It's been two years since a conversation with a friend first put the idea of deer stalking into my head. Coming from a family with absolutely no history of shooting or stalking, I was starting from scratch!
It's taken two years: Reading up about it. Joining the BDS. Deciding to try for the DSC1. Joining a local gun club to start getting some shooting practice. Trying, failing, and eventually succeeding in finding an experienced stalker (Thank you Ian!) who was willing to show me the ropes and let me accompany him stalking, and who's been absolutely invaluable. Passing the DSC1. Getting permission from the local farmer to stalk on his land. Choosing a rifle and finding it at a price I could afford. Buying a scope on eBay in the US and eventually getting someone to bring it over. Buying an old fridge and squeezing it into my shed. Putting up my first high seat.
And it all finally came together just after dawn three weeks ago when, sitting up in the high seat, a small herd of fallow does emerged from the bushes, and one stopped long enough for me to take a shot. Wasn't the greatest of shots if I'm honest, but my heart was beating so fast I'm just glad I hit the animal at all, and fortunately it only went a few yards before dropping.
Gralloching took me the best part of an hour, and I was very conscious of my total lack of experience, but the DSC1 and a fair number of YouTube videos paid off, and I eventually got it done. Then busted a gut dragging it back to the car, and into an old water tank I've sawn in half for transporting the carcasses. Butchered it a week later.
We had our first venison stew last week, and have another 35lbs of meat in the freezer. I think my wife might just be starting to come round!
Few photos attached.