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04 January 2015

A Scottish Shoot | Young Rubbish Vlog | Episode 18 ● by Jess

I have this wonderful friend named Harriet, from work, that invited Jon and me to come up to her home in Scotland over the New Year. I said yes before really understanding what I had agreed to... We were in for a very authentic Scottish experience.

Our first full day up in Perthshire, we got to watch a shoot. Having had absolutely no experience or understanding about these sorts of things, I entered full blown panic mode when (earlier in the month) Harriet started listing off protocol for events like the shoot and dinner we'd be participating in. I was sure I was going to unintentionally offend someone with my American manners. 

Noting my growing hysteria, she attempted to assuage my concerns, saying, "Just watch Downton Abbey... it's probably about the same." Nothing could have freaked me out (or excited me) more. All those years of watching Jane Austen films were finally going to pay off!

Fortunately, Harriet was good to break down everything-- from what to wear at dinner to what an appropriate thank you gift is. For the shoot, we had to rise early and wear dark clothing (about 500 layers of it)-- particularly in green and brown with wellies, and a tweed hunting cap. 

The shoot is broken up in the "drives," basically locations for shooting. Each "gun" (shooter) has a specific place to stand. The beaters and dogs go off into the trees or brush and drives the birds toward the guns with sticks or flags. The guns shoot shotguns and usually only aim at birds over their specific area (not over their fellow guns space). 

Once a bird is shot, the dogs run to get them and bring them back. Then, after awhile, we all jump in the cars and head to the next location. Of course, in quintessential British fashion, we stop for tea/wine and lunch between the various drives.

If a gun shoots his or her first bird of a specific species (i.e. grouse, pigeon, pheasant, etc) then they get to be blooded, meaning they put the blood of the bird on their face and wear it for the rest of the day. 

At the end of the day, the guns and beaters divvy up the spoils, after which all the guests head back to the house for a nap and, afterwards, a gather fancy dinner. 

Everyone was so gracious about letting me photograph and shoot video. Thanks to everyone! Especially Harriet and her lovely parents who hosted us. I still have two more vlogs to do from our trip to Scotland, so stay tuned!

hunting pointers
For everyone wondering about photos, I have a quite a few more (although I did realise I shot mostly video during the day).  After I finish these two other videos and get them online, I'll get the photos set up in a dropbox so they can be downloaded. Just send me your email if you want then :)

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