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Thread: Memories

  1. #1


    I was recently talking with a stalker who like myself is approaching the end of his stalking career, he was telling me that for almost fifty years he has kept a journal in which he notes all aspects of his day not only if he has been successful, the weather, the wind, location, exact time of day, rifle and ammunition used distance to the shot, reaction to the shot etc. etc. he also includes photographs
    and over the years has filled several A4 sized books.

    He says that when he can no longer stalk he will only need to open one of his journals at any given page and all
    the information he has recorded, will allow him to relive that day.

    This got me thinking I have never kept a journal and my cull records, record what is required by law
    nothing more in the old days in books which are probably in the loft somewhere and in more recent years on disc, and seldom looked at again.

    I personally find looking at lists of dead deer boring,and only look at them to compare deer numbers over the years, to see any developing trends do cull plans need to be adapted etc.

    I also dislike photographs of rows of dead animals it leaves me a little cold, I do have quite a few photographs with dead deer in them but they are kept because of the people in them or some other feature not for the dead deer.

    In fact when I stop to think of my memories of stalking few of them are directly about deer.
    and writing of them in a journal somehow I think something would be lost, the same with photographs often a camera was not available at the time, or something is lost maybe because my photographic skills are quite poor, but while a camera can record an image it can't record a feeling.

    Some things that evoke memories for me and can't be recorded in a journal nor on film and if they could would loose something

    the early days of spring before the trees burst into leaf but they have a green sheen to them when viewed from a distance.

    The glen floor carpeted with yellow primroses beneath the alders.

    The first warming rays of sunshine in the morning having spent a bitterly cold night sitting at a fox den waiting for the dog fox having shot the vixen the previous day, as you gradually warm up you are filled with a sense of well being and it feels good to be alive

    A double rainbow stretched across the glen a second rainbow outside the first with the colours of the outside rainbow reversed , I have only seen this phenomenon once.

    A full solar eclipse watching the deer start down of the hill to wards the glen bottom as the light began to fade as they would normally of an evening, only to start back up again as the light returned looking totally confused, awesome.

    Watching a Roe doe and her twins play tag.

    Hearing the first roar of the season just as the last light is fading and away in the distance a stag answering the challenge.

    The September day when you hear that wink wink and your eyes are drawn heaven wards to spot
    the first skein of pinkfeet heading South.

    To look out in the morning and find that everything is white with the first snow of winter, and so still that you could hear a pin drop.

    A bright day in November when the birch trees in the distance look purple and there is the smell of wood smoke on the air though the nearest habitation is many miles away

  2. #2
    I like the idea of having a journal for when my memory is failing or just to look back in years gone by even for the kids to read,
    I think you have been hard on yourself as what you have put down there is very well written and would send me off thinking of my past stalks, I have been taking pictures but trying to capture the landscape as much as the deer or even just a glimps of an antler looking into the foreground to spark a memory. I think it maybe harder for a full time stalker on big culls to do this but I had the pleasure of reading a few of a member on here and was fascinating , atb wayne
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  3. #3
    Hi BG, John here. Its that slack time of year just now when we have time to blether to others and think about past episodes in our lives. That then reminds us how old me and you are. But I suppose we will just do what we can till one day we are ordered to stop!!
    As for the journal thing you were speaking about, I can understand what you mean. I was told to get on and write a book. As you say , you can look at a picture and straight away YOU remember the day, the weather, the client, the stalk and probably the hilarity that made the day so special. So can I , but getting that down on paper in such a way that the reader, who wasnt there, can get a feeling of how it was for you. As you have said , the dead animal is only a tiny part of the whole day. And yes we have been involved in knocking down a line of animals but I do not have pictures of these events.And we were never silly enough to call it Stalking. Those days are usually harder to remember.

    Your not quite finished yet and by the way I'm sure I have earmarked a place in the book for you!!!!!!!!!!
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  4. #4
    My father has kept a handwritten daily journal and scrapbook from his national service days onwards.

    He is now in his eighties, and for a few years now has been transcribing and editing them, to pass on to the family, but publishers are also interested, and the British Library are keen for the (at least 30) volumes to be left to them. It seems the contemporaneous written journal and personal letters are a dying craft, in this age of ephemeral email communication and social media.

    This activity has brought him great pleasure, also poignancy.

    I am privileged to have been entrusted to archive the original diaries (photography), and I know that when he is gone I and my family will treasure them.

    I only wish I had his discipline and had done the same.

    PS: as the archivist, I strongly recommend that if you keep a journal, please use e.g. black india ink and cotton rag paper. A digital camera only has one blue pixel sensor in every four, and faded blue Quink on yellowed fragile wood pulp paper are not a good combination.
    Last edited by Sharpie; 12-03-2013 at 16:43.

  5. #5
    Hi Bogtrotter
    You missed out " Watching a definite arch appear in the horizontal frame, turning into a semi vertical angle as the approach to the stag came to it`s climax"

    this may be lost to others but between me an thee it`s still a great memory 30 years on


  6. #6
    As some MPs have said, keep a diary and when you retire it will keep you.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rack View Post
    As some MPs have said, keep a diary and when you retire it will keep you.
    Or incriminate them?
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  8. #8
    Many years ago I worked in London for the epitome of an english gentleman and for my 21st birthday he bought me a leather bound gamebook and gave me the advice that I should fill it in each time I shot /stalked/fished as it would give me great pleasure later in life ,How true he was .I note the weather conditions ,windspeed+ direction ,temprature ,shooting companions ect.Its really great to look back years later and remember shoot days /stalks very clearly/ Its amazing how the finer detail fades over the years. .

    K D

  9. #9
    It is a great shame some people underestimate the value of their past experiances I used to look foward to the musings in stalking magazene if I think he called himself Struthern Robertson who worked as a gillie.
    I may have stalked many years myself but accounts of others is often interesting and you never stop learning.

  10. #10
    For Christmas 2010, my mother gave me a game book and an equivalent one for fishing in which I record every trip and add photos. Apart from being pleasant to browse, I find that it's useful every season to go back over past mistakes and build on past learnings. It's pretty much illegible to anyone but me, but it's slowly building up to be a sort of fieldsports autobiography. Needs more fishing adventures though. And pictures of deer. And wildfowl.

    Attachment 25853Attachment 25854

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