THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH
WHAT IS THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH?The 12th of August, or the Glorious Twelfth as it’s more commonly referred to by shooting enthusiasts, heralds the traditional start of the red grouse shooting season in the United Kingdom.
WHEN DID THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH START?Grouse shooting can be traced back to 1853 with the rise of its popularity most likely due to the improvements in railways making it easier for people to get to the moors. It has since dominated the upland moors in Scotland and northern England though grouse are also shot on moorland in England’s Peak District, Northern Ireland and Wales.
It became especially popular in the late Victorian era as a fashionable sport for the wealthy. Grouse shooting is now enjoyed by a much wider audience whilst still holding the reputation as the king of game birds.
Since game shooting is prohibited in England by law on Sundays, if the 12th falls on a Sunday, then the Glorious Twelfth is postponed to the 13th.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A GROUSE SHOOT?A shooting party normally consists of around 8-10 ‘Guns’ who stand in a line in butts. These are hides for shooting and screened by a wall or turf. Beaters drive the grouse towards the waiting Guns flushing the birds in the desired direction using flags or trained dogs. There is a strict code of conduct governing behaviour on the grouse moor for both safety and etiquette.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR FOR THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH?Typically, the weather may not always be glorious, although the start of the season can correspond with the warmest days of the year, so you need to ensure you are appropriately dressed to enjoy the thrill of the shoot whatever the weather conditions. Layering is often a sensible choice and remember that dark colours are favoured to avoid being easily spotted by the birds. It’s also advisable to check the dress code with your host in advance.
Tweed is the choice of traditionalists and the smart option, particularly on a formal shoot. Choose a pure wool men's tweed coat or women's tweed jacketwith a water repellent outer which will not only keep you dry and comfortable in a downpour but will also give great breathability so you won’t get too hot on a warmer day. For more clement days a tweed shooting waistcoat or lighter weight technical tweed might be the more sensible choice.
Explore our shooting collections today to find everything you need for the Glorious Twelfth and the rest of the season.