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Thread: The reality of stalking

  1. #1

    The reality of stalking

    Well, last night at approx 18:00 as we lost the light I learnt what a bitter pill it can be to swallow to have paid nearly £Ton for the pleasure of sitting in a high seat for a couple of hours, freezing your nuts off, and not having the chance to even raise your rifle - compounded by the fact this was my first "guided" outing.

    But this, unfortunately, we all know is the reality of stalking!

    I've not done a write up yet, mainly because I've not bloody well shot anything yet, but here's a quick summary...

    Context - I've owned my rifle now about 2 years. Have a little land (30 acres + 70 acres) with a few munties on, both require high seats. I've built a high seat (some might recall some 9 months ago) but due to children, demanding wife, times to travel to the shooting grounds, work commitments, etc. etc. I've never had the seat up nor have I actually laid my cross hairs on a munty on either land. So, we discussed my predicament (my wife and I) at Xmas and decided the best option was to pay for a few outings, at least I'd "up" my chance of success

    Thursday 3rd March.
    Arrive at 3pm. Quick coffee. Down the the range for a quick prove-you-can-shoot-straight test. Put 3 rounds through the same hole at 100m

    Guide tells me there's a block of wood that has recently been cut back to allow regeneration and he needs to make sure the munty population is kept down so the regeneration is a success.

    We park up 200m or so from the wood, get kitted up, and begin our stalk in to find an appropriate high seat. Millions of hares, not seen so many in years !

    After about 15 mins heading down a ride we bump a munty not 20m away, but it is in an area of wood that has not been thinned and we see it's hairy white arse bouncing gaily off into the wood without any chance of a shot.

    We head on through the wood, see through the trees about 6 roe moving along the outside perimeter of the wood, but they're a good 250m away. And then after another 5 mins we catch a glimse of a munty about 100m away shuffling through the undergrowth. Again, impossible to get a shot on it from where we were stood due to the barriers between us and it. Stalking closer and it scarpered.

    We eventually arrived at a highseat overlooking a large area of ground that had been thinned considerably - made the area look kind of dead - and I soon found out it made the area feel kind of dead too. We parked our bums up the tree and settled for what turned out to be a long, hard, fruitless wait.

    Nothing moved, not even birds seemed to sing nearby (we could hear distant pheasants & other wildlife). It was odd seeing almost no wildlife around us, kind of erie, and made the wait so much longer. At about 17:55, almost no light left, I spotted movement about 100m away, but alas on closer inspection it was a young roe buck. Shortly after I heard the hoot of an owl and I knew time was nearly up...

    At about 18:00 we called it a day and I went home a few quid lighter and still a virgin...

    (this was written in no way to criticise my guide and I'm sure he's as gutted as I - that's life unfortuntely)

  2. #2
    Established Poster
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Canadian expat in Cambridge
    As much as it is disheartening to hear of stalks not going your way, it is refreshing to hear an account that isn't perfect. Far too often on YouTube, in magazines, on the blogosphere, etc., only the ideal scenarios are published. I've always found it amusing that a 22 minute program, where the host bags a XXX point trophy Y, the narrator slips in that they had been in camp for weeks and weeks without success: weeks of effort = 22 minutes. So while I can empathise with your disappointment, I am glad you have shared your experience. Best of luck next time!

    Cheers, YT.

  3. #3
    I'v lost count the number of times I have driven the 80mile round trip to my stalking ground and not even seen a deer.

    It makes the eventual shot even more enjoyable.

  4. #4
    Bad luck stig, but as I'm sure everyone knows, it's the blank outings that make us appreciate the successful outings all the more!


  5. #5
    He wasn't sufficiently gutted to knock a few quid off the £100 you were charged to shoot feck all. £50 an hour to sit in a high seat and see nothing?. Nice work if you can get it.

    I hate this aspect of stalking. I fully realise that there are no guarantees, but it is seriously disheartening to be charged full whack not to see a thing.

    To be fair, one trip is not a representative sample, you need to go three or four times and see how stuff evens out.

    I once went to Scotland to "stalk" Roe. I booked six sessions over three days. Financially I was pushing all I could afford as I really wanted to shoot a Roe. I specifically told the guy I did not want to spend three days in a conifer plantation, sat in a highseat. Guess what? This blokes idea of guiding was to drive you to the gate of a wood, and say walk down there and get in a seat. I went home on the second day after exchanging bad language with this scumbag.

    I have still to shoot a Roe six years later.

    Looked at an advert yesterday and it was just a menu of how much the guy would charge for every cm of Munty or gramme of Roe skull.....
    Last edited by Claret_Dabbler; 04-03-2011 at 10:07.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  6. #6
    Perhaps I should add that the frustration I feel is compounded by the fact that my mate who I did my DSC with, neither having shot a deer before, has now sent me MMSs of 4 roe he has to his tally accounted for over 3 sucessful trips... the complete w*nker

    (We're both from your neck of the woods Brian so there's a bit of Norn Iron rivalry at play...)

  7. #7
    im sorry you didnt get a shot .its also harder from a seat in that respect as its a long time to wait sat but on the other side it can be more rewarding sat in a seat as you are not disturbing things and also gives abit more time to get ready especially as a new comer but on a stalk you are learning as you go along so its abit easier to take the blanks,i hope you get your first deer soon . ps get that seat placed in a good easy to reach spot and you will get your own for free,atb wayne
    Last edited by mereside; 04-03-2011 at 10:46. Reason: re read post altered

  8. #8
    Hi mate thats just how it is im affraid but thats also what makes success even more special. When i was doing my DSC level 2 i had about five outings with an AW and although we saw bucks on the ground we couldn't get near to get a shot in. Eventually it all worked out and i did my three stalks etc but it is frustrating especially when in between times i had a buck each time i went out on my own permissions.
    Just keep at it.


  9. #9
    i once took the opportunity whilst in Scotland to book a days stalking hinds between Christmas and New Year. After a few enquiries I was given the contact details of the FC stalker for the West Coast ( the guy has a huge area and is based near Oban) . Because the wetaher is a bit unpredicable ( to say the least) the actual day was organised last minute and becasue the FC shut down for xmas we couldn't stalk FC land becasue he couldn't check in and out with the office. Not to worry , his father had some land ;so earlyish one morning they picked me up and drove an hour or so with a quad bike in tow. Reached the 'hill'. The owners were in and they let us use the argocat . We trundled up the hill. Parked up and marked a nearby rock with a high Viz tape and set about the stalk.

    i managed to shoot one red hind and then the fog came in and to be honest anyone would have got lost up there but we found the cat, the beast and called it a day.

    The long and short of it is; I was lucky to shoot anything and the guys were extremely professional in everything they did. I paid my 125 notes and would be happy to again.

    Between him and his contacts there is the opportunity to shoot red and sika hinds or
    roe does at a fair price I think.

  10. #10
    It happens and it's a bitter pill to swallow. Although you did see some deer so they were on the ground, just not playing ball! It's worse when you never even see the little blighters. Paying per outing makes it expensive, if your in a syndicate blank outings are easier to take. (I think).

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