Game Shooting Terminology

Following on from my post of last weekend I realised that not everyone may understand some of the terminology used. I know I certainly didn’t when I first started shooting so I thought it would be a good idea to get together a brief list of regularly used terms in Game Shooting.

Now as well as looking like a ‘pro’ you can sound like one too!


These are shoot staff, and usually some super dogs, that flush the birds over the line of guns for them to shoot.


These are the markers where the guns will stand in the line; and numbered 1-9.


These people will be scattered around the drive, usually behind the guns who use well trained dogs (nothing like mine then) that will retrieve the shot game.

Shoot Captain

The host and organiser of the day. Often the shoot owners.


Areas planned by the gamekeeper where you will shoot as they know there are ample birds which fly well. There are usually four or five drives per shoot however the gamekeeper may have many shoots they can use so they can mix up the days; to help keep it exciting for regular guests.


This is the person that stands at the side of the drive and, using a flag, flanks the birds back into the line of guns.


This literally means ‘over your head’ and is usually shouted by another member of the shooting party when the birds are flying overhead.


Essentially means two. Game is always put into pairs at the end of the day and a ‘brace’ is simply two birds. Some types of game days are counted in brace, for example on a grouse day when 400 birds are shot it would be a 200 brace day.

Driven (shoot)

A form of shooting whereby the game birds are flushed over the standing line of guns.


This is the line of guns set out over a drive to ensure everyone is in on the shooting. The line will be organised so that it is safe to all shoot at the same time i.e. no one is too close to the beaters or other guns

And last but not least … Sloe Gin

This is a red liqueur made from sloe (blackthorn) drupes and gin. No shoot day is complete without a few snifters of this! If you want to make your own at home you can find a great recipe here


Hopefully this will help us all sound like professionals when out in the field!