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Sound, sensible gun safety advice from the archive, and as relevant as ever.


I love this poem for a number of reasons, as I am passionate myself about shoot safety, and about safe, sensible and respectful shooting practices. It may be over 100 years old but it could have been written yesterday.

Valuable lessons for us all this season.

Happy (and safe!) shooting to you all!!

A Father’s Advice
Mark Beaufoy ~ 1902

If a sportsman true you’d be
Listen carefully to me …

Never, never let your gun
Pointed be at anyone.
That it may unloaded be
Matters not the least to me.

When a hedge or fence you cross
Though of time it cause a loss
From your gun the cartridge take
For the greater safety’s sake.

If twixt you and neighbouring gun
Bird shall fly or beast may run
Let this maxim ere be thine
“Follow not across the line.”

Stops and beaters oft unseen
Lurk behind some leafy screen.
Calm and steady always be
“Never shoot where you can’t see.”

You may kill or you may miss
But at all times think this:
“All the pheasants ever bred
Won’t repay for one man dead.”

Keep your place and silent be;
Game can hear, and game can see;
Don’t be greedy, better spared
Is a pheasant, than one shared.

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