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Thread: Stalking equipment for hill stalking

  1. #1

    Stalking equipment for hill stalking

    Hallo from Belgium . I am a Belgian roughshooter , who shoots almost 100 % over spaniels . When I started shooting I did a bit of high seat "shooting " on roe deer in this country. Highland deer stalking is something that fascinates me already a long time . I plan to make a stalking trip to Scotland by the end of the year . I am mostly intrested in winter hind stalking . I think that the weather in the highlands can be severe at this time of the year. I would like your advise on the best equipment : jackets , trousers , boots ,etc ....
    As I have to start from zero , my roughshooting gear wouldn't suit at all , I can as good buy good equipment from the start . I noticed on a few DVD's that more and more stalkers use neoprene lined wellies .
    What about muck boots ? A friend uses them for 2 seasons 5 days a week for everything exept rough shooting and tells me he never had such convenient and warm boots. I heard that the Sportchief Aquatex jacket is the Rolls Royce of stalking jackets . True ?? What about Kammo , Deerhunter , Seeland , Fjallraven , Harkila , Jahti Jakt , .... ?
    I am not a camouflage man , I more like solid green , but if camouflage is better I wouldn't mind wearing it .
    I will post a similar item in the rifle department .

  2. #2
    Welcome along!!

    Any clothing from Harkila would be where i put my money!

    If your budget can stretch to it, it is worth buying and if looked after it will last you many seasons.

    Swazi Thar is another jacket worth looking at, for extreme wet weather which is frequent when hind stalking, in particular on the west coast!!!

    As regards boots, i would go for lace-up variety as you will need the ankle support. There are lots of good boot makers, I would consider Meindl, Alt-Berg, that sort of thing.

    Cammo clothing helps but is not essential. You could always go down the other route and have a tweed shooting suit made and you could use that for your driven bird days too!!

    Hope that helps!

    Best Wishes


  3. #3
    Hallo Miles,
    The Harkila Pro Hunter has always been my favourite . The price is very high , but I think the quality will be in the same range .
    As I said , I am not a cammo man . A new store opens here in May and he announces selling Harkila . He might make a good price for the opening of his shop.
    For roughshooting I use wellies , a cord trouser , thornproof leggings , a shirt , a fleece and a shooting vest without sleeves . When it rains I use a thin flexothane rainjacket in between the fleece and the vest.
    Only in heavy rain I use a Baleno rainjacket ( cordura / cotton mix )
    This is waterproof , strong ,but noisy and you loose moveability ( if this is the right word) . I don't like to be overdressed and be able to shoulder my gun quickly , get over a fence quickly , etc .....
    When you see some outfits on photos you see that you will have to move like a robot in it . The pro hunter doesn't give this impression.
    I probably try to get a jacket wich is not to heavy and use several layers of shirts , sweaters or fleeces under it to cope with the diffrent temperatures. Would this be the best ? I think the pro hunter is like that.
    I also had a look at the Swazi Wapiti jacket , but this seems a lot longer ?

    I own a pair of Chevalier Ultimate boots . I wear them for 2 winters 5/6 hours a day doing my job . They still are VERY stiff , wich I don't like .
    It's very hard to " feel " where you put your feet . Meindl give me the same impression , what is your idea ?
    I try to find some information on Kangaroo leather hunting boots .
    Available from Cabelas , LLBean , Basspro . I would like to find a supple leather boot from about 8/9 inches high wich wears like a running shoe .
    Would this be suitable for Scotland ?

  4. #4
    Personal experience only...I'm sure people will disagree but a soft leather boot is not suitable if you're in the hills. You need a good stiff hill boot that will give you good ankle support. It should have a rigid sole that you can barely feel a pebble through when you stand on it. This will allow you to put your weight on a small part of the sole if you need to climb/scramble.

    Thicker leather will also shed water for might not be aware of just how wet it can get here and how much water the peat and moss can hold!

    Have a look at the offerings from Scarpa, Meindl, Hanwags etc. They all do plenty of B/C and C class boots.

    This will obviously depend on whereabouts you are going but here in the west a stiff boot is vital. Take time to break in new boots before you come and make sure they are well greased.

    As I say, personal opinion only, others may disagree.

  5. #5
    Hales Smut

    Thats good advice from Frax

    You will love hunting in Scotland and have a great time, but it can be rough out for the hinds and hard work if you have to drag them


  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Hales Smut

    Frax is spot on. I stalk in Scotland each year and wouldn't want to be without a stiff boot that supports the ankle. Walking on heather and peat can kill the ankles.

    I have had a pair of Danner cordura/leather boots that have been great - they've lasted for 20 years since I bought them when I lived in the US. The modern version is called the Grouse Hunting boot:

    I normally top these off with a good pair of gaiters - I use Kammo but there are plenty of choices, just make sure that they have a soft finish to them as otherwise they can make a lot of noise on the heather.

    I also have a pair of Lundhags that are good, but I wouldn't really wear them in Scotland for hill stalking. I've just got a pair of Meindl's which I'll be testing in Arran in a few weeks.

    Regarding jackets, I have a Harkila as well as a Sportchief, but they are both in camoflage. If I had to keep just one, it would be the Sportchief. In fact I have two Sportchief's- just can't bring myself to sell the Large one (I still think I might get back into it at some point ).

    If you want plain green, I have a plain green Kammo that I wear when I am game shooting, which hasn't let me down. I don't know if it would be up to Scottish rain however

    If I was buying another jacket now I would be tempted with the Swazi, but finding a dealer in the UK is proving difficult!

    For trousers, I wear a pair of Cabela's camo trousers with a gore-tex membrane, again a legacy of my stay in the US. Both Harkila and Deerhunter do good waterproof membrane trousers in both camo and plain green. When you are crawling through a peat hag or a burn you'll be very glad of the gore-tex. Get the trousers with a waterproof/gore-tex lining, rather than gore-tex overtrousers, as the latter tend to be noisy when crawling through heather in my experience.

    My criteria for the above has been; silence, waterproof, comfort. Colour (camo or green) is secondary.

    Underneath the outer shell I layer my clothing - normally a t-shirt, then a thermal shirt, then a fleece - all synthetic rather than cotton/wool. What I don't wear I put in small rucksack along with my piece. It can get jolly cold when you're sitting on the hill!

    Hope this helps and have a great time. Don't forget to tell us all about it.


  7. #7
    Hales Smut

    Stalking hind in winter is great fun and you'll realy enjoy it.

    Deepending on were you will be going it might also be worth you packing a snow suit or two. I've found that you need to wear atleast two snow suits to make it effective as greens show through. In the central highlands they can see snow fall and temperatuires of -15C in December and the stalker may well offer you white throw away overalls to wear which may not be comfortable as you will need them to get close to the deer.

    Cloathing wise Camo is good but make sure it's reasnably warm but be aware that it's hard work and you'll get warm very qucikly on the hill. I think the most important thing is for your cloaths to be windproof if possible. also go for layer fo cloathing instead of one warm coat.

    Also you may find it useful to have a stick, preferably one with a shepards crock handle and chest high. It's unlikely that you wil shoot off it as the stalker will try to get you prone but it useful when you walkingup and down the hill.

    Strong waterproof boots are a must, if you can try to get them high enough to give support your ankle something like the meindle Dovre extreme...

    Your shots are likely to be 150-200m on average so think about zeroing your rifle so it shoots 1 1/2 inch at 100m as well and know were they go in wind as well as you may find you may have to aim off for wind that time of the year.

    It's great fun, also if your taking your own rifle make sure you pack a spare magazine as you may need it if you get into a packet of hinds.

    Good hunting hope you enjoy it and don't forget to tell us about your trip.


  8. #8
    swazi wapiti ,i would not go to scotland with out it .

    i live in mine hill stalking in eire.

    the wapiti drys fast is light will not gain weight if wet the tussock colour is exclent for the hill.

    draw backs, no bino pocket the two cargo pockets are small and the flap does not come over the pocket enough ,o and i dont like the cuffs there was there done .

  9. #9
    Hallo . Many thanks for the answers . I know they are personal opninions, but thats what you are looking for in a forum .
    I own a pair of 12 inch Chevalier Ultimate boots , which I told stay very stiff even afters two years . I thought it was a disadvantage , but it seems that it could be an advantage . They are scandinavian boots , built the way of a strong german boot. I never had blisters in them , neither painfull feet . I thought this stiffness would be very tiring when walking uphill , but as I read from people in the Scotish field i don't have to worry about it .
    At the start I wanted to replace the by a boot by Danner or Irish setter .
    They are not available here and I think it's best you can try them before you buy . I own a pair of very soft Chirucas ( pointer ) wich I use for evrything . Cutting wood , cleaning kennels , walking dogs in summer ,etc... . They are the most comfortable boots you can dream .
    Anybody experience with stiffer chirucas ?

    The Swazi wapiti was my first idea . I read they have the right colour , are very silent and extremely strong and waterproof.
    I wait for an answer from a British dealer . ( not available here )

    The harkila pro hunter seems about the same . Not to dark , silent , strong and extremely waterproof . This is probably the way I will go .
    They should be available in Belgium in 2/3 weeks . I would get a jacket and trousers .
    If not the UK will be the answer .

    For hind stalking , is it only the wet conditions that I have to fear or is cold as important ?
    I thought taking a lighter jacket like the Pro hunter and work in layers under it depending on the weather of the day .

    About rifles , calibres , etc... I post an answer in the rifle section.

  10. #10
    As well as the Swazi i would consider a Nomad, I have a set and its fantastic!

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