Wildfowling for beginners
2 books that are worth having by you are the BASC quarry identification booklet which is small enough to slip into a coat pocket, and the BASC Wildfowling guide book which you can study at home. Do not forget your Tide Table (Tide data for the next 7 days) and listen to or look at the weather reports. (Weather on the web)
You do not need to buy all the expensive cammo gear to start wildfowling, a good waterproof jacket and over trousers are more than adequate to start, along with a simple camouflage net hide built around yourself which can help no end. Or hide down in a suitable gully or section of long grass. And after a while if wildfowling is for you then you can upgrade by getting the modern cammo clothing.
The gun can be your normal shooting gun but it is an advantage if it has a 3” chamber, again at a later date you can upgrade to a semi auto with 3 1/2” chambers if you wish. REMEMBER you can only use NON-TOXIC shot .
It would be wise not to take your Purdey out as the salt water / spray will make it rust very quickly.
A pair of thigh waders or even chest waders will help no end in getting through water filled gullies and creeks, again you can upgrade to a pair of breathable waders which are more comfortable to wear as they are light and flexible and better still you do not sweat as much in them.
A good torch is a must in finding you way onto and off the Estuary, it also helps when trying to find a lost bird at the end of an evening flight. A very useful light to have is a head band torch. You can see where you are going and still leave your hands free to carry things.
Always carry a compass and whistle to call an alarm if required, and spare batteries for the torch.
An ordinary game bag is adequate to carry your food and drink in, again you can upgrade to a rucksack the only problem is you tend to fill it with all sorts of stuff that you think you may need!
One of the most important items is a good stick, you can use it to test how deep the water is or how soft the sand / mud is, it also helps to tether the dog too if required.
Nowadays most people have a mobile phone but it is still important to let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, never take unnecessary risks and respect the tide, it takes no prisoners!
See the photos below documenting the rising tide and note the time in the bottom left of each picture. The biggest risk is getting cut off by fast rising tide. REMEMBER if you go through a gully you may have to come back through the same gully! And they can be 4 - 6 ft deep!
Remember to look after your guide if one has been provided and to offer something back in return (return offer of shooting, money to cover there expenses incured or anything else that might make someone happy) selfish behaviour (receives everything but gives nothing) does not go down well. A happy guide is more likely to take you or someone else out again.