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Thread: Tyoical day stalking

  1. #1

    Smile Tyoical day stalking

    As you probably know by now I'm trying to find out as much as I can, for my upcoming trip to the UK. I'll be hunting in Sothern England, with possible trips elswhere. The main game will be Roe, with Muntjac and Fallow if the oppertunity arises. At this time, and this is subgect to change, I'll be hunting in either May or August. I have learned that there are long days at that time of the year. Shooting starts early, for 3-4 hours, a mid day break and 3-4 more hours in the evening. I know that Stalking and High Seats are the two methods used. I have pretty much figured out what High Seat hunting is because it's pretty much how I hunt here in Texas. What I'm not exactly sure is what Stalking intails. I know that different Stalkers probally hunt differently, depending on weather, terrain &etc. This being said, would someone give me what a typical day, or two, might entail? Obviously I need to discuss this with my Stalker, but your help will give me an idea of the questions to ask. At this time, I plan on using my 7x57(.275Rigby), but I might decide to hire one locally. Suggestions on gear and clothing would also be appreciated. Are there any web articles, magazines or books that you would recommend? Thanks for your help, capt david

  2. #2
    There will be a lot of members better qualified than me to provide advice, but I'll give it a go. Your 7x57 should be fine, you'll also need a pair of binoculars - around 8x42 would do the job, and stalking sticks (a double pair is probably easiest to use). Gloves and a hat are also pretty much essential, as is midge repellant. Other than that drab clothing and a pair of boots; the weather is unpredictable, so bear in mind that it might be wet.

    If you want to read up a bit, try "A year in the Woods" by Colin Elford, it gives a good overview of woodland stalking in the UK, rather than being a "how to" guide. Graham Downing's latest book (Practical Woodland Deer Stalking), Charles St John's Muntjac - Managing an Alien Species, & Humble Pie by Richard Prior would also be worthwhile having a look at.
    Last edited by Moonraker68; 27-02-2011 at 19:09.

  3. #3
    I havent been stalking for very long but the best advice I was given was to stalk slowly. By slowly I mean if you break sweat due to anything other than the weather you're probably going too fast.
    Practice using sticks and getting your rifle into a shooting position quietly and quickly, woodland stalking is often now you see it now you dont.
    Practice shooting an accurate shot after a good walk just to be sure you are stable for when the chance comes for real.
    If you can, get out take a brisk walk (at least 30mins) every day between now and when you cross the pond, it'll help build the fitness levels up.
    If you're going up a high seat please check with your stalker that it is built to take your weight, no disrespect meant by that, I just remember from a previous post that you're about 300lb.
    I would take the time to read some of the reports in the articles/reports section to get an idea of whats involved.
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  4. #4
    By the middle of August in southern England sunrise is about 0650 and sunset about 2130 so the days are not overly long. Mid-May gives a sunrise of 0615 and sunset about 2150.

    Further north and in June, say somewhere like Stornoway, the longest day gives sunrise about 0520 and sunset about 2330 though it never really gets dark.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by captdavid View Post
    As you probably know by now I'm trying to find out as much as I can, for my upcoming trip to the UK. I'll be hunting in Sothern England, with possible trips elswhere. The main game will be Roe, with Muntjac and Fallow if the oppertunity arises. At this time, and this is subgect to change, I'll be hunting in either May or August. I have learned that there are long days at that time of the year. Shooting starts early, for 3-4 hours, a mid day break and 3-4 more hours in the evening. I know that Stalking and High Seats are the two methods used. I have pretty much figured out what High Seat hunting is because it's pretty much how I hunt here in Texas. What I'm not exactly sure is what Stalking intails. I know that different Stalkers probally hunt differently, depending on weather, terrain &etc. This being said, would someone give me what a typical day, or two, might entail? Obviously I need to discuss this with my Stalker, but your help will give me an idea of the questions to ask. At this time, I plan on using my 7x57(.275Rigby), but I might decide to hire one locally. Suggestions on gear and clothing would also be appreciated. Are there any web articles, magazines or books that you would recommend? Thanks for your help, capt david
    Hello David.

    A typical day will require you getting up in plenty of time to be out on the ground as the light is just gathering, in August this may be 4am start. When you get back from the mornings stalk you may want to get your head down and rest for a while as the evening stalk might not start till 8pm or even 9pm depending on what you are shooting and the habits of the deer on the ground, with some deer not actually starting to move while the last 15-20 minutes of light, but the stalker will know his ground.

    You shouldn`t have a problem using an estate rifle but you will be required and it would be best practice to test drive it before stalking to see how good you are, generally 3 shots in a 4 inch circle at 100 metres.

    Clothing. Anything dark coloured or camo that doesn`t rustle when you walk past a twig or branch, and also something that is waterproof but isn`t too warm to wear as the 2 months you are planning are our summer months, especially the latter, and can get hot.

    The stalker will look after you and make sure you know how to conduct yourself, especially safety wise and he should know his ground well.

    Good luck.

    wadas
    Last edited by wadashot; 27-02-2011 at 19:25.

  6. #6
    A high seat is what you would call a tree stand. Stalking is the same as your hunting at ground level. The professional stalker is the same as your guide/outfitter. The main differences are as follows:

    1) The sport is called stalking not shooting, there is a concentration on getting to within a fairly close range of your target, long range shooting is not encouraged and for the woodland species a typical range is 50 - 150 yards. You will be on the ground before it gets light (or before dark) walking around quietly looking for a suitable deer.

    2) You will be going out with a specific target in mind defined by sex, age and/or trophy quality.

    3) We do not need to wear the orange hat/tabard so common in the US as you will mostly be stalking on private not public land and there will rarely be anyone else (legally) hunting in the area that you will be hunting. Your stalker will usually own or lease the ground that you are on and will decide what can be shot. We do however have to be careful of other members of the public who might be using a public access footpath or bridleway (for horses) that allows access over otherwise private ground.

    4) The UK is a small country and most stalking is a short distance from your hotel or base, you will not be "packing in" anywhere. Only in the north or Scotland are you likely to be completely away from areas where people live. For this reason great emphasis is placed on making a safe shot with a solid background and sky-lined or moving deer are not shot at.

    5) Our seasons are much longer and there are no tags or limits assigned by the government. The limit is decided by the stalker in terms of what he wants to take off the ground each season. For example you can shoot roe bucks from 1st April to 31st October in England or Wales and roe does for the other part of the year. Muntjac have no closed season at all.

    6) Our firearms laws are very tight and if you want to bring your own rifle you'll need to get the paperwork sorted well in advance, ask your stalker to help with this. It is legal to use the "estate rifle" and in practice this means you can use a rifle provided by the stalker.

    7) You'll need to show the stalker that you can put three shots in a 4" circle at 100 yards before you can fire at a live target.

    8) Trophy animals tend to be left to do their business until just past their prime and herds are often managed for quality, i.e. poor animals are taken out to avoid them getting into the gene pool.
    Last edited by paul k; 27-02-2011 at 20:26.

  7. #7
    Again, I know that every Guide/stalker is different. Does one go high seat hunting one outing and Stalking the next, or is it a combination? I have a hard to fit foot. I usualy hunt in a Gore/Tex waterproof ankle boot. Is this OK? capt david

  8. #8
    Hi David

    Not much i can add to the above comments.

    But what part of southern england will you be based in, and can you be a bit more specific about what month it will be ?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by captdavid View Post
    Again, I know that every Guide/stalker is different. Does one go high seat hunting one outing and Stalking the next, or is it a combination? I have a hard to fit foot. I usualy hunt in a Gore/Tex waterproof ankle boot. Is this OK? capt david
    A lot depends on the ground. In dense woodland it is more common to use a high seat overlooking breaks in the trees where deer might come out into the open as it is often difficult to get close enough to deer on the ground to get a clear (and safe) shot. Also, in a populated area shooting down from a high seat is a lot safer than shooting horizontally. On ground with a mixture of woodland and farmland you may do more actual walking around looking for deer moving between the woods and the fields and on some you might do a bit of both, an hour in a high seat then a walk around if nothing has shown up.

    It wouldn't be a great deal different from hunting whitetail in the corn fields/woodlands of Delaware/Michigan or other similar states.

    As long as your footwear is comfortable enough for a fair bit of walking and you can put your feet down quietly your Gore/Tex ankle boots will be fine.
    Last edited by paul k; 27-02-2011 at 20:29.

  10. #10
    One thing I might add captdavid is that in the case where you are the paying customer then you will have some control over the circumstances and details. I recall that you said you were a little unfit and so not looking for hard walking and it might be reasonable to define that for the person you pay to take you out (assuming paid days in the normal run of things) so that it is clear from the outset. While there is no question that there will be some things you will need to adapt to it is also the case that you can tell your professional stalker what you will and will not be doing. The stalker might have to inform you that this will limit your chances or it may not be possible to do what you ask but at least everyone is up front on what is expected and what will take place.

    It is also the case that what a stalker might define as easy walking might be pretty extreme for you, though that is unlikely in a woodland/lowland situation, so it would be best to be clear on all that sort of stuff before you go. You might also care the ask the stalker exactly what he would like you to bring with you and also what he would not like to see you arrive with.

    Scottish hill stalking, for example, can mean long walks on rough ground up steep hills and then a long drag home however some estates can take you up the hill in an argocat and can use the argo to recover the carcase so even though you might think yourself unfit with suitable preparation and asking the right questions you might be up to a carefully planned day on the hill in Scotland for some real stalking :-)

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