I have been turning an idea over in my mind for a while now and the recent thread on neck shooting and the numbers of new members joining has brought the idea the fore.
I have not read any of the best practice guidelines from any organisations and I am not sure if it has been covered before.
There are topics that keep coming up and even though the site is home to many very experienced stalkers there are very often topics that result in significant differences of opinions even on matters that should be black and white (such as the legalities of venison entering the food chain and the requirements for disposing of the gralloch). It is entirely possible for a new stalker to read the site and not be any clearer on a topic indeed possibly even less clear having read many different opinions.
So the question is, is it possible for us to agree a set of principles that (in large measure) we all agree on.
A good example would be long range shooting. Its a hot topic and never ceases to disappoint in raising the temperature but even on this I think it is possible to agree a 'best practice' view.
My view would be that as stalkers we believe that it is our duty to do all that we can in order to ensure that when we take the shot we do so having reduced the variables that always exist to a level, where we can be pretty sure that the one shot will do the job. Anything that increases the variables, such as distance, weather, backstop, presence of other animals or humans needs to be taken into account. Would it be reasonable to agree then on the topic of long range shooting that, whilst it is possible to kill a deer from considerable distances that it is not ideal and should only be done in circumstances where 1) the stalker has reduced the distance between themselves and the animal to as close as they are able 2) that they have practiced with the equipment they are carrying at the distances involved and in similar weather conditions on inanimate targets 3) that there are absolutely no grounds for taking such a shot as a means of testing oneself or the equipment 4) that an immediate reload is essential in order to deliver another round if the first has not been sufficient.
These examples are not meant to be exhaustive by any means but I do believe even though there are significant disagreements amongst us, that it should be possible for us to put together a series of best practice guidelines generated by practitioners which should have some weight and respected by those that read it.
What do we think?