A guide to gifts for your shoot host
Once you’ve RSCP’d to your latest shooting invite your role as a guest isn’t complete. As a gesture of gratitude, gifting your host will put you in good stead for future invites. Much of this will depend on your relationship with the host whether that be a family member or a friend. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes so we’re sure you’ll find something suitable on this list.
Should the invite be a reoccurring one as part of a syndicate or a regular arrangement then we’ve included gifts to suit. Should you be invited to an elusive syndicate then starting on the right foot is essential. Your host and those already there will become friends for a long time so first impressions are important.
Amongst the shooting fraternity, a nice bottle of Red, Fizz or spirits goes a long way. This is perfect for loading the host’s empty hipflask or adding to the table at the post shoot dinner. This is particularly good if you happen to know what your host likes to drink. What goes in someone’s hip flask can be very personal so it pays to be diligent.
For the winter months, something warming is always needed as I’m sure those who shoot further north will testify. For this, we’d recommend a flavoured Gin which isn’t too strong. Sloe Gin and Kings Ginger are two of the best and keep you warm without affecting your shooting. For the adventurous amongst us, you can make your own sloe gin fairly simply but is also available in large supermarkets.
A hamper is the safest option on this list, a collection of cheese and biscuits are sure to go down well. There are a plethora of hampers available online or in stores. You have the choice of both sweet and savoury or both if the box is large enough. You have the classic boxes from Fortnum and Mason in their wicker baskets or more reasonable options from M&S.
Whether you go large and elaborate or small and personal a hamper can suit any recipient. The better you know your host the easier this becomes. Chocolates and Cheese are easy choices with wine or port an obvious addition.
For those shooting regularly with a similar group you probably know your shoot host better than most. After the day has finished they will be already busy getting the next day inline. Organising transports, vehicles and making sure everyone arrives on time isn’t always an easy feat. As such a thank you gift goes a long way in making all the effort worth while. As mentioned earlier, knowing your host means these gifts can be a little more inventive.
Between your shooting team there are some brilliant gifts that will go down a treat. The ideal gift for your shoot host may be a Peg finder that will last season after season. While some may use a deck of cards or a roll of pegs there are some brilliant alternatives. One of our favourites is the hip flask set with accompanying peg positions. Something of this size ensures that everyone will remember their peg position for the rest of the day. If you’d prefer something with darker wood click Here
If you are looking to gift as an individual then there are plenty of options. Often you can notice that certain bits of clothing and kit begin to wear over time. Without getting to personal there are bits you can gift that will go down a treat. A new hat or a decent pair of gloves may set you back less than you think. Either is likely to cost a similar amount to a good quality bottle of red. Not everyone likes a traditional flat peak cap but this one keeps the tweed but swaps the styling.
Something rather special
On some occasions the gift might have to be something rather special. Once in a blue moon you may receive an invite to a rather exclusive shoot. A venue that only connections to the right people might foster. On these occasions you might want to seek out something a little more special. These invitations will be the ones you remember for the rest of your life. In this case you might look at something rare or bespoke.
A drinks box is something that will be most welcome and remembered fondly by your host. It’s something that will last longer than a bottle of wine. No doubt it will be used season after season by the recipient and keep your name in mind for future invites. Something like this from the Drinks Boxx Company is a perfect gift for an occasion like this. It will come complete with glasses and alcohol of your choice.
If your host is the consummate entertainer and your budget can accommodate it then this box might suit you. This box from The Life of Riley can accommodate two full size bottles and a draw for 9 glasses. These are positioned with an ice bucket at the side. This leather cased cabinet will suit the boot space of a Land Rover perfectly and no doubt suit the host to a tee.
Just like tipping, gifting is a part of fieldsports that lacks definitive answers. It all depends on your relationship with the host, previous engagements and proposed venue. However, should an invite come out of the blue then a bottle of booze is a sign of appreciation. Should you be invited into a syndicate then this changes slightly. Syndicates are historically one in one out so getting a peg is notoriously difficult in established groups. In these scenarios, you might want to look at the slightly more exclusive gifts.