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Thread: some questions about stalking

  1. #1

    some questions about stalking

    Hi

    i would like to get into stalking deer and have been looking around this site and have been reading about DSC etc,and it all looks a tad expensive.

    i have never payed to shoot in my life apart from clay shooting as most of the time i am helping the land owner with vermin. Deer can do a lot of damage so could i help some one with there deer problem? below are a few questions i have thought of.


    1 do you need to pay to shoot deer ?

    2 do you need a mentor to gain a .243 and what can a mentor tech me ?

    3 how difficult is it to get a .243 on your FAC ?

    4 why are deer shot at such close range sub 300yds.300yds is nothing i can easily shoot a 4" group at 200yds with a .22LR

    5 do i need to have a .243 or would i be able to choose something like a 300win mag or a .338 for shooting deer.

    hope this is not to much for a second post

  2. #2
    I can't really help you on the first lot of questions as I only shoot vermin, but do know have a few thoughts on the calbre issue.

    I say this as my .22 does the job on foxes but as deer are more than four or five times the size I think the calibre should be at least twice as big, ie .44 or bigger.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fastmover45 View Post
    Hi

    i would like to get into stalking deer and have been looking around this site and have been reading about DSC etc,and it all looks a tad expensive.

    i have never payed to shoot in my life apart from clay shooting as most of the time i am helping the land owner with vermin. Deer can do a lot of damage so could i help some one with there deer problem? below are a few questions i have thought of.


    1 do you need to pay to shoot deer ?

    2 do you need a mentor to gain a .243 and what can a mentor tech me ?

    3 how difficult is it to get a .243 on your FAC ?

    4 why are deer shot at such close range sub 300yds.300yds is nothing i can easily shoot a 4" group at 200yds with a .22LR

    5 do i need to have a .243 or would i be able to choose something like a 300win mag or a .338 for shooting deer.

    hope this is not to much for a second post

    Hi there,

    Always good to see new people coming into deer stalking and management.

    You are right in that deer can do damage, but on the other hand they are also an asset - if managed correctly. They can be a very saleable asset, and many professionals and semi-professionals earn a living from taking people out stalking. If it's deer stalking you want to get into, then it would make sense to do some sort of training course, and DSC Level 1 is the obvious place to start.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. In most cases you will need to pay to shoot deer for the reasons I mention above, but by meeting the right people and proving your willingness to learn, it is possible to get deer stalking without having to pay.

    2. It's good to have somebody who can 'mentor' you, as you will learn a great deal from them - especially if they are experienced deer stalkers/managers. A 'mentor' can teach you the right way to stalk deer, and carry out humane culling of deer, and then later the correct methods of carcass handling, meat hygiene, disease recognition and inspection, and carcass storage. In general, the more you want to learn, then the more you will learn.

    3. It's not difficult to get a .243 if you go through the correct channels. Get an FAC after applying for one, and proving you have good reason.

    4. The 'sport' of deer stalking, is not about how far you can shoot to kill a deer. It is partly about using your fieldcraft in order to outwit an animal in its home environment. Secondly, deer stalking/management is (or should be) about selective management, i.e. removing poor, sick, injured or otherwise sub-standard deer from the herd. Long range shooting should NEVER be used to compensate for a lack of fieldcraft.

    5. You need to have a deer-legal calibre. That calibre is largely up to you. There are many opinions floating around about what calibre is best for which deer species. The best calibre for you is the one that you feel most confident with. If you have the confidence, then you will do well with it. My calibre of choice for everything from Muntjac to the biggest Reds would be a .30-06. On the other hand the late, great Lea MacNally used a .243 for almost all of his highland stalking. In a nutshell. All the deer-legal calibres are capable of doing the job well. It's up to you to make it happen.

    Hope this helps mate,

    Best regards,

    Mike
    (Director-Jelen Deer Services) www.jelendeer.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fastmover45 View Post
    1 do you need to pay to shoot deer ?

    2 do you need a mentor to gain a .243 and what can a mentor tech me ?

    3 how difficult is it to get a .243 on your FAC ?

    4 why are deer shot at such close range sub 300yds.300yds is nothing i can easily shoot a 4" group at 200yds with a .22LR

    5 do i need to have a .243 or would i be able to choose something like a 300win mag or a .338 for shooting deer.
    1. There are no legal fees involved in shooting deer, however you may have to pay for shooting deer either through the land permissions you have or by going on accompanied stalks.
    2. This depends on the conditions of your FAC for the calibre. If it stipulates you need a mentor, then yes.
    3. If you have good reason, and shooting deer is your reason it is only as difficult as to whether you are a suitable person or not. You will need a minium of .24 in England and Wales to shoot deer by law, so if you get permission to shoot deer, logically you would be granted .243 - others may form a view.
    4. If you can shoot sub 4" at 200yds with a .22 rimfire then that is impressive in its own right. I've been shooting for over 25 years, much of it in the forces and would tip my hat to the man that could shoot sub 4" in .22 rinfire at 200yds on a calm flat day.

    "If a sportsman, true you be, do not shoot where you cannot see"... The risks of you not seeing someone or something at ranges beyond 150yds are significant, the fact that your bullet will pas through a deer in most cases means you must be absolutely sure where that shot finishes its journey; this becomes increasingly more difficult and unpredicatble at range. Killing a large animal such as a deer at any range requires careful and precise shot placement, you may also need to fire a second a shot - now this shot against a wounded, running target at 300m - your 4" groups are not going to help you here.

    The further you are away from a target the greater the magnitude of error in the point of impact - generally speaking. Errors acumulate, including bullet MV, humidity, wind, destabilisation, unseen obstructions (such as grass etc at range) so stalkers shoot at ranges that reduce the risk but maximise the sport. In woodland stalking you'd be hard pushed to find a shot much over 70yds, in open fields this might stretch to 100-150m and on the open Glen even further, but these shots are not encouraged for the reasons of wounding hinted at earlier. Overall then, these 'closer ranges', and presume you are coming at this from a target rifle perspective, are for grounds of safety and highest possibility of a clean kill - plus you've got to find, and pick the deer once it has gone down!
    5. The calibres you speak of are incredibly powerful, and ordinarily used in military and law enforcement work, but not exclusively. The jump from .22 rf to .338 is something you would need to discuss, with pauses , with your FEO. The land would need to be suitable, bear in mind many military ranges cannot shoot .338 on them as it has a large ricochet danger area (up to 5.5km), furthermore you should be experienced with full bore rifles. It might make more sense to build up experience in actual stalking with a calibre you can handle; a .243 will kill as well as a .338 at 200 metres, furthermore it will be lighter to carry, kinder on the shoulder/cheek and more forgiving to the meat of your quarry.

    Hope this helps, amd sure many others will be along to reply too. Out of interest, what sort of full bore and rimfire shooting have you been doing so far?
    Last edited by RickoShay; 03-12-2010 at 00:29. Reason: tyops
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  5. #5
    Mentoring will depend on force area and previous experiance. It is advisable to get a paid stalk under your belt to start with then you get some experiance and a reciept to prove it.
    DSC is not a legal requirement but it is well worth the investment, not so much for the actual shooting aspect but how to recognise species and the selection process (it's not about going out and shooting the first deer you see)... what to do once you've shot it, and how to perform a gralloch without contaminating the meat, there are plenty youtube vids showing how not to do it and a few showing it done correctly.
    Lastly although .243 is well up to the job with the right bullet, it's not a beginners calibre IMO... light and fast is not necessarily better than say a .270 as shot placement is more crucial with a smaller projectile.

    Hope this helps.
    "It's halfway down the hill, directly below that tree next to a rock that looks like a bell-end"

    Good deals with ~ deako ~ sakowsm ~ dryan ~ 2734neil ~ mo ~ riggers ~ mmbeatle ~ seanct ~ an du ru fox

  6. #6
    Hi RickoShay

    Thank you for your compliment about my shooting.(i do try and shoot well)

    i hope this doesn't paint me in the light of clever dick but i am trying to learn.

    As for field craft it is quite good as i started with air rifles if you move slow and have real tree camo or use a mirror blind you could get close enough to a rabbit to pick it up.

    As for my Full Bore shooting experience it is not great,i have a very good understanding of the technical side of things like kinetic energy,ballistic constants,bullet types and reloading etc.but in saying that i did do some gamekeeper's helper for a 3 years at college and shot a .303 and a .308 quite regularly to keep fox's down but this was always under supervision as i didn't have an FAC at the time.

    now i have a .22LR of my own but i have always understood the more distance,more wind, shooting up hill or down hill, or in cold weather hot weather,and atmospheric pressure can affect where the shot goes.

    wouldn't it be more sensible to use something like a .338 with a subsonic load and a very heavy very soft bullet at close range as the BC is much better and the transfer of energy is better than the faster lighter .243 at close range as the bullet will go thought the deer and sending all its energy in the the hill side ,as most of the people that shoot deer reload is there the same restrictions on a .338 if you load the cartridge with a light load that could not shoot even at optimum angle 1.5km.

    i have just been reading some of the reply's to my original post and the sensuous/ gist i get from the DSC is that its not rifle safety its more on the meat safety,any one who can gut and prep a rabbit can do the same to a deer,abit more complicated i know but i have grown up with hunting and understanding of these sort of things are almost second nature.you get to know what looks right and what does not look right i.e. liver and gands ok i would need to know more about the drugs like m99 and who to tell if the poor beast has bovine TB.

    thanks

    andy

  7. #7
    Why would you need to know about Etorphine to go stalking?

  8. #8
    as i have said i am still learning

    well i have found you need to know which deer have been medicated so the don't enter the food chain and if the deer has been treated with m99 i don't think you can eat it for a period of time.

    from the bottom of the page
    Health: Deer health

    Treating disease with veterinary drugs is generally not recommended and there are a number of legal obligations which must be observed if wild deer are to be medicated.
    Last edited by fastmover45; 03-12-2010 at 19:16.

  9. #9
    second all the above....
    Quote Originally Posted by Pneudart View Post
    Hi there,

    Always good to see new people coming into deer stalking and management.

    You are right in that deer can do damage, but on the other hand they are also an asset - if managed correctly. They can be a very saleable asset, and many professionals and semi-professionals earn a living from taking people out stalking. If it's deer stalking you want to get into, then it would make sense to do some sort of training course, and DSC Level 1 is the obvious place to start.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. In most cases you will need to pay to shoot deer for the reasons I mention above, but by meeting the right people and proving your willingness to learn, it is possible to get deer stalking without having to pay.

    2. It's good to have somebody who can 'mentor' you, as you will learn a great deal from them - especially if they are experienced deer stalkers/managers. A 'mentor' can teach you the right way to stalk deer, and carry out humane culling of deer, and then later the correct methods of carcass handling, meat hygiene, disease recognition and inspection, and carcass storage. In general, the more you want to learn, then the more you will learn.

    3. It's not difficult to get a .243 if you go through the correct channels. Get an FAC after applying for one, and proving you have good reason.

    4. The 'sport' of deer stalking, is not about how far you can shoot to kill a deer. It is partly about using your fieldcraft in order to outwit an animal in its home environment. Secondly, deer stalking/management is (or should be) about selective management, i.e. removing poor, sick, injured or otherwise sub-standard deer from the herd. Long range shooting should NEVER be used to compensate for a lack of fieldcraft.

    5. You need to have a deer-legal calibre. That calibre is largely up to you. There are many opinions floating around about what calibre is best for which deer species. The best calibre for you is the one that you feel most confident with. If you have the confidence, then you will do well with it. My calibre of choice for everything from Muntjac to the biggest Reds would be a .30-06. On the other hand the late, great Lea MacNally used a .243 for almost all of his highland stalking. In a nutshell. All the deer-legal calibres are capable of doing the job well. It's up to you to make it happen.

    Hope this helps mate,

    Best regards,

    Mike
    (Director-Jelen Deer Services) www.jelendeer.com

  10. #10
    Andy, I see you are in Cheshire..........., you may wish to avail yourself of the large experience base that exists with those of us who have been, shall we say, through their hoops? Sikadog, & Miffy, myself should be able to prepare you for the challenges ahead. Steve.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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