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Thread: Longest spell of blank stalks

  1. #1

    Longest spell of blank stalks

    It would be fair to say that I'm having a barren spell at the moment.
    ​I think this dates from a period that was quite the reverse back in July. Anyway current spell due to reasons various and common: fog; darkness falling; heavy machinery starting up nearby; out of range; out of season. Not that I haven't enjoyed my stalking, it's never been about just shooting deer for me and I love having seen deer (often very close) and wildlife that I would never have experienced otherwise.
    So come on, please make me feel a little better, what's your longest spell of blanks?

  2. #2
    Established Poster Muddy Springer's Avatar
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    3 years when I started out, with just 200 acres in Scotland to go at.

  3. #3
    Well I don't go stalking very often as life and geography sometimes get in the way, but most of my stalks are blanks. Now that said, my most impressive spell is my entire wildfowling career until last season (I haven't had a chance to go out yet this season because of Young Pine Marten's arrival). My first wildfowling season was 2007-08, during which I missed some easy shots, including the only ones I'd had at greylags until last season (missed them too). In 2008-09, I shot no ducks. During the 2009-10 campaign, all wildfowl remained unscathed. Over the course of the 2010-11 winter, no ducks or geese were harmed. The following season was a repeat of the previous. And then finally in January of this year, I connected with a duck. So I make that a six year blank stretch.

    Do you feel any better now?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    Well I don't go stalking very often as life and geography sometimes get in the way, but most of my stalks are blanks. Now that said, my most impressive spell is my entire wildfowling career until last season (I haven't had a chance to go out yet this season because of Young Pine Marten's arrival). My first wildfowling season was 2007-08, during which I missed some easy shots, including the only ones I'd had at greylags until last season (missed them too). In 2008-09, I shot no ducks. During the 2009-10 campaign, all wildfowl remained unscathed. Over the course of the 2010-11 winter, no ducks or geese were harmed. The following season was a repeat of the previous. And then finally in January of this year, I connected with a duck. So I make that a six year blank stretch.

    Do you feel any better now?
    Blimey yes I do. That made me chuckle.
    I've gone 12 blank stalks since August.

    I do feel better now, so thanks Pine Marten and Muddy Springer LOL

  5. #5
    You're welcome!

    I would like to point out though that my lack of impact on the local duck population (in fact, with the contributions to various conservation bodies, it's almost certainly net positive) is not entirely down to utter ineptitude on my part. It's down to circumstances, pig-headedness and not being a great shot with a shotgun. I can only hit the marshes maybe four to six times a year, but other 'fowlers that I'm in contact with are out there 60-80 times a season. They are of course local chaps, and are able to look at the weather, scan the skies the night before, and decide to go for a flight in the morning before work. Whereas I plan a flight a month in advance when I'm free at the weekend and have to choose a specific location in advance, independently of whether any ducks are around or not. I have no opportunity for reconnaissance so beyond checking tides, moon phases, sunset times and the weather forecast, it's all down to luck. Most of the time, that means I end up not firing a shot, although I always see ducks or geese around. Just not within forty metres.

    I also don't have and can't keep a dog. If I did have one, it would never have a chance to learn to retrieve. I therefore have to limit shots to ones at birds that will fall somewhere that I can retrieve them from. Finally, when ducks do turn up, I tend to miss them, and there are no second chances. I have yet to ever witness one of those flights that people write about where endless groups of wigeon fly by.

    The conclusion has to be that wildfowling is not a sensible sport for someone who lives in the big city, and it's made more so by my insistance at trying to work this out on my own. I finally shot a duck when I took up the KWCA boss man's offer of help. With deerstalking, help is to all intents and purposes mandatory, and very welcome. There's a lesson to be learned there...

    I'm better in the woods after woodcock though. Unintended side-effect of the pigheadedness. I became good at something else instead.

  6. #6
    9 blank stalks in a row after sika hinds, I was ready to take up golf (nearly!)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    You're welcome!

    I would like to point out though that my lack of impact on the local duck population (in fact, with the contributions to various conservation bodies, it's almost certainly net positive) is not entirely down to utter ineptitude on my part. It's down to circumstances, pig-headedness and not being a great shot with a shotgun. I can only hit the marshes maybe four to six times a year, but other 'fowlers that I'm in contact with are out there 60-80 times a season. They are of course local chaps, and are able to look at the weather, scan the skies the night before, and decide to go for a flight in the morning before work. Whereas I plan a flight a month in advance when I'm free at the weekend and have to choose a specific location in advance, independently of whether any ducks are around or not. I have no opportunity for reconnaissance so beyond checking tides, moon phases, sunset times and the weather forecast, it's all down to luck. Most of the time, that means I end up not firing a shot, although I always see ducks or geese around. Just not within forty metres.

    I also don't have and can't keep a dog. If I did have one, it would never have a chance to learn to retrieve. I therefore have to limit shots to ones at birds that will fall somewhere that I can retrieve them from. Finally, when ducks do turn up, I tend to miss them, and there are no second chances. I have yet to ever witness one of those flights that people write about where endless groups of wigeon fly by.

    The conclusion has to be that wildfowling is not a sensible sport for someone who lives in the big city, and it's made more so by my insistance at trying to work this out on my own. I finally shot a duck when I took up the KWCA boss man's offer of help. With deerstalking, help is to all intents and purposes mandatory, and very welcome. There's a lesson to be learned there...

    I'm better in the woods after woodcock though. Unintended side-effect of the pigheadedness. I became good at something else instead.
    I had similar problems with Pigeon. I would have to juggle work pressures and book days ahead. Now with Pigeon I'd be looking for overcast with breeze over a crop or stubble that they would be devouring. Of course when the 'day' comes around it's heavy rain or bright blue sky with sunshine, the crops been lifted and they're off somewhere else. The locals would just cast a weather eye upwards and decide whether it was worth going on or not.
    I'm also a Game Shot and not bad with a driven Pheasant or Partridge on my day, interestingly the first bird I took was a Woodcock on the first drive of my first day game shooting. Delicious aren't they?

  8. #8
    7 is my record.
    Now running at 2 blank outings

  9. #9
    I have been out 6 times now on my own ground and am yet to grass my 1st solo deer. Including my televised miss I'm currently at 7 stalks!
    Follow my stalking journey & SD sponsored DSC1 progress blog here

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by stratts View Post
    I have been out 6 times now on my own ground and am yet to grass my 1st solo deer. Including my televised miss I'm currently at 7 stalks!
    Stratts, you're way behind me mate, now on 12!

    Might be out tomorrow evening though and out three times next week, so I hope the run breaks sometime soon!

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