hendrix's rifle

From 0 to dsc2!

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Well. Here goes my first blog. First, a bit about how I got in to it.
I started out shooting many years ago with my old man at around 6 years old shooting air rifles and pistols in the garden at targets. At the age of 12 I got a job at a local fish farm. Whilst there i did some trapping (mink and rats) and bit of shooting. By 13 years old my dad bought me my first air rifle, my trusty smk in 22. From then on it was plinking with the occasional rat. About 3 months passed and when I'd got to grips with iron sights my dad put a scope on, a Hawke eclipse 3-12x40? The rats were then in trouble. Then squirrels. Then crows and jackdaws. The more I was shooting the more I understood the need for management. Fast forward a few years. I was asked to control the rabbit population on a local golf course so happily obliged. After realising these were pretty clued up I decided to put in for my fac. I applied for a 17hmr for vermin and 22wmr for fox. After a few months of shooting with these rimfires I established whilst the 22 was a good rifle it didn't have the knock down power I needed on the foxs I was then asked to control. Roll on variation for a 223. After shooting a great deal of targets and working up loads for the 223 I grassed my first fox. It wasn't long after this I was thinking about deer management. I had in the past 'stalked' in to the local reds with an airgun in my arms wondering what it would be like to take such a beast. The closest I managed was around 7 yards away on a brow sat watching. It was all these years with the airgun I learnt about field craft and had become surprisingly good at staying down and being quiet.

After contemplating going on a paid stalk I found someone to take me out whilst I was on holiday in Gloucestershire. This gentlemans SD name is redcoat. I woke up in the very early hours of the mornings stalk, fag, coffee and out of the cottage just before 6am for the hours drive to where he was. Arrived near his place as it was just turning light and had a quick chat with him before heading to his place. Upon arrival I had a smoke and a quick chat about what the crack would be for the day. Into the pajero and off across a couple of fields and down a track to where we would be stalking. I was using his tikka m595 I think it was in .270 flavour. From that moment on I was hooked. Thanks redcoat, cost me a good chunk of money! so we set off on foot through a lovely wood, glassing infront every couple of steps taken. It was now just light. Around 10 minutes in a roe jumped out of cover and legged it down the ride we were walking along. Looks like we're off to a good start. We continued walking very steadily until he spotted another roe hidden in the trees. No safe shot presented itself and it moved on soon enough. Turned Around, back down the ride still glassing as we went. We took a left down another track and after a couple of minutes he spotted a muntjac walking in the trees just outside of some bushes. Now id never seen a muntjac before so I couldn't believe just how small they we're! Cute little things. After spotting a couple more roe does and another muntjac and having finally got one in the sights while on sticks with no shot I started to feel a bit disheartened. We decided to have a sit down and see if anything moved across a very well used path. Nothing moved for around half an hour and with a blistering wind coming in I expected my chances were getting slimmer and slimmer. After a half hour we continued through a lovely piece of woodland and spotted a group of 5 or so roe sitting at the bottom of this particular wood with only a track separating them. After trying to stalk in to them only for them to bolt I felt even worse. Knowing there were deer there but nothing presented itself is a bad feeling and quite a let down. Still, spirits high with seeing some deer we sat for another 10 minutes. I got up and turned around after waiting for what felt like an hour to see a roe for standing behind me at about 70 yards or so. I poked redcoat however he has also seen it. A bit of shuffling and he passed me the rifle once we were in a good spot. Happy with the shot, safety off and the .270 round echoed down the woods. The doe was standing but not looking to happy. She lay down, with her head on a fallen tree. At this point my heart was going 10 to the dozen knowing this deer wasn't going to go peacefully as she was. On the bag, middle of the skull and let the second round fly. Solid hit and she was gone. Still feeling pretty bad we sat for a few minutes to make sure and a quick handshake before we got to her. Lovely roe doe, a good size aswell. Time for a quick picture and after redcoat complimented how quiet o was stating 'I forgot you were here a couple of times' not bad for a 16 stone lad in his work boots. Upon inspection I found the bullets impact was slightly low, I hadn't taken in to account the incline I was shooting. If I aimed an inch higher it would have been a good heart/lung shot however it did take part of the vitals. Felt a bit better after that. Inspections complete, deer in a roe sack and on my back for the couple of mile track to the truck up a big muddy hill. Felt great when I got there! A quick lesson on butchery and some advise on how long to leave it before eating and a big thankyou and I was on my way back to the holiday cottage. The hour or so back flew by and I got there in a great mood to be greeted by her and my 2 dogs wondering what smell was on me. Deer out of her fiesta.... yes, her fiesta... and on to a plastic sheet for the butchery. Getting half way through I spyed my German shepherd, the youngest one (had just gone her 1st bday) pick up one of its legs and run like a bat out of hell! It kept her quiet for the evening so I wasn't too fussed. So that day is the day I got hooked and that's also the day I wanted to be a bit more serious about deer and deer management.

6 months later I looked in to my dsc1. I spoke to a few people and more importantly Mike Dickinson at calton moor, decided to book in for it. This happened last week. After many many hours revising, going through the book, revising some more and getting quizzed by my partner some more I thought I was ready. I made my way up to calton moor the week before I was due, firstly to find where it actually it and second to pick Mike's brains and ask for some tips which he was only too happy to do. Questions answered, shown around the place and feeling quite good I ventured home to do some more revising. Through the next week my head was in the book at every moment I could. So, Sunday morning, up bright and early (one thing I've noticed and don't agree with stalking related is early mornings!!!) I made my way up calton moor, getting there in good time. First things First, a smoke and ask what the crack was for the day as I was only doing the assessment due to lack of time and money unfortunatly. I got told to make myself at home in the classroom, help myself to a brew and get my book out for a short while. I did what I was told and got my book out for that last minute revision session! First test, game hygiene. I had smashed this whilst preparing and done well indeed so I filled out the blanks (name, address) and set to work. Some 15 minutes later I had completed the first booklet. On to the second booklet. Within 35 minutes or so I had completed both of them with only a couple of questions holding me up. Another go through and answered all I could. I was happy with that. Quick smoke and a drink and I was ready for the next step. In this case it was the shooting exam. I borrowed Mikes rifle for this one chambered in 308. 1 shot to see where it was shooting then 3 in the zeroing target. The more I shot the more my nerves grew for some reason. Explained to Mike about nerves and he said not too worry and carry on as I was doing ok. Panic over! 2 shots in the deer at 100, 2 kneeling at 70 and 2 off sticks at 40 I think it was and that was that. I knew I'd passed that section as I'd seen the target. Happy days! Feeling a lot better now about the rest of it yet another smoke to settle the nerves. Now, deer ID. Sat down and started going through the slides to get hung up on one. I couldn't quite make out what it was. I decided to have a guess, it was 1 of 2 possible things and it turns out I was wrong so 19 out of 20 still not bad at all! Lastly was the mock stalk and safety questions and the examiner was more than happy with my answers to why I wouldn't shoot x deer due to the lack of back stop. I received an 'unofficial' nod and well done and I knew then it had gone well! Relieved to say the least! A thankyou to Mike and the other gentleman(can't remember his name as I'm crap with names) and I was on my way home. Once again a big thanks to Mike for the tips he gave me! So, a few days later I start enquiring about my dsc2. Who to call? Well, Mike at calton moor! He answered my questions and explained the best thing to do, all I need now is my dsc1 certificate back before I can register and hopefully il be out with Mike on a paid stalk and he can start signing me off for my dsc2.

If you've made it this far well done and sorry it's so bloody long. I will be back to update it when I've got my certificate back and started my dsc2. Hopefully all goes well!
Once again, a big thanks to redcoat off here and Mike and team at calton moor. I recommend there facilities and if you ever need advice he is always happy to help! Til next time. Shoot straight and happy hunting.
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  1. TreeWorks's Avatar
    Great read. Thanks for taking the time to share. Look forward to reading updates on your DSC2.
  2. hendrix's rifle's Avatar
    Cheers fella, took me a while. On my phone aswell! I will keep this updated with anything that crops up
  3. AN DU RU FOX's Avatar
    well done nice write up,keep us informed on the dsc2 i,m hovering about it as i was going to register last year but i was out of work.
  4. hendrix's rifle's Avatar
    An du ru fox, up this way permissions are easier to come by with dsc1 and 2, I'm not sure if it's farmers being drip fed it's the way to go sort of thing however. I'm planning on it for the learning aspect and being able to show im able to do what I have to in order to have a healthy, disease feee carcass in the chiller! I'm hoping it will open doors in the future, I'm looking into the forestry commission if they ever have a spot near me if you go for it good luck!