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Thread: The Price of Stalking

  1. #1

    The Price of Stalking

    Most of us will have less money to spend this year due to the downturn and with pheasant shoots downsizing,being unable to fill all places and some doing away with paid help I thought I would look at stalking prices here in Scotland to see if they were affected. Then when I started to look at things I realized just how varied the methods of paying for our sport there were. I always believed that no matter how much you were charged for something it was value for money that was the important thing.
    1 Renting the sporting on a piece of land or forest.
    This is very popular as it gives you the freedom to stalk when you like and also allows you to manage the deer, within the lease cull limits ,to your own perameters. A short time ago I took part in a leasing exercise organized by FC Scotland. They had 150hectares of commercial forest with an avarage Sika cull of 46 animals per year for the last 3 years that they now wanted to rent out. The rangers made no bones about how a lot of time had been spent achieving this cull and males were shot all year round and they thought a recreational stalker would be hard put to equal this. The guide price was £3500. Over three days some 75 people including many sporting agent looked at the property. I was amazed that some came from South Wales, the South Coast of England as well as the usual suspects from Perth and the Highlands! The place went for in excess of £8000. Value for money?
    2 Taking days-accompanied. Here again there is variety. You can pay per stalk, per day,per animal. Then there are trophy fees,blank day fee and dont forget the tip for the keeper. The range in cost is enormous. It is almost impossible to compare, like for like as so many variables come into it. Having paid per stalk myself on a few occasions then been taken for a long walk in the Perthshire mountains to see a few deer on the opposite clifftop I would definitly get recommendations first. I read in a Danish hunting magazine a warning that cheap stalking in Britain ment they had no deer. I have found outing fees ranging from £50 per stalk for Roe only to £ 120 for Red and Sika. Value for money?
    3 Renting one or more animals.
    This is often the way big estates in the Highlands work. They have say 20 Red Stags to shoot in the season so rent them out singly. This way you can be almost guaranteed to be given the chance of a shot. The price of this can look high however as just now round here £360 seems to be the going rate. Even a blank day still has to be paid for but this is often just a cost covering exercise. Value for money?
    I have come to the conclusion that with stalking still rising in popularity and the availabilityremaining the same(little new large-scale tree planting )we are stuck with still -rising prices.
    I am sure there are other permutations of how stalking is presented and charged for. I would like to hear how you all would like us, who provide stalking,to present our product. David Brown

  2. #2
    this i what i charge in norfolk , and i get return cleints every year , i get good feedback from my regulars and new cleints , i would class myself as reasonably priced !

    cheers lee

    Outing Price £60.00 (approx 3 hours)

    Cull Roe Bucks £55.00

    Trophy Roe Bucks £55.00 (plus £1.00 per gram trophy fee)
    Trophy will be weighed 24hours after preparation (full skull) minus 90 grams for the lower jaw.

    Roe Does £45.00

    Cull Muntjac Bucks £45.00

    Trophy Muntjac Bucks £45.00 (plus £10.00 per cm on average antler length)

    Muntjac Does £40.00

    Red Stags (prickets) £75.00

    Trophy Red Stags £100.00 (plus £50.00 per point on the head)

    Red Hinds £60.00

    Trophy preparation available at £30.00 per head

    Wounded or lost animals will be charged at £60.00

    DMQ Level 2 Witnessing No Charge

    Carcasses can be purchased at game dealer rates.

  3. #3

    Price of Stalking

    Thanks Lee, I take it these are rates for accompanied stalking? The only problem I can see with your system is that it is going to be difficult for a client to know exactly what he will be charged before he pulls the trigger. However if you have repeat business and happy clients you are doing something right. I went to Gdansk last year and ended up in a mixed party with a few Scandinavians. It was great to hear how they approach thier sport. Prices are very high especially in Denmark. We were having a driven day and the deal was Boar was in with the day price and Red Stags to be charged per Kg of antler. Despite warning us one of the Danes, on seeing a large Stag took a rush of blood to the head and shot it. It was an 8 pointer but massivly thick. He paid almost£1000 for this. I have never charged for stalking before and have had the same guests here year on year but now I find this place will have to pay some of its way. I have a good population of Sika including some really good mature Stags,maybe 30Reds and a small but quality population of Roe. I have good accommodation on site and it has been suggested I charge the cull Stags in end Jult/August at £70 each to get started. Does that sound fair?
    The big Sika I will be sorry to see go but as one is now 12 years old at least it is now time to remove them. They will make someone a good trophy. Thanks again David Brown

  4. #4
    I can only speak as a total novice to the sport (just 4 stalks under my belt) but I did do quite a lot of research before booking with the two companies I have used so far.

    Firstly, I have seen several lists of prices like the one above. Both advertised on websites, and emailed to me when I was looking to make a booking. Again, as a new comer to the sport, every time I saw such a list I immediately counted out that company. Because I have not got any experience of what constitutes a trophy I would not feel comfortable shooting a buck. I feel it would be too easy to look through the 'scope and be trying to assess the trophy value (cost) rather than concentrating on getting my shot placement right.
    Same really applies to fees for cull beasts or trophy beasts.

    This is why I chose both companies I now stalk with. One charges a flat rate for an outing, no trophy fees, no additional fees and I get to keep any beast I shoot (limited to one per outing). There is a small charge for being accompanied but it is minimal.
    The second company I use has a flat rate for an outing, no trophy fees, no additional costs and no extra cost if I want to be accompanied. I can buy any shot beasts at a flat rate and take them home (no limit).
    For me, this is perfect. Before I set off from home I know how much I am going to be paying for my outing and I can relax and learn from my guide. I have no worries when I put the cross hairs on a beast, and no worries when I pull the trigger.

    I feel this simple system suits novices like myself very well, and also helps more experienced stalkers in these tight times.
    If a guy has grafted all month and would like to go stalking but only has £50 to spend, then he is more likely to go with a fixed price set up. The last thing anyone would want to do is see nothing but trophy beasts and be unable to pull the trigger because his wallet did not match his sight picture!

    On the positive side, every stalking outfit I have spoken to is very insistent that the price you pay is agreed before the shot is taken. I think that is a commendable policy and shows that the majority of stalking outfits are run exceptionally well in the UK.

    I suppose its just a "horses for courses" question really, as novices will probably be looking for a slightly different pricing policy than experienced folks. I also suspect that there are quite a few chaps out there that money is only a small variable in their stalking requirements and they are more than happy to stay with the same, reliable companies they have always used.

  5. #5

    price of stalking

    Hi Guys, I too am put off by very complicated methods of priceing. I realize that trophies have to be priced differently from cull animals but on that system the big Sika I shot on my first trip to the Highlands would have cost me £100 for the stalk plus £450 for the trophy! Three years ago me and two other stalkers took a week in Argyll out of a shooting mag. The deal was £200 each for the accommodation and £350 each for the stalking, no trophy fees but recovery and delivery of shot animals to the game dealer was our job. The place was nice but over the week I saw one hind only, one of my friends shot a pricket Red Stag the other didnt even see a deer. I now have got a good contact in Inverness and am sure good places reasonably priced are out there to find.

  6. #6
    david ,

    with my system the client apon enquiry is sent a copy of the price list along with a copy of a basic contract in which has to be signed befoer stalking comences .

    the cleint apon looking at the price list can then tell me which class of animal he wishes to shoot , therefore i know where to go , having an animal in mind .
    also the cleint can also shoot to his / her budget .

    cheers lee

  7. #7
    i have never payed for a days stalking but i do pay for the stalking i have on a rental basis. and like a lot of others i would be terrified to pull the trigger not knowing what it will cost me and i admire the people who have a set price for there outtings as it makes it more affordable for the working man

  8. #8

    Cost of Stalking

    Thank you all for your comments regarding the above topic.I think we need to encourage newcomers to the sport as without them it has no future. I will have no problem in setting a fixed price for my cull Stags but i feel the older trophy quality animals are a different thing. I have invested a lot of time and no small cost in improving my property for all wildlife and deer in particular. I also have had a policy of preserving promising Stags. This is now bearing fruit and a visitor here can be pretty sure of finding a quality animal. I can see i will have to work out maybe a scale of charges to suit this individual property. Over the past few years many guests have shot thier first Red or Sika here so Manc-Munster look for a PM from me with a wee proposal. Cheers all and thanks again David.

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