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Thread: Deer stalking advice and Research for film script

  1. #1

    Deer stalking advice and Research for film script

    Hello there, I am a script writer who is currently researching for a film I am writing which incorporates elements of deer stalking in the narrative.

    I have pretty much next to no knowledge in deer stalking or hunting and was hoping perhaps some of the members of this forum might be able to offer me some advice and answer a few
    questions for me in the early stages of my research?

    Although the film I am writing is not specifically about deer stalking, it does incorporate it in the story and I want to maintain an air of authenticitiy and believability in the script.

    Currently the premise involves a father arranging a weekend for him and his two sons to hunt deer in a forest somewhere in the UK.

    What I need to know is :

    Are there any specific areas of dense woodland in the UK home to deer (particuarly Red Deer - to me these seem the most iconic) where licenesed shooters can stalk and hunt?
    Is it possible for people to hunt and shoot deer unattended or must they always be accompanied by a supervisor?
    Do people use non-sighted shotguns when shooting deer or are scoped rifles only permitted?


    The characters in the film would be coming from a quite privleged upbringing and the hunt would be somewhat of a tradition for them.
    Ideally they would live in a cabin in the forest or on the edge of the forest and they would be isolated from the rest of the population with nature only for company.

    In the script I want to incorporate scenes where three or four of them could venture out into the forest unattended with shotguns and hunt any animal and be able to bring it
    back to the house for dinner that evening. Eventually they would track a prize stag in the forest and part of the conclusion would revolve around hunting the animal.
    There would be an air of exclusivity about what they are doing as in it might not be the way everyone hunts and stalks but they have the money to afford more private
    circumstances if that makes sense.


    Any feedback at all would be much appreciated, I apologise if my questions are a bit vague!

    I would be greatful for any help at all,

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Perhaps they could use rifles !

    ATb Steve

  3. #3
    Under normal circumstances it is not legal to shoot deer with a shotgun so given your description it is likely a rifle would be used.

    Almost all stalkers in the present day stalk with a telescopic sight on their rifle - there are a large number of advantages and very few disadvantages so it would be extremely unusual to shoot deer using a rifle without a telescopic sight. On the other hand it is not illegal to shoot deer using the "open" sights (i.e. the metal V shaped rear sight and front post you sometimes see mounted on a rifle barrel) it is just rather unusual or uncommon in recent times.

  4. #4
    Does the deer stalking element of this film have to be set in England? It would seem to me that it would be better / more appropriate to set these stalking scenes in Scotland. If you are trying to portray a well heeled family with private estates, servants etc and involved in stalking, then a Scottish lodge would fit the bill.

    From a purely practical point of view, if you need to get scenes on film of a party stalking, and possibly shooting deer, it will be much easier to achieve this on the open hill in Scotland rather than in dense woodland in southern England.

    The other question that comes to mind is the period for this film. If this is to be a film set in the current day, then all rifles for stalking should be scoped. Shotguns are not used for deer. If this is an historical piece, set prior to say the 1950's, then it is much more likely that an un-scoped rifle might be used, though scopes were pretty common from the late 40's onwards.
    Brian.

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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Venkman View Post
    Hello there, I am a script writer who is currently researching for a film I am writing which incorporates elements of deer stalking in the narrative.

    I have pretty much next to no knowledge in deer stalking or hunting and was hoping perhaps some of the members of this forum might be able to offer me some advice and answer a few
    questions for me in the early stages of my research?

    Although the film I am writing is not specifically about deer stalking, it does incorporate it in the story and I want to maintain an air of authenticitiy and believability in the script.

    Currently the premise involves a father arranging a weekend for him and his two sons to hunt deer in a forest somewhere in the UK.

    Sounds like a nice experience for the gentleman ,

    What I need to know is :

    Are there any specific areas of dense woodland in the UK home to deer (particuarly Red Deer - to me these seem the most iconic) where licenesed shooters can stalk and hunt?

    Most areas that contain Wild Red Deer in dense woodland are either found in Scotland, The Inner and Outer Hebrides, The Lake District. And to a Lesser degree the southern counties of England
    Is it possible for people to hunt and shoot deer unattended or must they always be accompanied by a supervisor?
    Do people use non-sighted shotguns when shooting deer or are scoped rifles only permitted?


    First part of your question in respect to shooting deer unattended, Unless the person involved is a current firearm certificate holder with an open authority to use a firearm I dont think so, There will be further restrictions in respect to qualifications as to does the person hold a DSC2 that most land owners today insist as a requirement to stalk unacompanied

    The characters in the film would be coming from a quite privleged upbringing and the hunt would be somewhat of a tradition for them.
    Ideally they would live in a cabin in the forest or on the edge of the forest and they would be isolated from the rest of the population with nature only for company.

    In the script I want to incorporate scenes where three or four of them could venture out into the forest unattended with shotguns and hunt any animal and be able to bring it

    Shotguns are not allowed in stalking deer under normal circumstances although may be used for dispatch or by some persons where deer are causing damage with correct sized ball loads.
    back to the house for dinner that evening. Eventually they would track a prize stag in the forest and part of the conclusion would revolve around hunting the animal.
    There would be an air of exclusivity about what they are doing as in it might not be the way everyone hunts and stalks but they have the money to afford more private
    circumstances if that makes sense.


    Any feedback at all would be much appreciated, I apologise if my questions are a bit vague!

    I would be greatful for any help at all,

    Many thanks!
    Hope this Helps
    Alan
    Last edited by laphroaig; 02-12-2011 at 18:14.

  6. #6
    Mr V,

    This sounds a fascinating project and I am sure I won't be the only person on here who will look forward to the finished article. One of my favourite films is "A River Runs Through It". It isn't a film about fly fishing, but as a fly fisherman I love it as its a great story and most of the fishing sequences are pretty authentic.

    If you are so incligned and your budget will extend to it, I would suggest you go out with a pro stalker. You will learn a huge amount about the practice and tradition of stalking.

    I am a novice so I can't offer to take you out, but I would if I were able.

    Best of luck with it.

    Cheers,

    Bob

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    Under normal circumstances it is not legal to shoot deer with a shotgun so given your description it is likely a rifle would be used.
    Rubbish someone needs to check the law

  8. #8
    I am not a toff but I imagine one might use an expensive scoped double rifle. I would also expect them to have a gillie who knows the land irespective of their competance and a pony man to extract the shot animals.

    Dave

  9. #9
    I know a great name for the film " THE DEER HUNTER "

  10. #10
    The father in your script would be an experienced stalker (if the outing is a family tradition) - he could therefore shoot on land he owns with guns (shotguns and rifles) that he has a licence for.

    Which would cover you to include them shooting game for the pot. We work a mentor system for stalking in this country. A novice has to be taken out by an experienced stalker and their FAC restricted

    accordingly-the father would be the supervisor. As for the hunting cabin, a Scottish setting might cover it in an old growth/Caledonian forest. but estates up there are usually run as going concerns- Fly Fishing,

    Driven Shooting and Deer Stalking run for paying guests. So they'd be unlikely to be up there alone. If you set it in England - Devon or the New Forest - where a wealthy family might have a second home /

    Get-away cottage with a large block of land around it, you would then be in the right part of the country for very large lowland Red Stags - much bigger than on the open Scottish hill. As has been pointed out

    scoped rifles are the norm but nothing illegal in an open sighted rifle - could be an heirloom and used as a rights of passage ?
    Last edited by Rum Baba; 02-12-2011 at 22:04.

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