Founder and The Seated Gun
Although I was always surrounded by game shooting, it wasn’t really until my early teens that I first picked up a gun; and that was only to see how heavy it was! It didn’t take long for the shooting bug to bite!
It was following my motorbike accident in 1998 (that’s another story!) that shooting really came back into my life. I had spent three years in hospital enduring numerous operations and intense physiotherapy, but finally I was able to return home to France and visited the clay ground. That in itself was some feet as it was up a mountain, heavily wooded and nothing was flat! Not like the grounds we enjoy in the UK!
After a couple of visits, I was hooked. I just couldn’t wait to get back each time only now I was in a different position, in a wheelchair. I discovered I could still compete and beat most of the guys I was shooting with who were standing up. I think that empowered me and made me realise that in some certain circumstances being sat down didn’t make a difference.
As time ticked along I was only really shooting when back in France, it was when I met my now wife that it all changed. For several months she had pestered me each time we were in the UK that she would like to try shooting. Finally, I arranged for her to have some lessons with Geoff Bryant at Sywell Shooting School. I foolishly thought she would try it and hate it! It was just the opposite, not only did she love it, but she was a bit of a natural. It was on one such lesson that I decided to shoot in front of Geoff, who I have nicknamed “Yoda”. What Geoff doesn’t know about shooting, isn’t worth knowing! As I took to the stand and downed several clays, I turned, rather pleased with myself to see Geoff shaking his head from side to side. “You can tell you learnt to shoot in France! You ambush everything” he said! I remember thinking at the time, does that mean I’m good or bad? Geoff politely explained that if I could now do that with a little more finesse; instead of ambushing, I would be more than pretty damn good.
Several visits later and after Geoff beating the “ambush” syndrome out of me, I was back addicted to shooting. As my wife carried on with her lessons, we would spend most weekends at the clay ground, shooting everything they had to offer, allowing her to practice and me to perfect my newfound finesse. It was on one such visit that I said to my wife that although I enjoyed clays, I quite fancied doing a full driven game day. With which she responded, “why not?” She quickly picked up on the fact that it was clear I wanted to go but I was unsure how it would work in the chair. It was only after she said “don’t worry about the chair, let your shooting do the talking” that it simply confirmed to me, yes why not!
I have enjoyed numerous seasons now and haven’t looked back. Over the years I’ve been privileged to shoot at some of the UK’s top shooting estates. I’ve met some great fellow guns, embarrassed a few guns by being a better shot than them despite being sat down and generally had a hell of a time!