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Thread: Stalking Fees

  1. #1

    Stalking Fees

    Not pointing at anyone in particular, in recent days I have noticed things seem to have changed somewhat.

    In the old days a sportsman could be paid to come out and shoot a few deer.

    Now the average stalking fee is somewhere in the region of 60.00, plus trophy fee if appropriate, this is usually given before any shot is taken. (The Fee that is)

    Then you purchase the carcass... if you want to.... at the prevailing rate.

    Some of those who offer stalking, are to say the least, opportunists, in that a new "Shot Fee" has been introduced, why?

    If I turn up at your stalking ground on a pre-booked stalk, I will be armed with a suitable calibre for taking whatever quarry species I am turning up for, I would expect you to have a good knowledge of the ground and show me (as you know your ground) a likely spot to shoot deer, I would expect to see signs of deer on the ground you took me to and be able to shoot a selected beast, that is all part and parcel of the stalking fee, both parties knowing what we are there for. If I simply wanted to see deer, there are numerous deer parks for me to wander about in and see deer without any 60 fees.

    So the question is......... if the stalking fee has risen in some parts of the UK for some species then why not simply say so, instead of trying to double the stalking fee with a "Shot Fee"? what do people think we are turning up at stupid o'clock in the morning armed with a rifle for?
    Last edited by Morgy; 19-01-2014 at 15:43.

  2. #2
    If you are charging people to hunt, you must not have a problem........... Kinda hard to get folks to buy off on that theory tho when you have folks beatin a path to their doors to pay whatever they ask..... Doesn't take much longer than the first customer for greed to run wild.....

  3. #3
    How about looking at it another way. The stalking fee is 90. However, if I don't manage to get you a shot I will give you a 30 discount. Surely by being charged a shot fee it gives the guide added encouragement to actually get you onto deer as apposed to you getting ripped off with an armed walk?
    Just my thoughts

  4. #4
    I actually dont like the idea of a shot fee and tend not to book with that provider.

  5. #5
    Here's the bit I struggle with. Driven game shoots offer a bag which is reflected in some sort of a discount if the birds don't show. The risk is shared, and both parties win as the host gets his costs covered (fair enough).
    With stalking there are several out there who will take you out, walk you around - at which point you begin to realise that there actually aren't the signs to indicate deer (or at least enough to give a chance to see one) - then grin nicely at the end and still demand full payment, i.e. there is no sharing of the risk.
    A successful stalk is never guaranteed, but the main reason for paying is to reduce the risk of a blank. The host is accepting that you are paying him/her for their knowledge of the land, the rights to the land and maybe some pearls of wisdom as they position you where the beast(s) are likely to be.
    If the trip draws a blank then the host should be graceful enough to reflect this in some way, i.e. acknowledge that the risk is shared in this venture. They should at least feel embarrassed that they have failed to deliver - they are after all claiming to be expert in their field, otherwise why would you pay them?

  6. #6
    you have to look at it in a different way, many people off this forum have been taken for a walk for 90 - 120 at least that walk is 30 cheaper. I think you have to choose who you go with very carefully, ask before you buy, I have never bought a days stalking, but if I did, I would want a guarantee of seeing a shootable deer, if I did not get a shot through my own fault then I pay up. And I don,t want to here " in hunting/stalking you cannot have a guarantee " you should at least see a deer even three fields away.

  7. #7
    in theroy you shouldnt pay at all unless you actualy shoot a deer as you wouldnt go into a shop pay for somthing at the counter then go in the isles to look for it and when its not there just be told badluck but sorry theres no refund, in reality many people who offer stalking do it as there job and cant afford to not get paid because you turnt up in a rusley binliner of a jacket scared everything away apart from the one which was deaf and you then missed as you zeroed your rifle in in the dark with your eyes shut. with all this said tho i personaly think if youve been out on a stalk not seen a single deer through no fault of your own then the stalker should be thinking of giving you a second chance on the house as they havnt done there job im sure many others will disagree but if your paying the money you would expect at least a chance and if i fluff it by poor stalking or a bad shot then thats my tuff t1tty

  8. #8
    This type of thread has been done before and my suggestion would be to go with who you want to chose for the price you want to pay. If I had to pay for guided stalking I would do my home work and find who gives the best service and return regardless of cost. I would save and pay what he or she asked for knowing that others were happy with there outings. The shot fee is part of his or her service and you have not got to take a stalk with them if you do not want, you can choose a stalk with someone who does not charge said fee.

  9. #9
    Morgy, Do you work for nothing? Thought not so why would you expect a guide to do the same? 4 hour stalk @ 15/hour (remembering that the guide is working unsociable hours ) = 60. This 60 is his gross payment for 4 hours work. Fuel, tax,N.I., clothing etc still to be deducted. His knowledge and professionalism is what you are paying for. Getting you onto a deer maybe easy or more difficult depending on many factors. Unless the ground is top quality and has plenty of deer to go at I am not sure that any guide can guarantee a shot. A bad day and despite the best efforts of the guide no shot is presented, is he still not entitled to be paid, after all he is working for you. A shot fee of say 30 puts his fee up to 22.50/hour. For this bit extra I have no doubt he would either gralloch or at least assist with gralloching the deer and it's extraction. I think it should be looked at this way. Shot fees should be named upfront so that you know what the total cost is. The guides fee for a 4 hour stalk is 90. If he fails to get you a deer bearing in mind that the "failure" could be down to you (inability to stalk efficiently or bad shot) he charges you a discounted fee of 60. Sounds pretty fair to me.

  10. #10
    Hi Basil, a sharing of the risk doesn't have to be equal and I would recognise that there are costs to be covered. I see your comment about VAT and would therefore assume that you run a more professional operation in which case you would offset may of the costs as business expenses (they still have to be earned) and almost certainly reflect on a blank stalk to retain a good client.
    Those that are doing it as a cash side line may not be so professional.

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