My sponsored DSC1 and route to stalking PLUS puppy diary

Assorted blog. DSC1 progress, shooting in general, and puppy stuff

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Hi all,
Just a bit of a mixed bag blog tonight with a general progress update on my "stalking journey". A journey that began almost nine months ago when I first joined the site and decided I wanted to make something of my curiosity and try, seemingly against the odds at that time, to pursue stalking and shooting as serious interests.
As I've said before, my DSC1 course is currently scheduled in for mid October (assuming it isn't cancelled again!) so rather than doing a ton of reading up I've been casually dipping in and out of the manual and other resources just picking up what I can or quickly testing myself. It seems to be working, quite a lot sticks! After my outing with Pete earlier in the year, I'm pretty happy with my ability to pass the shooting test despite my limited sporting rifle experience.
I'm quite eager, but October seems like a long way off still. So, what better ways to occupy my time beforehand than A) Booking up a paid outing for my birthday B) Trying to beg, borrow or steal an air rifle to practice my general shooting skills C) Having a go at clay pigeons and D) Training my pup. There, that should keep me amused until my course comes up!
Of course, D is an ongoing daily process and B is relying mainly on the wife at the moment, who seems to think either her brother or father has one they're not using any time soon and may lend/give to me (it'll be interesting to see what they can offer if that's right, I imagine it would be something fairly decent, so fingers crossed she's not mistaken)
C hasn't been confirmed yet, but I've just recently found out that there's a clay ground (and incidentally an air rifle club too) not 10 minutes down the road. Apparently they do a novice "turn up and have a go" type stand. Having never fired a shotgun and yet still being quite interested (I'd like to expand from stalking to game shooting or wildfowling, but one step at a time...) I thought for the sake of a 10 minute drive and not much money I might as well have a go. The wife has even agreed to come along, but she's done it once or twice before. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun. More stuff to save up for...
Now, to A. I have managed to convince Mrs SimpleSimon to let me treat myself to stalking for my birthday. I haven't confirmed a date yet, but after a few suggestions and contacting a couple of our trade members I've arranged to go out with Elmer Fudd aka Barry on his ground in Monmouth. This will be my second ever outing, and I can't wait! I'd love to hit a deer, of course, but I'm also relishing the prospect of some more learning and experience. Not to mention the magic of the stalk itself, quietly watching, waiting, trying to see without being seen and move without being heard. I'll also be getting in some all important practice on DSC targets before we head out, just to keep my confidence going and refresh my memory a bit. Of course, there'll be a full write up after the event, and if we do get onto a deer a blow-by-blow account of my attempt at butchering the carcass (it's no harder than filleting a trout, right?)
Barry has come well recommended, so I'm sure I'll enjoy our outing immensely. As a bonus, he even invited Poppy (my pup) along. She'll still be too young and daft for that this time, but it would be good to get her out in the future (after all, she was supposed to be my little buddy for me to teach her as I learn myself).
Speaking of Poppy, she's doing ok, although we've hit a bit of a temporary wall in her training. She's well and truly too big now to do any tracks in the garden, which means I'm going to have to resort to early morning guerilla skin dragging on the local playing fields to progress the length of track. I'll just have to hope I'm the earliest riser, before I get a reputation as some kind of nutter dragging around bits of dead animals on a rope... I'll also have to work out a way of placing a "find" at the end that isn't likely to get eaten or moved before I can get back with the dog. Ideas on a postcard, please.
Poppy also has a new home
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Bought off eBay for a song from a guy about 3 miles away, home built by him for his dogs that never used it. It's a real quality setup and fits well in the space we've got. Although she's a house dog, the idea is for the pup to stay in there whilst we're out for long periods (work, etc). It never seemed fair to me to coop a dog up indoors all day. I'm investigating options for flooring in the run, as tarmac isn't the best. I might just go for some cheap vinyl.
I've been slowly introducing the kennel, feeding her in there, giving her retrieves in to it, etc and shutting her in there for short times and leaving her. Today I was sitting in the garden and she took.herself in there of her own accord, so I shut her in and for the first time ever she didn't even whimper. Success, kennel happy dog!
Anyway, that's enough of my rambling. Next blog will probably be a report on either stalking with Barry or clay shooting, whichever comes first.
Cheers folks!
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