Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Pointers for novice stalkers looking to book an outing

  1. #1

    Pointers for novice stalkers looking to book an outing

    As we have had a recent thread by 223 (Dave) on the site about a friend of his being ripped off by a stalker I thought it might help to put a few pointers up for those who are novice stalkers, or those that stalk but a few times a year, and are wishing or looking to book some stalking. I am sure someone will possibly come up with a few more to add to the list, but I hope this will help give some of out newer stalkers some guidance if they are looking to book a stalk.



    • Always ask for the complete cost of the stalk, most stalks being 3 hours AM and 3 hours PM. The average cost per lowland stalk is between £60 and £90, with overall £75 being the average I would say.
    • What is the kill fee on each beast?
    • What is the charge for any venison you may want to purchase?
    • What happens if I wound or loose a beast (usually there will be a charge for the loss of venison and the trophy fee if its a Buck or Stag?
    • What is the charge if I badly shoot a beast (gut, haunch, saddle) normally you will be charged for this?
    • Does the guide have a suitable deer dog. If you do wound a deer you need a GOOD Dog, not someone's pet pooch to try and retrieve your deer, especially if its a good trophy beast. Or are they able to call upon UKSHA or a similar group of guys with good dogs to help.
    • Does the guide have suitable extraction equipment. You do not want to turn up to find they have a mini to extract a Fallow buck out of a 100 acre wood.
    • Does the guide have the necessary experience for the species of deer you will be stalking, if you are unsure ask for references. If they are reluctant to provide these walk away.(Again many claim to have experience in all the UK species, when they do not)
    • Does the guide have Level 1 and 2. Not that this is vitally important but it does prove to me whether they have put the time in to make sure they are proficient to a certain level!
    • Does the guide have COMMERCIAL INSURNACE. Many do not so check first, as you may not be covered and they certainly will not be.
    • Does the guide live up to all they put on their website. (Some claim to have managed or are managing all the 6 species in the UK, and I know for a fact that many have not and are being economical with the truth)
    • If you are still not sure ask around, the stalking world is a small one.
    • Get everything in an email if needs be or in a contract, if they are reluctant to do this, walk away.
    • Do not be fooled by some idiot asking you to take neck or head shots only on any beast. Take the shot you are comfortable with. Most good guides will not encourage you to take a shot unless it is completely safe to do so. They know the ground, you do not. Head and neck shots should only be taken by someone who is proficient with their rifle and has good experience, and at a sensible range. Guides should not be encouraging any client to take risky shots, especially novice stalkers.
    • DO not expect to see or shoot deer every time you go out, even with a good guide. That's stalking you cant shoot them all. But on the flip side make sure by speaking to other past clients that the ground does hold deer and is not a 200 acre farm that has been shot out.
    • Any good guide will have access to at least 2 to 6 species of deer on their ground with several thousand acres to stalk over. CHECK again and ask questions before parting with your hard earned cash.
    • If the day or outing is a complete blank and no deer are seen, the guide should be decent enough to offer a reduced or free trip back to you. ( It does not happen often with me, but if so I always offer a free stalk or high seat outing to the client)
    • Lastly if its to good to be true in a deal, it generally is!!


    After many years in this business it seems we have a number of newbies taking clients out. Not that I am against this, but for those clients who are saving their hard earned money to go stalking once a month it comes as a thorough disappointment when they are taken for a ride.

    So check the offer out, ask questions, ask for references, ask for proof of commercial insurance, and ask for an email with everything outlined, prices etc. And if you are still in doubt walk away.

    On the other side you will sometimes get an awkward client who has no idea what they are doing and can be problematic, however they are few and far between and in general most folk are a pleasure to be out with.

    I hope the above helps.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  2. #2
    Malc

    Excellent but could |I add?

    Cancellation fee (both sides)

    Method for maintaining contact prior to booking/day/last minute arrangements.

    Unavoidable occuences eg heavy overnight snow, fog and alike

    Does the guide hold the legal stalking rights?

    Trophy prep fees including measuring/certificates

    Failing to take shot/missing/equipement malfunction

    Just noted that the above have come up in threads over the years.

    D

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member 223's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Nr Newport (shrops)
    Posts
    1,919
    thankyou Malcolm thats very kind of you to take the time to write that up , I think that will be a great help to the site

    could you make that a sticky thread ????

    ATB

    Dave

  4. #4
    Incredibly sad that such should prove necessary.

    The only question I’ve ever felt the need to ask, since FCS dropped the charging of trophy fees back in the late 80’s, is “what time do I need to get out of bed”!

    Ditto my most pleasant outings with Richard W.

    Cheers

    K

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyres View Post
    Malc

    Excellent but could |I add?

    Cancellation fee (both sides)

    Method for maintaining contact prior to booking/day/last minute arrangements.

    Unavoidable occuences eg heavy overnight snow, fog and alike

    Does the guide hold the legal stalking rights?

    Trophy prep fees including measuring/certificates

    Failing to take shot/missing/equipement malfunction

    Just noted that the above have come up in threads over the years.

    D
    Thanks,

    Cancellation fees are something I had forgotten. I charge £25 deposit which is non refundable. Basically because I have been let down a few times (its rare) but it is usually because someone has lost their job or a person is ill. Usually I will try to re book them, especially if they have had a family member die or are hospitalised. However every pro has had a time waster now and again, and quite often they have done it to other pro stalkers as well, so their name usually gets around and they back themselves into a corner.

    I do not charge for missing, everyone misses despite some thinking they are super stalker and never miss. If they fail to take a shot that's up to the client. If you have put deer in front of them at a reasonable distance (100yds) and they cant make the shot then in my book the guide has done his job. If they are a total novice and have never shot a deer (and I have had many) then a great deal of patience is required, not rushing them and certainly not asking to undertake stupid shots.

    Having said that I have had one or two who have had serious buck fever, uncontrollable shaking, I have had them kneel and pray after killing a beast, laugh and cry.

    Trophy measurement is something not many guides will undertake unless the are a CIC measurer. A few are maybe, but that would come later after a 90 day drying period. No client would expect that to be in the stalk fee. If they do then they are taking the p/ss.

    Holding the stalking rights is something that can be a bit of a problem. If a client asked to see this it would be the first time for me. True there are some chancers that have taken people on ground they should not be on, which could have nightmare results if the client is caught with a rifle. I suppose one could ask to see a copy of the lease, but as I said I have never been asked.

    Cancelling because of bad weather happens, not often as most have so much looked forward to going out on their 2 or maybe 3 stalks a year that come rain or shine they still want to go. I would try and re book them again.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  6. #6
    Add to the list:

    Check that the guide actually has the deer stalking rights on the land where he takes you! ; doesn't expect you to pay for his diesel, breakfast, coffee, lunch, tea and evening meal in the local Pub as well, and doesn't tout for tips when you settle.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  7. #7
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    7,000
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Perhaps another to include is trophy/head preparation?

    I'm not talking here of CIC/BASC measurement, but long/short cutting of the head, boiling, bleaching, etc.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sikamalc View Post
    Thanks,

    Cancellation fees are something I had forgotten. I charge £25 deposit which is non refundable. Basically because I have been let down a few times (its rare) but it is usually because someone has lost their job or a person is ill. Usually I will try to re book them, especially if they have had a family member die or are hospitalised. ......
    This is a good point, I had two stalks booked with different SD trade members a couple of years back but my wife contracted cancer and the need to care for her prevented me taking the stalks, both of the stalkers offered to roll the booking forward into the following season with no issues or extra charges. I would have been happy to pay something notwithstanding that I cancelled several months before the due date, but you can't say fairer than that.

  9. #9
    The one thing I object to is trophy fees. Before the stalk the guide should say they have a superb buck that is being retained. If seen you will be advised and he is not to be shot. Otherwise it is fair game. A year old roe might have an attractive six points a mature buck a misshapen crown but they are acts of nature, wild, on the move. What is a trophy buck here today is two estates away tomorrow and culled as a pest. The justification for trophy fees on roe, not reds, is a rip off.

  10. #10
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    7,000
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo123p View Post
    The one thing I object to is trophy fees......The justification for trophy fees on roe, not reds, is a rip off.
    Why do you view it as different for roe compared to reds? I can't see the logic in that

    Both species are wild, both may have youngsters with good heads and older animals with poor heads, and both species can wander off one estate onto another.

    Please explain?
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

Similar Threads

  1. Available Attention all novice stalkers
    By sikamalc in forum Training Courses and Materials
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-03-2012, 08:59
  2. Available Beginner/Novice Stalkers 2 Day Course In Fallow Culling NO BAG LIMIT ON CULL ANIMALS
    By Buckbones in forum Training Courses and Materials
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-02-2012, 17:32
  3. Available Free stalking day(2 outing) for a novice
    By 223 in forum Deer Stalking Opportunities
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 19-01-2012, 20:28
  4. Book Recommendation for a Novice
    By Gunner in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-10-2008, 19:10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •