In a matter of days the 2014/15 game shooting season in England and Wales will begin. One of the most memorable days shooting I have had to date was back in January 2012 when I first visited the Okehampton Woodcock Club. As I’m planning a return trip in January 2015 with at least one other forum member, I thought that a few might appreciate the pre-ShootClay write up that I did on the Pigeon Watch forum shortly after the shoot… “I was very fortunate to experience a days driven Woodcock Shooting yesterday at the Okehampton Woodcock Club with Dale (truckboy1), Ivor, Winston, Barry, Stuart, Dave, Adam (adamf), Ben (bunny_blaster), Tom and the rest of the gang; most of whom I had met through a game-shooting forum. As it was a bit of a trek, we decided to head down the night before and took advantage of the Travelodge’s £19/night offer :good: Ben wasn’t so lucky as he played it all a bit and ended up forking out £50 on the day :oops: Anyway after leaving Manchester at 4pm, stopping off en-route to pick up Ben at 6ish we managed to get to Okehampton for little after 9’o’clock. The day started off on the right foot as we met up at Okehampton Golf Club for an all you can eat feast of a breakfast and the chance for some early heckling and banter once we’d met everyone. Dale, Ivor and Stuart instantly made us feel very welcome and once breakfast had been wolfed down we began to talk about what the day would entail and how it would be run. With thirteen of us in total, we split into two groups; Dale captaining ours and Stuart taking the others. The brief was walk one, shoot one so Ivor and Dale decided that we should walk the first drive and off into the undergrowth we headed! To say that it was thick going in places would be an understatement as the picture below shows: 391058_10150607830031393_560476392_11264815_1195152988_n.jpg At times there were fears as to whether or not Winston would make it out alive, but thanks to him we saw three beautiful reds come bounding out as we were waiting to start the second part of the first drive :good: Our first turn to shoot afforded the other team the luxury of traipsing through the undergrowth as we lined one of the many inter-connecting path ways waiting to see what would be flushed out. The picture below is the view from my “peg”: 400945_10150607829746393_560476392_11264812_1840134670_n.jpg It wasn’t until our second drive that I saw a woodcock, let alone get a shot at one and was chuffed to catch a glimpse of this fella as he tried to get past me. Thankfully instinct kicked in (and the sun blinded Winston) and I managed to get a shot off. At that time I was 50/50 as to whether I’d got him or not as he was going so fast I hadn’t seen him fly on nor drop, but thankfully Stu’s chocolate Springer went bounding in and pulled him out at the end of the drive: 377032_10150607830211393_560476392_11264816_1324812381_n.jpg Our next “walk” involved some more heavy woodland that at times looked more like the Enchanted Forest than anything else: 401534_10150607830551393_560476392_11264820_567465154_n.jpg As the day went on plenty of Woodcock were flushed out and it was decided to try a couple of areas out to see if any Snipe were about. We walked a very open patch of land full of the remnants of some recent logging and managed to flush three or four out for the waiting guns. Lunch followed and after the break the compliment was returned on the following drive and we were rewarded with opportunities at both Woodcock and Snipe; below is a picture of my first Woodcock and Snipe: 404925_10150607830791393_560476392_11264823_334114584_n.jpg With seven drives down it was time for our final shoot and we relocated to a completely different part of the shoot in readiness for some flighting in an hour or so’s time. This was my view for our final daylight shoot: 390783_10150607830841393_560476392_11264824_2067943312_n.jpg The flighting was a none-starter for me, with only the briefest glimpse of one woodcock, but both Ben and Tom has a lot of opportunities :good: The final bag for the day was: 15 Woodcock, 6 Snipe and 4 Woodpigeon :good: All in all a fantastic day’s shooting was had by all three of us – cannot thank Dale and the guys enough for the opportunity and look forward to returning :yes: :good: