View Poll Results: How many days a year do you go stalking/hunting/foxing/shooting?

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  • 0

    1 0.49%
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    0 0%
  • 3-4

    1 0.49%
  • 5-7

    6 2.91%
  • 8-14

    17 8.25%
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    17 8.25%
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    16 7.77%
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    19 9.22%
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    26 12.62%
  • More than six weeks a year!

    103 50.00%
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Thread: Non-pros: how many days a year do you go stalking/shooting/hunting?

  1. #1

    Non-pros: how many days a year do you go stalking/shooting/hunting?

    I suppose this is more a question for amateur/recreational/non-pro stalkers and shooters of all descriptions, but I was just writing my October trip to Scotland in search of a possible stag in my diary when I realised that that was it, my stalking and shooting planning for 2015 was almost certainly all over, with a grand total of six days out. It's possible that up to two additional ones may yet materialise, but actually, half a dozen outings a year is probably about average for me. I think it was just four the year YPM was born, and it may have hit ten when I was fruitlessly wildfowling. I pointed this out to Mrs PM thinking that really, one couldn't say that I was guilty of wanton domestic absenteeism. She agreed, but did add that in her view that was quite enough, it was a day every other month, and that it should probably be no more than that.

    Obviously I have a different take on this but it doesn't really matter, there are logistical and real world limitations to this anyway, and the quality of my days out is at an all-time high, so I can live with this compromise for now. That said, it does make me wonder how much stalking, shooting, foxing and so on everyone else is doing. Obviously this isn't a very relevant question for professionals, gamekeepers and so on, but even those who have stalking in their garden aren't necessarily out after deer every day.

    I'd be interested to hear about what your "boundary conditions" are too if you care to elaborate!


  2. #2
    HI PM

    I have to put myself on the very high end of the scale but to be fair, my stalking is either very early morning, sometimes before work when she isn't up anyway or in the evening (when she is tired from work and would rather not have me pester her!) and only for a few hours at a time. Also I'm out every Saturday from October to February 1st. She knew this regime when we got together and I set the standard then. Dare say this will change when kids happen. She started moaning the other day a bit but hey, they do that! Would she rather I was in the pub? As long as we share what days off a week when we can (she is in retail) and I don't take the mick, I get off with quite a bit. Even boiling out 5 roe heads the other day, in the pasta pot, in the kitchen!

    Something else to consider though is if you have your own ground to use without paying guides. I never have paid a guide for stalking but I can assure you I would go out a fraction of the time if that was the case and maybe even pack up stalking altogether.

  3. #3
    I've got a very understanding wife, who also has a time consuming hobby, so I don't have any problem time wise. It probably helps that my kids are older too.

  4. #4
    Thankfully all placesI stalk and shoot are free and writhin 10 mins of home so I manage to get out at least once a week if not more and have a two year old kid at home too. My wife does complain occasionally that I'm.out too much but then just as much she will say "I've got some trashy tv to watch so why don't you go out shooting" by which point I'm already rushing out the door with my rifles .

  5. #5
    It's true that it's undoubtedly more complicated for those of us who live in the city as there can be no realistic prospect of popping out before work for example. It always takes at least half a day, and that's a generous half at that. I did have a plan for Friday night stalking after work in the summer which was viable and I'll try again next year perhaps, but that's a sticking plaster. When I was wildfowling in Kent, it drove Mrs PM nuts as I would set off at 3 or 4am, return for lunch-ish, or go the afternoon before and be away for 24hrs, and hardly ever have anything to show for it. And of course those empty game bags would just leave me hungry for another outing. It was a spiral of diminishing returns. One of my friends wants to return to that now that his kids are a bit older. Fair enough, but mine isn't, and the stalking suits me better. I always liked the woods, fields and hills better than the mud anyway.

  6. #6
    I find it very difficult to manage much more than a proper outing with a rifle or shotgun more frequently than once every 10 days without creating domestic friction or work conflicts. In addition, I've been having one or two issues with my rifle so I've been dropping by a pipe range if passing & spending half an hour there every 2 weeks or so but this really is on the way to some of my clients properties in the Borders & doesn't take long. I also stop to do some pheasant feeding every couple of weeks on the way to my Northumberland clients & often take a gun but I've not included this.

    So I suppose I have a loaded rifle or a shotgun in my hands about once a week, although most of my forays with a rifle are to observe rather than shoot & my walks with a shotgun usually involve trying to organise a rather more chaotic beating line than I would like or walking & shooting with friends over pointers. I probably shot less than 10 pheasants last year as I tend to be responsible for organising things & I suppose no more than 4 deer, which is about as much as I can eat.

    I pretty much abandoned it all shortly after our twins were born & in fact I let my certificates lapse for a year or so as it really just wasn't possible to have any down time without appearing completely selfish about it. It's still much easier for me to take a day off during the week (I'm self-employed) than to dip into the family time at the weekend, although it probably would be possible now. In fact, I took the boys for their first clay pigeon lesson last week as they are nearly eleven now. They loved it but perhaps still just a bit young as they are slight for their age but another year or so & I can see them wanting to join me on outings & going beating.

    You are going to have to learn to insist that your wife starts having time to herself or child-free time with friends whilst you do something with YPM; there is no pleasure in being begrudgingly allowed 'out to play'.

    I rather cleverly (I thought) bought a holiday cottage week for about 500 on Mar estate in the BDS auction last year which we've only recently come back from. The house was very big & had 4 en-suite bedrooms so we were able to invite another couple of families plus our au pair & put all the kids out in tents & have a really good social week where the kids could all look after themselves with just whoever was around keeping an eye on them. Excellent time had by all & yes, I slipped off with a rifle a couple of times but I doubt I was missed.

    The moral of all this being; create a diversion!
    Last edited by McKenzie; 07-08-2015 at 16:22. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by McKenzie View Post
    You are going to have to learn to insist that your wife starts having time to herself or child-free time with friends whilst you do something with YPM; there is no pleasure in being begrudgingly allowed 'out to play'.
    I just want to point out that I'm not let out to play grudgingly, at least not now. Perhaps more so last year, when YPM was more of a handful. But at the same time that's also because I'm careful not to overdo the absences, it's a fine balance. That said, your situation is similar to mine, apart from the self-employment which helps.

    I spoke to a friend in France recently who keeps inviting me to come and hunt with him. I'd love to, but it needs three or four days and I'm all out of holiday. I had to explain that I only have 25 days a year. "Oh", he answered, "that's how much I take off just for hunting...".

  8. #8
    I reckon on 3 days phaesant / rough shooting, and a couple of days stalking - as in an all day stalk. Most of my stalking locally is a pop out after supper for an hour or two, or out first thing in the morning and at my desk by 9am. I reckon to shoot four to six Roe a year and probably need 3 or 4 outings to do so for each one but this year I have so far managed just the one buck but had 8 or 9 outings.

  9. #9
    Actual full days - maybe once every 6 weeks.

    But a couple hours early morning/late evening - at least twice a week.

    Domestic harmony is easily achieved: wife can watch the telly that I refuse to watch when around.

  10. #10
    I supose on average I go........

    Stalking: once a week, usually mornings before work and more if I'm on a mission.
    Shooting: 10 days a season.
    Foxing: 1+ evenings a week.
    Hunting: 1 or 2 day's a week if I (and the horse) can manage it.

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