What to Wear - Game Shooting

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If it’s your very first shoot, making a choice on the perfect outfit can be daunting and shooting etiquette can seem extensive. There are a few practical items one should not arrive without; ear defenders, a hat and sensible footwear. But for the rest of the outfit there are many more options. It is advisable to check the dress code with the host, but aim to pick neutral green and brown colours and you can’t go wrong.

A top tip is to check the weather; your days shooting will be vastly improved if you are cool or warm, comfortable and dry. Below is a selection of the range of shooting attire we stock at William Evans, and the key pieces our Gun Rooms always opt for.

We also stock a wide range of ladies shooting outfits; we recommended wearing similar to the men’s suggestions below. Many of our designs are available in a ladies version, for example the William Evans Ladies tweed shooting outfit would be perfect, or our ranges of Really Wild Clothing include beautiful coats, shirts and waistcoats.


Essentials

Ear Protection: This is the most important item in your kit bag, whether you choose simple ear plugs or digital headphone you need to ensure you remember to pack them. William Evans has a brilliant range, do visit us in London or Bisley at our shops  or click here to see our range online.

Hat: Most opt for a tweed flat cap on a game shoot, our range of flat caps are perfect for keep the sun from your eyes. We also have waterproof versions such as the Musto Mens Technical Tweed Cap


Clothing

Jacket: The majority of Game Shooting is during the winter so your jacket needs to keep you warm and dry. If the weather is likely to be wet, a waterproof jacket is essential. You'll also want to ensure the fit provides sufficient movement to swing your gun, and the pockets are big enough for cartridges. Our William Evans Tweed provides all those features and has been designed to be comfortable in the field.

Breeks/Trousers: At a formal shoot you should wear tweed breeks or trousers, these do not necessarily have to match your jacket exactly, but the tweed should be complimentary. For a more casual shoot plain moleskin or cotton breeks suit. At William Evans we stock a vast array of tweed and plain breeks. Our new house tweed is called the St James. The William Evans Mens Tweed Breeks are fully lined and handmade in England. We would also suggest the Laksen Broadlands Moleskin Breeks or the Musto Mens Sporting Breeks as a plain coloured option.

Overtrousers: For extra protection in case of bad weather, especially if you have opted for breeks we recommend the John Field Rain Kilt and Bag, these are perfect to cover up instantly in unexpected showers, and no need to remove your wellingtons to put on waterproof trousers in the middle of a muddy field!

Shirt: If a comfortable country Tattersall shirt is what you are looking for, our William Evans Shirts made from 100% brushed cotton are perfect. A natural colour scheme is more traditional however brighter colours are also acceptable. For grouse shooting wear darker colours to avoid being spotted - for our William Evans Esquire Shirt is perfect.

Shooting Vest/Waistcoat: A tweed waistcoat is sufficient instead of a tweed jacket in very warm weather; our Shoot Vests are very popular, and matching breeks are available. At the most formal shoots many wear a full three piece tweed suit, but for a more casual day, the Schoffel Oakham Fleece Gilet is ideal.

Jumper and Fleeces: We suggest a standard woollen jumper, and the William Evans Men Lambswool V Neck Sweater is perfect. However depending on the weather you may not want to add the extra layer of a jumper, a shirt waistcoat and jacket is often sufficiently warm. View our range, here.

Tie: We have a brilliant array of fun shooting inspired ties in every colour. Ties are optional at most shoots, but are a must if the day is particularly formal. Click here to see our range of ties.

Socks: If you have opted to wear breeks, then the best socks are the William Evans Mens Shoot Socks these are machine washable at 30°C, and come in a wide variety of colours to match the tweed you have chosen. Wear them with a pair of garters to stop them slipping down.

Walking Boots/Wellies: A good pair of walking boots is the most essential piece of kit if the ground is likely to be uneven or heather. Harkila is great for this. The Harkila Pro Hunter Gtx12" is our bestseller and is made from Kevlar which makes it highly suitable for hunting in demanding areas such as heather and wetlands. If the day is likely to be wet, a pair of Wellingtons are advisable and the range ofLe Chameau Wellington Boots are fantastic and well made, too.

Bag: A William Evans leather or canvas cartridge bag is a great finishing touch, perfect to carry waterproofs, a snack, and of course your cartridges; you don’t want to run out! Many of our William Evans Cartridge bags have matching gun slips, and are of course stylishly personalisable with optional embossing.

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Wild game can only be shot during certain times of the year and for many species there is a close season during which time it is illegal to shoot them. This is to ensure that the species continue to flourish and are not hunted to extinction. Below is a list of all the dates within the UK.

GAME BIRDS

  • Coot - UK - 1st Sept-31st Jan
  • Curlew - Northern Ireland - 1st Sept-31st Jan
  • Duck & Goose - Inland England, Scotland, Wales - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • Duck & Goose - Foreshore England, Scotland, Wales - 1st Sep-20th Feb
  • Duck & Goose - Inland/Foreshore Northern Ireland - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • Golden Plover - UK - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • GROUSE - England, Scotland, Wales - 12th Aug-10th Dec
  • GROUSE - Northern Ireland -12th Aug-30th Nov
  • Jack Snipe - Northern Ireland only - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • Moorhen - UK - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • PARTRIDGE - UK - 1st Sep-1st Feb
  • PHEASANT - England, Scotland and Wales - 1st Oct-1st Feb
  • PHEASANT - Northern Ireland, cocks only - 1st Oct-31st Jan
  • Ptarmigan - (only found in Scotland) - 12th Aug-10th Dec
  • Quail - UK - All year
  • SNIPE - common England, Scotland, Wales - 12th Aug-31st Jan
  • SNIPE - common Northern Ireland - 1st Sep-31st Jan
  • Woodcock - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - 1st Oct-31st Jan
  • Woodcock - Scotland - 1st Sep-31st Jan