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Thread: Is Modern Technology Fair On Deer?

  1. #1

    Is Modern Technology Fair On Deer?

    I have followed, with very mixed feelings, some of the postsrelating to the use of various new deer locating gadgets that can be boughtnowadays. In my naive ignorance I even thought that some of the “imageenhancement computer screens in landrovers” posts must be tongue in cheek.However the other day I had a visitor who sat on my decking at the back doorwhile I fetched a dram who asked me on my return “How many deer do you see inyour re-stock out there.” I looked for a few moments with naked eye and had toadmit I could see none. “Well there are three. Look through this.” He handed me a small square monocular and lo, there in the bracken strewn thicket was three white ghostly shapes of deerquite easily seen against the grey background. It would have taken somepatience and skill to locate these deer with an ordinary set of binos. “ I never walk onto deer now since I boughtthese” , he said and admitted he hadn’t had the time to develop the spottingskills that make a good stalker. I knowthat folk have tried to stand against the relentless march of technology sincethe industrial revolution and the stalking world is no exception. My great grandfather, a head keeper on a hugeHighland estate, wrote an essay entitled “ Is this the end? “ of his experienceon witnessing a guest equipped with a magnum .303 fitted with a German WW1telescopic sight in 1922. It was the first time he had seen a scope as he had used a Martini action .455 with open sightsall his life. The power of the magnum rounds were such that they punched holes inthe metal stag target the estate had. Eventually, with lots of encouragementfrom the staff the guest “ walked backtill the bothy wall prevented further retreat and lay down to fire from adistance of 800 yards. After two shotsto work out the elevation corrections he hit the stag target with threeconsecutive shots. “ The old keeper wassaid to have been devastated and declared to his wife that this was sure tosignal the end of his profession as “folk fresh from the cities can now marchinto the glen with these new equipments and shoot stags from half a mile awayas any fool can get that distance from a stag during the rut.” His son ,mygrandfather, also resisted modernization. All papa’s deer were shot with asportized lee-enfield with army sights. During the hind cull he took 20 a weeknever shooting after 1 pm or on a Sunday. That must have taken skill. My fear is that in the rush to get deer,stalkers may be tempted to brush over the basics and resort to technology tohelp. Maybe I am no better as I would not be without scope, bipod and moderatornow. I will leave the last word to my great aunt who now has these old rifles,de-activated of course , as wall pieces. “ Yes Davie”, she said to me,”Yourpapa was a very skilled and hard-working man but remember, despite what theseclever dicks say , there were a lot more deer on the hills in those days. Atthis time of the year the hills sounded like a football crowd with roaring. Nowif you hear a few beasts at once it’s a miracle. That’s what you get for using all your fancygear.”

    David

  2. #2
    Well I look forward to the responses to that one David. When I have had time to think about it properly I may even give my own response.

  3. #3
    My father had two rifles .303 Jungle carbine and a Mannlicher 6.5 x 54 neither with a scope, in fact I don't think he ever fired a rifle with a scope, and it must be forty odd years since I fired a rifle with open sights, I do use a bipod
    but tend to resist the the more gimmicky stuff.

    Now my grandson is the exact opposite if its new it must be good NV, range finder, tactical this, tactical that he even uses GPS for his fox snares, and to monitor his grit stations on the Grouse moor, for Gods sake.

    Its the march of time I suppose.

    Or maybe I am just an old fart, OK OK don't all shout at once

  4. #4
    I should imagine there may be different responses from professional stalkers who may have quotas, and recreational stalkers.

    I am a recreational stalker and my argument would be that scope, bipod and moderator (to use your list of modern gadgets) enable a more humane shot enabling more consistent shot placement whilst protecting your hearing. It is down to the individual to decide what is a 'reasonable' range to shoot at.

    Image enhancing devices simply put more deer in the sights as it is bypassing the stalking requirement, using field craft and senses, which to many is the thrill of the stalk.

  5. #5
    The secret is to combine the 2. If I had started out with a moderator, I would still have my hearing! I certainly wouldn't want to swap my ziess binocs for the old £10 pair of ruskies from the rod and gun in fort William!

    i do however still want to get as close as possible to deer, I want to stalk, and I've yet to see a quad that can fart like a pony.

    new kit can make the killing process more efficient , old fashioned field skills will get you close enough to use it.

  6. #6
    there is always going to be something that is abhorrent to one stalker and the best piece of kit to another.
    over time it has been scopes, bipods and more recently range finders, thermal imaging and trajectory apps

    its up the to stalker to decide what is fair.

    IMO opinion the greatest threat to the UK deer population is the ability to make money from deer shot at night under license. far too much incentive to use it as a revenue stream.
    If you are shooting to protect crops, protect the crops, dont use the deer as the crop.

  7. #7
    I do think certain things should not be used in deer stalking - night vision, image intensifiers, electronic calls all come to mind.

    Good rifles with mods, scopes bipods etc are all fine in my book. The object should be to deliver a killing shot in as sporting and ethical manner as possible.

    Ultimately it is about the character of the stalker.....
    Brian.

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

  8. #8
    people can shoot deer and catch fish using whatever sonar, gps, other technology that they want, nukes or laser guided ammo, over the internet or from a a mile away.

    the only thing I care about is that I get to enjoy my own stalking the way I like.

    edit..in hindsight, 'is it fair on deer', well, as long as people don't exceed their cull plan or practice exploitation of resources because it's now easier for them to locate deer, and the usage of technology doesn't mean more harm to deer, then no, probably not unfair.
    Last edited by PKL; 10-10-2012 at 12:26.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Virbius View Post
    I should imagine there may be different responses from professional stalkers who may have quotas, and recreational stalkers.

    I am a recreational stalker and my argument would be that scope, bipod and moderator (to use your list of modern gadgets) enable a more humane shot enabling more consistent shot placement whilst protecting your hearing. It is down to the individual to decide what is a 'reasonable' range to shoot at.

    Image enhancing devices simply put more deer in the sights as it is bypassing the stalking requirement, using field craft and senses, which to many is the thrill of the stalk.
    +1

    I for one get a thrill of the stalk - whether a dry stalk into a beast out of season with no intention of taking a shot.
    Or a full stalk in order to take a beast. I therefore limit what I take into the field.
    Binos (Nikon 10x42), scope, moddy, and sticks are probably more kit than was used 40 - 50 years ago.
    That is more than enough for a good day out.

    Ed

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bambislayer View Post
    The secret is to combine the 2. If I had started out with a moderator, I would still have my hearing! I certainly wouldn't want to swap my ziess binocs for the old £10 pair of ruskies from the rod and gun in fort William!

    i do however still want to get as close as possible to deer, I want to stalk, and I've yet to see a quad that can fart like a pony.

    new kit can make the killing process more efficient , old fashioned field skills will get you close enough to use it.
    Aye but a quad doesn't try to shelter behind you when the rain is horizontal.

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