Meet the team……..
We would like to share with you a little bit more about our team.
This week: Chris Hanks, Manager and Instructor
Chris has been involved in shooting his entire life, having been born in Herefordshire and brought up on a shooting estate where his father was, and still is, head keeper today.
When most children were out playing football, Chris was helping on the shoot – feeding, dogging in, checking pens and stalking rabbits with his brother – and their trusty Weirhauch air rifle!
He learnt to shoot shotguns and general fieldcraft under the watchful eye of his father and latterly shot clays with other keepers on the estate. Shooting really does run through his veins.
On leaving school Chris attended Hartpury College, studying a National Diploma in Conservation and Habitat Management. He was awarded a bursary from the Royal Forestry Society for his forestry work, which saw him able to achieve his chainsaw training.
At the same time he began working at the Badminton Estate for the Duke of Beaufort, employed on the game shoot as a keeper during the busy rearing and release season, in and around his college and university holidays.
Chris then attended the University of Cumbria at Newton Rigg, where he studied Game and Wildlife management. Along with his fellow course mates, Chris began beating at a number of local shoots, including a grouse moor and running the college shoot throughout the season, to earn some extra money.
Although he has been beating since he was old enough to “keep in line”, Chris began loading on a number of shoots when he was just 17. Since then he has continued to load and instruct game shooting on estates up and down the country.
Upon leaving university in 2002, Chris joined a DEFRA agency, working in wildlife disease research. Starting from the bottom he worked his way through the ranks to eventually hold the Field Operations Manager role.
In early 2008 Chris was introduced to Ernie Hemmings who had a vacancy for a gamekeeper. Chris was looking for something to keep him busy outside of his general work so jumped at the chance to further his gamekeeping career. Under the stewardship of Chris and with the enthusiastic backing of Ernie they transformed the shoot into one of very high quality.
In early 2013 Ernie offered Chris the opportunity to make a full time move from DEFRA into the shooting industry. May 2013 saw him join Lady’s Wood Shooting School when Ernie took over the reins.
To extend and enhance his 15 years of loading and instructing experience Chris attended several week long training courses provided by the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors (APSI), including its advanced training course which has only been completed by some 150 people in total.
Chris quickly adapted to his role as Manager and Instructor, developing his own style of coaching and instructing. He has built a very loyal following of clients who enjoy his knowledge and laid back, but concise coaching style.
Although very much a game shooting specialist, Chris is a very competent clay shooting coach too.
To date, Chris can boast nearly 750 days experience in the field and a lifetime’s experience of game-keeping and shoot management. He is an invaluable resource to Lady’s Wood and our clients.
Chris also uses his experience and knowledge to plan and host simulated game days, organise off-site charity and private events and fronts the Sporting Agency.
If you are new to game shooting or a seasoned shot that would like to improve, Chris is the man for you, be that here at Lady’s Wood working around our numerous towers or in field by your side on a shoot!
To book your lesson or infield tuition with Chris, please call 01454 294546 or email: email@example.com