As a relative newcomer to stalking I managed to get in on a very small informal syndicate towards the beginning of the last Fallow season on a relatively small parcel of land that I (via a small detour) pass nearly daily.
Having met with the chap who runs it, he informed me that it was actually very rare not to see deer on the land (arable farm bordering woodland), even during the day. Hence knowing it is in reasonably close proximity to a block of land reasonably well endowed with deer I paid my money - thinking it would be well worthwhile given the proximity to my a route I travel very frequently too (albeit some distance from home).
Having the opportunity to pass the land nearly daily I frequented the land for short durations (<1hr) on probably 30+ occasions through the season, and spent long times (~5hrs) stalking it on 6+ occasions...however I saw NO deer. I visited the site at dawn, dusk, midday throughout the season. Generally one or two trails of slot marks were present, and one week there were about a dozen...but no actual sightings were ever seen. Having subsequently talked to locals they inform me that there used to be a small herd that frequented the land, but that they hadn't been seen for quite a while. My suspicions are that the land has either been shot out and/or the deer are very transient and simply pass through at night.
My question is - do you simply pay your money and take your chance...or given I was told that it was rare to not see deer on the land, that I have the right to a refund (partial or full)?
I must admit feeling somewhat disheartened as a relative newcomer who has been left with a bad taste in his mouth about this situation, hence I would like to hear from anyone with knowledge of the etiquette in this sort of situation.