Stalking Experience

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Well, I thought it was time to do something properly and also to write a blog slightly related to deer stalking instead of talking about paper work and such stuff. I haven't even posted about my variation issues, but that's another story for when it is all sorted.

I have been talking to a couple of the trade members on here about the stalking that they offer in my area and finally after some deliberation decided the best thing to do was go for one of Barry's (Elmer Fudd) experience days.

The day is set out like this; zero rifle on dsc1 target, complete dsc1 shooting assessment using a deer target, go on a simulated stalk, where the emphasis is to look for the deer, once spotted, assess the shot and if safe, take it on.

I met Barry at the farm entrance and up we drove - Barry seemed quite confident and a teeny bit excited that they may be laying up in the field we were going to go in due the sunny weather...this set my heart racing as to be honest, just the opportunity to see deer would have been a bonus.

It's funny how I see deer on a regular basis near me but it has not brought on the same feeling as it did at this point. There must be something intrinsic when hunting that sets the heart racing.

So we decamped into the field (no deer) and set up the zeroing target - we went from 25, 50, 100. A bit of fiddling and we got there, I was canting the rifle at one point which caused some shots not to land where we expected, but with Barry's advice, it all looked good.

On to the shooting test the deer silhouette was set up, due to the nature of the grass that we were lying in, there was a bit of obstruction and whilst I could effectively see the target area, Barry set a challenge, two in the head. He explained that the target area was a similar size so If I could hit the deer there it would be in the same as planting one in the 4 inch circle.

I impressed myself at this point with two shots side by side in it's noggin at 100 yards. Barry did stress never to take a shot like that if you are not confident and I also said I would be more comfortable aiming for the traditional shoulder shot on a real deer it was at this point that Barry also pointed out that the deer do not have targets painted on them and sometimes they are in positions where shots are not possible. Anyhow shooting test completed and passed on to the simulated stalk.

We went round to the woods and Barry showed me all the signs of deer movement in and out of the woods, discussed the boundaries and talked about what we were going to do. We discussed the safety aspects of shooting in a pair. Climbing obstacles and the rifle being infront and also talked about the components of successful woodland stalking.

Off we went into the woods, first obstacle a fence, so here was I making the rifle safe to be passed to Barry so I could get over the fence, when Barry stopped me - "first thing to do is to check before you enter the wood" so I stopped and glassed the wood, about 40 yards to my left was a deer (silhouette) now it was the first of a few times Barry told me to use anything but the sticks - so resting on the fence post I dispatched the target.

In we went and Barry talked to me about how to walk slowly, glass lots and be careful where you tread. Second deer located and I faffed around like a loon trying to get my sticks out - at this point Barry suggested that the deer was gone and that I could have used the tree next to me!! so I did and second deer down!

Next one I saw I moved down to the ground and used a fallen tree to aid me, I was praised at this point and third deer was shot....Barry then said I had missed one where we just came from, sure enough on taking more time I saw the deer he was talking about and moved into position and shot the fourth.

Last deer was set in a difficult place, with only a head shot presenting itself. I missed at this point, which underlined the need to be totally confident to take these shots on.

Zeroing, test and simulated stalk done, it was off for the real deal...
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