Having recently spent some time in the South of France I started to peruse over the idea of the shooting world outside the familiar surroundings of LGS. I am sure I am not alone in regarding such a glorious sport as, simply put: traditionally British. We think of the rosy golden hues of dusk that melt through gentle mists like water colour paints, along with the piercing kiss of the crisp cold air as it clings onto last night’s frost…obviously with a bit of tweed and a few Labradors thrown in the mix! The ever increasing requests for Visitor’s Permits we receive from shooters residing overseas also stresses just how renowned and world famous the British shooting scene really is, the most high end of which of course being by invitation only.
Nonetheless the shooting scene in France also has a certain je ne sais quoi. Trap and skeet shooting in France is as popular, if not more so, than it is in the UK. Shooting is very much embedded within the web of France’s culture and a license sportif de tir – namely, for sporting purposes as opposed to hunting is relatively easy to obtain. What appeals to me about France’s shooting scene is the availability of the popular tradition of shooting clays…from your boat. What better pastime than gliding out on the glittering Mediterranean sea whilst shooting a few clays as they dance over a shimmering sea in the dappled sunlight? One could even finish the day with a punchy espresso or ice cold Provence rose served in an elegant frosted glass overlooking the nearest harbour. However, the beautiful scenery and holiday feeling aside, I would imagine clay shooting at sea requires a completely different discipline to clay shooting at a shooting ground. The motion of the water inevitably throwing in an extra challenge.
However to get a bit of practice in before one waltzes off to the sud de la France, Thames Leisure offer a clay pigeon shooting cruise where one can simulate the pirate life (sort of) but instead of the Cote d’Azur coastline one’s backdrop is Tower Bridge and the iconic London skyline. Certainly ideal for those looking to add a bit of spark to a day on the river!