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Thread: Hello (I'm doing as I'm told :))

  1. #1

    Hello (I'm doing as I'm told :))

    Hi Everyone,

    My name's Adam - I've just registered and I'm doing what I'm told and posting here first!

    I'm pretty new to deer stalking but I went on my first stalk in April and I think I'm hooked. I put some stuff about that in my profile, but basically I've been shooting (shotguns) for about 3 years and I've enjoyed every minute of it (ok - maybe a few bad days here and there). I started out shooting clays, but I've always wanted to hunt (but in the traditional sense, not in the horses / hounds way) since I was very young and I started doing that last season with some wildfowling and rough shooting. I'd been toying with the idea of trying stalking too for a while but was nervous about shooting larger animals, but I decided in March that I'd never know unless I tried, so I did. I booked an accompanied stalk through a friend of my RFD and enjoyed it very much, though it took a few days to think it over, process it a bit and get to that happy state. My wife and family were a bit "iffy" about the idea of me shooting Bambi & co. until I cooked them a tasty venison casserole with some of the first deer I brought home - since then they've been more supportive, shall we say...

    Anyway - I don't see myself stopping stalking any time soon so I've booked myself onto a DSC1 E-learning CD / assessment thing in August (waiting for the CD to come through as I type) and after that I'll be applying for an FAC so that - hopefully - I'll be able to go off and hunt as / when I choose and it'll be a little less expensive each time. I'm thinking about the Weatherby Vanguard II as a stalking rifle (Sako / Tikka etc may be a bit out of my rather limited budget.) In the meantime, I'll continue to pursue the Holy Grail of permissions, but in my area of Cambs, there's not a lot to be had as pretty much all the land is syndicated and unavailable.

    The instructions asked for experience of calibres: I've only shot a .243 so far, though I plan to apply for something a bit bigger when I go for my ticket as we've got Reds / Fallow in East Anglia and I plan to go after at least one of each at some point. At the moment it's a toss-up between 6.5x55mm, .270 and .308, depending on what the police will grant and what the estate I'll be going to mainly is cleared for (haven't yet found out). So far all three seem good in theory, but having asked for advice everyone says "apply for this because it's my favourite and the best because..." which doesn't lead easily to a firm conclusion. I suspect the best compromise between police concerns, land and other considerations will be the .270 but we'll have to see. I've lurked here a bit recently and looked at quite a lot of the "best calibre for stalking" threads on here - I'll be reviewing them all again in the next few months before I apply. I don't think I should ask for suggestions here in light of the number of threads I've seen, but if anyone has knowledge of Cambs police's flexibility with regard to first time FAC I'd appreciate a PM. I have their requirements in writing from the licensing manager and I'll be able to fulfil them all, a DSC1 pass allowing, so hopefully it should be up to me what I choose (I know - pigs might fly).

    Other than that, not sure what else to say. I'm a bit worried about the doing the DSC1 thing: I know it's all theory and shooting and the first three shots I fired in about 10 years with a rifle came out in a 1.5" group (100yd), so I think I'll be ok there, but I've still got a lot to learn about deer ecology / management. My practical experience to underpin the theory or fill in the gaps is also very limited, so if anyone's got any tips, I'd appreciate hearing them. Hopefully when I get the CD from the BDS in the post, I'll be able to start absorbing all the information I need to know and feel better about it.

    Outside of shooting, I enjoy playing keyboard instruments and doing a bit of singing, studying philosophy, ethics and ballistics and I (increasingly) enjoy cooking - it always tastes better if you've obtained it yourself! I'm also a regular member of the ShootingUK forums and a professional lurker on PigeonWatch which covers my interest in shotgun shooting, under the same username as this. I've just migrated to shooting a 28 bore (lovely, comfortable gauge) at clays (usually at Cambridge Gun Club) and hopefully I'll get in enough practice before next season to feel confident with it on game too.

    I can't tell you whether I'm going to become a regular here, but I'll do my best to join in as I learn.

    Adam.

  2. #2
    Adam

    Welcome to the site, and I reckon you've probably written more in your first post than some have across all of theirs!!! Looks like you're giving some serious consideration to what you're looking to achieve, and the kit that you will need, so i wish you well, and hope to see how it ll pans out

    Cheers
    iain
    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Can't go wrong with a 6.5 - 55 ,it will do everything and is a gentle thing to shoot.A good BRNO/CZ will last as long as you shoot if you look after it or a good Parker -Hale .As a negginner I would stay away from the expensive "Gucci" guns -- the deer can't tell the difference and you'll be pig sick if you damage it on a stalk .Optics are very personal and look at as many as you can ,eye relief varies quite a lot and not every scope will suit you even though it's a good one .


  4. #4
    Iain, waterford103,

    Thank you for your welcome. Yup - I'm one of those people who like to research as much as I can about what I'm trying to do before I do it. The other way of looking at that is I fill my head with the subject in the time it takes me to save the money to do anything about it! I can shorten down my posts if that's the way here - no problem with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by waterford103 View Post
    Can't go wrong with a 6.5 - 55 ,it will do everything and is a gentle thing to shoot.A good BRNO/CZ will last as long as you shoot if you look after it or a good Parker -Hale .As a negginner I would stay away from the expensive "Gucci" guns -- the deer can't tell the difference and you'll be pig sick if you damage it on a stalk .Optics are very personal and look at as many as you can ,eye relief varies quite a lot and not every scope will suit you even though it's a good one .
    Thanks for the recommendation. I don't know much about BRNO / CZ rifles (reputation or price) but I will go and google them later today at some point. I don't think there's any danger of me buying a "Gucci" gun - when I suggested the Weatherby above I had a figure of about £600 in mind - it's going to be tough to afford much more than that, though I realise if I were to apply for a FAC at the end of August, I'll be waiting till Nov/Dec at least before buying anything, so there'll be some time to save. I will look at the others though. I did settle on the 6.5x55mm for a while when I was looking at all the ballistic data last, but found that the Weatherby isn't available in that calibre, so I started looking at the others I mentioned.

    If I could find a 6.5mm rifle with a decent length barrel already cut for a mod at a reasonable price I'd certainly consider it, but the .270/.308 seem better catered for by the market in those respects. The latter two seem fine anecdotally but they obviously have a bit more "bark" so I guess I'd be lucky to get a ticket for either first time. That said, HO guidelines do suggest a min of .270 for Reds/Fallow/Sika though, so that page with a bit of green highlighter in the appropriate spot may be coming out at interview if they moan about me applying for one On the other hand, not blowing (tasty) Muntjac to bits would also be good, so whilst a .308 with a slowish ordinary 150gr soft point might work there, the .270 is probably not ideal, which brings the 6.5mm back into play. I'll keep bouncing them around in my head until I settle on one. Hopefully a range day with a friend next month will let me try all three.

    Thanks also for the tip on the optics - the estate rifle I've been using thus far hasn't been particularly comfortable in that respect, but I'll do everything I can to try all the ones (in my price range) that I can get hold of. I know SportsmanGunCentre do some packages to get you started on stalking - don't know if the bits they're selling as part of those are any good, but that will probably be where I start if my local shop can't do a simillarly good deal.
    .
    Thanks again guys,
    .
    Adam.

  5. #5
    Great intro welcome to the site

    ​ATB Tarkan

  6. #6
    No need to shorten your posts, so don't worry about that. Folks will stop reading if they get bored, but that's their issue, not yours

    I only have a 6.5x55mm as I only wanted the one rifle/ammo combo. Using 140gr SSTs I can take anything in the UK including boar. You're absolutely right to look at that, .270 and .308 for a do everything calibre, and some will argue for/against everything available, but you need to get to Bisley Live and try them for yourself. In the end, shot placement is more important, and that's down to practice...

    As far as optics are concerned, whatever your top end budget is, double it! Again, everyone will swear by their optics, and like the rifle it's a personal choice - again, try and get somewhere that you can handle them all, side by side - I'd suggest CLA, but it's looking to be bl**dy expensive just to get in!!

    Enjoy the journey. Be aware that you will be buying kit forever - upgrading this and that constantly - but try and go as good as possible at the outset, and you'll not be disappointed. I have done that as much as possible, and know that if there's a problem, then it's me to blame...not the kit

    Cheers
    iain
    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Welcome to the site,

    John
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

  8. #8
    Iain,

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by I. Farticus View Post
    As far as optics are concerned, whatever your top end budget is, double it! Again, everyone will swear by their optics, and like the rifle it's a personal choice - again, try and get somewhere that you can handle them all, side by side - I'd suggest CLA, but it's looking to be bl**dy expensive just to get in!!
    Noted. I'll buy the best I can, though I doubt it'll be particularly fancy. I've seen some of those range-finding scopes with the drop compensation markings and all the other gadgets - they'll remain something I know about rather than something I have for quite a while I think!

    Quote Originally Posted by I. Farticus View Post
    Enjoy the journey. Be aware that you will be buying kit forever - upgrading this and that constantly - but try and go as good as possible at the outset, and you'll not be disappointed. I have done that as much as possible, and know that if there's a problem, then it's me to blame...not the kit
    I've been gently introducing my wife to the idea that this will be the case with my shotgun shooting for the last three years, so hopefully it won't be too much of a shock to her to hear it's the same for deer stalking. I naively started off thinking I'd be ok with just a 12 gauge, but it didn't last. I try to explain the fact my cabinet is now full and needs replacing with a bigger one using the analogy of screwdrivers - you need different tools for different jobs. I think she sort of understands, some of the time!

    Thank you (all) again for your welcome - it's appreciated. Once again the shooting community does itself proud - I've noticed since I started shooting that whilst there are good folk and bad folk in all walks of life, the shooting community does seem to be considerably nicer than average and your welcome here is another confirmation of that - thank you.

    When I have specific questions I'll post elsewhere and ask them, but it's good to know I'm on roughly the right lines for the time being.

    Adam.
    Last edited by neutron619; 21-05-2013 at 11:20.

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