I've read quite a few posts recently about - How do I get stalking? Why won't people let me stalk?
Is there anyone else here who worked for it? By this I mean to an interest in all things countryside. I can't understand why people expect landowners to say "yes off you go take your high powered rifle off onto my land and livelihood and blaze away".
I was a keen shooter but only air rifles and full bore rifles at the range. At 18 I decided to change careers and get into the countryside....I helped a keeper out at all opportunities(which happened to be full time) after 6 months I asked if I could shoot a couple of pigeons and rabbits off the bottom of the field with the air rifle, then I was allowed to walk around the area that I knew well, for rabbits and squirrels when I said I have been seeing foxes I was told to get my SGC and I was allowed on the small bit to shoot squirrels and foxes with the shotgun....so on and so on...untill now I am a paid keeper with all the shooting I can dream of.
Infact my friends have got some of the lesser bits that I've been begged to do for ferreting etc.
I do not say this to show off but to illustrate that trust is what you need to earn.
I believe learning about the countryside is the first step to shooting, Respect for quarry and the essence of stalking. The majority of my daytime foxes have been shot because the wildlife told me to get my gun as charlie was about, I learnt this from being out with a good keeper.
We have around 3-4 lads a year come to "help" We ake bets to how long they will last before saying...."so how often do you go shooting?" "do you shoot alot" or the best/worst "can we go shooting now" when you explain to them that keepering is more than shooting and we only tend to in our "spare" time they lose interest and dissappear
Out of all the people who have come to "help" one has stood the test, he's a rotten shot but I keep taking him out lamping and shooting because he helps. He picks up the rabbits he helps put up the rearing field he is about to come out in the rain and get in a crow trap with me to get soaked and covered in **** because he wants to learn. I haven't let him shoot a fox yet but he does shoot the odd unlucky rabbit. He shot his first buck with me last year as a thank you for his hard work.
So to end all the moaning of why can't I get land, its so unfair its so expensive get out there and help someone, learn about the wildlife and countryside. Shooting should be an extension of the love of the countryside. Not a passion to kill!!!