The Countryman's Weekly


January 19
07:00 2021

What makes a picking-up team effective on a shoot day?

By Wendy Bardsley.

I’M sure you agree having an able team of pickers can make a huge difference to the game bag. Good teams don’t happen by accident, so what are the key ingredients needed for a successful day?

Solid leadership

Depending on the size and aim of the shoot what are your thoughts on having a team leader who can oversee a picking-up team? Micromanaging or adopting a laissez
faire approach isn’t the answer, but a picker-up who is approachable and adaptable and carries a central role within the team can offer as much or as little leadership as the team requires, which can often contribute to a successful day.

Organising and positioning the team on each drive is beneficial but it can also be a logistical challenge, therefore a team leader who can understand and recognise each
picker’s strength is essential for all birds to be picked.

Is there a member of the team who has more experienced dogs and can be sent for runners or long, challenging retrieves? Do you have a picker who has a young and
inexperienced dog and would prefer to be positioned well back from the Guns and in a quieter area of the drive?


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