SIMULATED GAME DAYS: THE FAVOURITE DISCIPLINE FOR HUNTING ENTHUSIASTS
Simulated Game Days have become one of the favourite disciplines for hunting enthusiasts outside of hunting season, an opportunity to continue practicing while also improving their shooting technique.
Not being able to enjoy your favourite sport all year round is a real struggle, isn’t it?
Simulated Game Days mean that you get to spend a fantastic day with your shooting friends just like you would during hunting season. They’re also an opportunity to host exclusive, unique day trips for your clients or employees.
But what are Simulated Game Days all about?
Check out the rest of our article to learn everything you ever wanted to know about this clay target shooting discipline.
WHAT ARE SIMULATED GAME DAYS ALL ABOUT?
Like we said, Simulated Game Days are a clay target shooting discipline that replicates every aspect of game shooting out of season.
While participants won’t be shooting live animals like they would during hunting season, the clay targets specifically designed for this purpose simulate driven pheasants, partridge, grouse and rabbits, the closest to the real thing as possible.
Simulated Game Days are held on an exclusive country estate that incorporates stunning drives and a topography designed for hunting. This not only offers multiple benefits for the environment, but also promotes the biodiversity of the species.
A typical Simulated Game Day plays out just like a game hunt during hunting season would.
The day kicks off with a hearty breakfast for all participants, during which the estate host will explain how the day will go and all the safety considerations to keep in mind throughout the day.
Once breakfast is over, the tour of the estate begins. Stops are made to practice shooting at different spots on the estate. And even though you might have to walk a bit to climb a hill or two, the experience is well worth it.
The tour is followed by a tasty lunch on the estate.
And you might be wondering: do I have to be an expert shooter to be able to participate in one of these events?
The answer is a resounding NO.
You don’t need to be an experienced shooter to join Simulated Game Days. In fact, it’s a good way for novices to dip their toes into the world of clay target shooting or hunting, since these estates usually have staff and instructors on hand to help you with anything you need.
So, if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, but can’t make up your mind, a day of Simulated Games could put all your questions to rest.
We’ll now try to answer some of those QUESTIONS and make your decision as easy as possible.
What are the main differences between a Game Day and a Simulated Game Day?
There are three main differences. The first and most obvious one is the type of targets used in each:
- On Game Days, the targets are live game birds (pheasants, partridges, ducks, etc.).
- On Simulated Game Days, the clay targets are specifically designed for this purpose and simulate driven pheasants, partridge, grouse and rabbits as close to the real thing as possible.
The second difference is the volume of targets to shoot:
- On Game Days, only a certain number of birds (between 150 and 500) are usually shot.
- There is no limit to the number of targets that can be shot on Simulated Game Days.
The third difference is what happens when you shoot other participants’ targets:
- On Game Days, shooting at other participants’ targets is frowned upon and is considered rude.
- Shooting at other participants’ targets is recommended on Simulated Game Days.
What gear do I need for a Simulated Game Day?
Just like with Compak Sporting, the equipment needed for a Simulated Games Day is a shotgun and some cartridges (which we’ll discuss a little later).
You’ll also need a cap or hat, safety glasses and hearing protection which, although not mandatory, is highly recommended.
And, of course, you should wear clothes suitable for the countryside and the time of year, as well as good boots or shoes that are sturdy and easy to clean.
Do I need to have a gun or shotgun licence?
If you already have your own gun and would like to bring it with you to the Simulated Game Day, the event organisers will ask you for a licence, which you needed to purchase the gun. Having your own insurance would also be a good idea in this case.
You don’t need to condition your gun to be able to shoot, but it is true that with a well-fitting gun means you will be able to shoot more consistently, and you won’t need to adjust your body as much to make successful shots.
Some estates even offer a gun fitting service for interested guests.
If you don’t have a gun because you’re new to the sport or are still thinking about it, you can rent one at the estate itself. All estates where Simulated Game Days are held usually provide this service.
In this case, it is also a good idea to ask for an instructor’s assistance.
Please note that if the estate where you will be spending the day is in the UK, and you are prohibited from using a firearm because of previous convictions, you will not be able to participate in Simulated Game Days there.
What are the best cartridges to use on a Simulated Game Day?
The best cartridges to shoot on a Simulated Game Day are 21- or 24-gram shells (7 s/7.5 s/8 s).
People often fire off anywhere from 400 to 500 rounds over the course of a Simulated Game Day. Which makes using lighter cartridges recommended as a way to decrease the recoil.
Many clay target shooting estates also use 100% biodegradable fibre shot shells, which offer a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic shot shells.
In addition, in the spirit of being as environmentally friendly as possible, steel shot is being introduced to replace lead shot which, although more expensive, is considerably less harmful to the environment.
Another important point to bear in mind is that the estate managers are responsible for meticulously removing and cleaning the cartridges used during and after each shot.
How much does a Simulated Game Day cost?
Obviously, this will depend on the estate where you plan to spend this fantastic day.
On average, the cost of a Simulated Games Day is considerably less than the cost of a Game Day.
The price can be in the range of £175.00 per participant.
Where can I enjoy a Simulated Game Day?
There are plenty of places where you can enjoy Simulated Game Days.
If you live in the UK or Australia or are thinking of spending a holiday there and would like to play Simulated Games, here are the links to the associations in those countries where you can find out more about the estates and the dates available for Simulated Game Days.
England is home to The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, founded in 1908 by Stanley Duncan FZS and Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey Bt. It is the largest shooting organisation in the UK that promotes sustainable shooting not only has many shooting experts on staff but also very good resources for enthusiasts.
Australia has its Field & Game Australia, Inc., the country’s leading organisation for conservation, hunting and clay shooting sports, committed to the conservation and preservation of both plants and wildlife.
However, if you prefer, you can contact any of our distributors in those countries who will be happy to help you find the best estate for Simulated Game Days:
Scotland: you have Tom Young at the North Ayrshire shooting ground (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Gun-Range/North-Ayrshire-Shooting-Ground-400143304107/).
South of England: you can contact Sussex Guns with Jeremy Syver (https://www.facebook.com/Sussex-Guns-241981689178550/).
And in Australia, you have Beretta Australia (https://www.facebook.com/BerettaAustralia/ or https://www.instagram.com/beretta.australia/?hl=es).
With all this information in your hands, the only thing left for us to say is happy Simulated Game Day to you and share a few ultimate tips to keep in mind:
- Pay close attention to the breakfast briefing.
- Enjoy the day – forget about your mobile for a few hours.
- Follow the shooting safety rules to the letter.
- And always make sure you stay in the correct position that you’ve been assigned.
Have a great time and don’t forget to tell us all about your experience when you get back 😉.
Have you already experienced a Simulated Game Day? Tell us about it 👇!