While searching for an article for another thread I found this Daily Mail article on David Cameron from 2007
Deerstalker Dave can fell two stags with one shotBy SIMON WALTERSLast updated at 22:13 24 February 2007
View to a kill: David Cameron has a reputation as a deadly accurate marksman
David Cameron risks offending animal rights campaigners after details of his secret passion for stag shooting, one of the bloodiest field sports, were revealed.The Conservative leader regularly goes deerstalking and is one of the few marksmen skilled enough to shoot two stags in one go.The disclosure of his stag-hunting hobby comes just two weeks after The Mail on Sunday disclosed how he was nearly expelled for smoking cannabis at Eton and carried on using the drug at Oxford University.Conservative chiefs will hope that news of his hunting and shooting exploits will have as little impact on his popularity as the drug expose: a week later, his poll ratings increased.Mr Cameron, who also enjoys pheasant shooting, has become an expert deerstalker since being introduced to the sport as a young man, though he has never talked about it in public.It is one of the reasons that he and wife Samantha take regular family holidays on the vast Scottish estate owned by her stepfather, Viscount Astor, on the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides.The island's human population of 200 is outnumbered by its 6,000 deer, and deerstalking is one of its main industries.Political writer Bruce Anderson, a close friend of Mr Cameron, said: 'David has been stalking deer for 20 years or more.'He is very good with a gun. I have seen him shoot a stag. He has the "right-left" knack whereby you shoot two deer in one go before they run off. Only the best stalkers can do that.'Mr Cameron was expected to go to Jura last summer but went to Corfu instead.Whether it was because it was his first holiday as Tory leader and he did not want to be photographed lying on his belly in tweeds with a stag in his rifle sights is not clear.He goes shooting in Jura with Gordon Muir, a professional deerstalker in charge of shooting parties on the Astor family's 20,000-acre Tarbert estate.Mr Muir's son, distillery worker Jamie Muir, said yesterday: 'Mr Cameron has been coming for the past few years. He goes shooting on the estate, and he's been doing it for a while.'I personally haven't seen him get a deer but he would have to be a very poor shot not to get anything because the island is teeming with them.'Groups of wealthy businessmen and tourists go on to Jura's hills with experienced local stalkers, who know the best places to find the herds.The island is renowned for the size of its distinctive dark coloured red deer - individual beasts can weigh up to 26 stone.Mike Richardson, a local guide, said: 'They take the shooters on to the hills and get them above the deer.'The challenge is to get close - a good sportsman will be able to shoot a deer from 300 yards - but you get some who fire as soon as they see one because they are after the trophy head.'It is not for the faint-hearted. By tradition, when a stalker shoots his or her first stag, the marksman is 'blooded' with the animal's blood smeared over them.The animal is then 'gralloched' - the Highland term for disembowelled.The carcass is hauled back to the estate office where the antlers, head and limbs are chopped off and the meat is cut into joints or sold to a dealer.The stag-shooting season in Jura lasts from July to November - ideal for the Camerons, who usually holiday there in August.Asked recently about his love of Jura, Mr Cameron said: 'I love swimming in the sea there. The beaches are beautiful and I love to fish.'He chose as his luxury item on Desert Island Discs last year a malt whisky from Jura.There was no mention of deerstalking then, but he has not been so reticent about his hobbies when addressing Tories in private.Asked about hunting, shooting and fishing when he was selected as Tory MP for Witney in rural Oxfordshire, where field sports are popular with activists, he declared: 'I take part in the first two but haven't got the patience for the third.'During last year's Conservative leadership contest, Mr Cameron, who has foxhunted in the past, told one pro-hunting Tory MP: 'You must vote for me because I am the only candidate to have hunted with two mounted packs.'He has shown his commitment to field sports by promising a fresh Commons vote on reversing the hunting ban if he becomes Prime Minister, one of his few firm policy pledges.Unlike stag hunting on horse back, banned two years ago along with foxhunting, deerstalking is still legal - as long as it is carried out under proper supervision.It is accepted as one of the best ways of culling the UK's deer population though some animal-rights activists say it is cruel.
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