Thwaytes (E) and Tom Savage had been feeding this wood all year and had not seen much, so it was great to see George enjoy a High Cock Pheasant and Tom add another two to the bag, Angus Brown (SH) shot very well, adding three more to the bag.
At this point we were overwhelmed by that drive and so did not expect as much out of our final drive, Shamrock, a pen, was recently added to this wood and so therefore this year we have often seen many birds come out and be hit. Charlie Hattam finished the day well having shot seven pheasants with the help of Mr Hattam – who better be careful as Charlie seems to have a better eye!
It was a really fantastic day with the effort being put in from the boys and girls, which any sport of guns would enjoy. The syndicate made themselves look proud and certainly impressed many of the parents and the North West regional BASC leader who said it was one of the best shoots he had attended.
It was a great way to end the season and on behalf of the Syndicate I would like to thank Mr Hattam for providing us with such an excellent sport and being so dedicated to the shoot.

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