By the time the groups arrive to their numbered field for hunting, all the birds should have been set for an hour or so. Each field should be set up so that Apprentices have an opportunity to shoot at three pheasants. Depending on the amount of cover, straw piles can be constructed for placement of the birds. One or two birds should also be placed in heavier cover such as fence lines and hedgerows.
Prior to starting the hunt, the field Marshal should review the safety rules list again emphasizing the importance of muzzle control at all times and also use the map to orient their group to the hunting block. For example, if there are unsafe directions to shoot, this should be communicated now. Equally important, the Field Marshal should remind everyone that serious safety or ethical violations will result in removal of the Apprentice and Mentor from the event.
As well, the dog handler will want an opportunity to speak about safety around their dog, number of shooters at one time and safe positioning of everyone before sending the dog to flush the bird. Hunting the birds with pointing dogs works just as well; the difference will be in how the Apprentices are instructed to approach the bird for safety of the dog and others in the group.
Hunting should start only after the Field Marshal has been given direction to do so by the bird placement crew. For this reason, it is important that members of the bird placement crews, Field Marshals and the planning committee members have two-way radios for communication purposes.
Once hunting begins, the Field Marshall should be positioned behind the group so they can easily see any safety infractions while still being able to communicate in a normal voice. It is up to the Field Marshal to identify and communicate safety or ethical infractions to the affected Apprentice or Mentor so they are not repeated.
One of the hunting stations should be used for an enforcement check by a Conservation Officer. Getting to know the role of a Conservation Officer from this kind of contact reinforces what the Apprentices learned in the orientation station and what they can expect in the future, should they be checked for a small game licence etc.
You should plan 45-60 minutes for this station depending on the number of Apprentices