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Thread: New to Deer Stalking, some questions...

  1. #1

    New to Deer Stalking, some questions...

    I have some questions that I hope the more experienced members on here can helpwith.

    I am new to stalking, well I have never stalked Deer with a view to shooting them before. I started shooting airguns when I was wee, I stopped for around 8 or 9 years and got back into them again when I was around 18 but soon became bored with plinking away at targets in the garden. Luckily I managed to get permission to shoot vermin over 40 acres of farmland local to me, for years I did this soley with sub 12ft/lb airguns, I realised that no matter how good my fieldcraft got I was never going to be able to control the numbers of rabbits in some areas due to the layout of the land and the wide open fields on one hillside. A few years back I applied and obtained my FAC, I bought a .22lr and away I went, I covered area's of the farm I otherwise was unable to.

    Having heard so much about them and because there were still area's where additional range was required I acquired a .17hmr, it has it's pros and cons but thats not the point of this thread. Shortly after acquiring the hmr I was asked to clear not one but three rookeries, I tried with the airgun and had soe effect but not a huge impact. I applied and got my SGC I now have two O/U and a semi auto which IMHO are just the tool for the job when it comes to rooks, and clays are a lot of fun.
    The point of all this is that as my shooting has evolved and started to cover different aspects of the sport, albiet mostly vermin control and the varies species concerned, I have had to research and learn more about my intended quarry after all 6 Pís, Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    Now that I have an interest in Deer stalking I have been trying to research what I can online before I decide to fill this cf. slot and book my place on the DSC level 1 course, trouble is there is only so much that you can readily find information on the internet. My interest in stalking is for two reasons, I think I would enjoy the challenge and also because I love venison and would like to be able to put Christmas dinner from the field to the table some year.
    I have some questions that Iíd really appreciate answers too:
    How do you decide if the Deer numbers on your land are to great, a little bit of damage to trees but nothing unsustainable, would that justify taking a couple to keep the damage down?
    What other problems should I be looking out for?
    Just tonight I saw a group of Deer feeding in a field immediately next to a dual carriageway, the obvious danger being they would cause a RTA so I would think this is cause enough to consider watching to see they frequent the area and if so look for a suitable spot further from the carriageway to safely carry out the shot.
    When deciding which animal and where it is to be shot what else do you consider and what else do you do to prepare beforehand?
    What kit do Deer stalkers usually have to hand which might not be carried out by someone going about general vermin control?
    I donít currently use binoculars, I find the quite difficult to get on with but have been contemplating a set of LRF binoís. I feel they would be useful in maximising my range with the rimfires. I am also thinking of filling the .cf slot and spending 12 months getting to know the new calibre and itís tendancies, the LRF binoís would be put to good use there Iím sure. As a side question has anyone got experience of the Bushnell Fusion ARC binoís? I know they are at the lower end of the cost scale but do they work are they useable in the field and in what ways are they inferior to the more expensive products available?
    I use sticks with the rimfires when I am out, I know these are an important piece of the stalkers kit.
    If you have any other tips or assistance you can give it will be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Ieazo,

    You have so many questions that we could write a book in reply.

    1. I recommend you purchase one or two books about deer stalking before you take the next step, there are many titles on the market but I found the best were the two books by Graham Downing: Deer stalking handbook and Woodland stalking. He covers all the basics.
    2. Book yourself in for a few guided stalks with a professional. It will give you a flavour of the reality of stalking. The money will be very well spend whether you decide to continue with stalking, or not.
    3. If you decide to proceed do a DSC1 course.
    4. In the mean time get experience with a deer-legal c/f rifle, for example through membership of a club or range. Many rifle ranges have 'stalking clubs' affiliated to them - here you will get all the guidance and advice you need as you are gaining experience.

    As far as your specific questions about Bino's are concerned: Your binocular is your premier stalking tool - buy the best you can afford, they have to be water proof, gas-filled and multi-coated. As far as spec. is concerned....this Forum will give you lots and lots of information, some of it even true

    Good luck
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  3. #3
    Nice in depth post . My advice would be to book a couple outings with a local guide and pick his brains. If not buy a book like Richard Priors 'roe deer management'
    Atb Steve

  4. #4
    My advice is try and hook up with an old pro as well as the above already mentioned, books and courses are great but nothing like hands on experience with an old timer so to speak .
    Good luck with your endeavours
    Norma

  5. #5
    Since it seems like this was t open ended a question to attract many answers (thanks to those who did reply) I'll focus it in on one aspect of my OP.

    "I don’t currently use binoculars, I find the quite difficult to get on with but have been contemplating a set of LRF bino’s. I feel they would be useful in maximising my range with the rimfires. I am also thinking of filling the .cf slot and spending 12 months getting to know the new calibre and it’s tendancies, the LRF bino’s would be put to good use there I’m sure."

    I have been lookig at the Bushnell Fusion ARC bino’s I know they are at the lower end of the cost scale but do they work are they useable in the field and in what ways are they inferior to the more expensive products available?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ieazo View Post
    Since it seems like this was t open ended a question to attract many answers (thanks to those who did reply) I'll focus it in on one aspect of my OP.

    "I don’t currently use binoculars, I find the quite difficult to get on with but have been contemplating a set of LRF bino’s. I feel they would be useful in maximising my range with the rimfires. I am also thinking of filling the .cf slot and spending 12 months getting to know the new calibre and it’s tendancies, the LRF bino’s would be put to good use there I’m sure."

    I have been lookig at the Bushnell Fusion ARC bino’s I know they are at the lower end of the cost scale but do they work are they useable in the field and in what ways are they inferior to the more expensive products available?
    Worth getting to The Shooting Show in Newark on 14th-16th Feb and having a look through as many binos as poss...

    You'll see the difference in quality of Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica, Minox glass compared to Bushnell for yourself. As said, buy the best that you can afford, and whatever you think your budget is, add at least 50%...

    Welcome to stalking and your own personal Money Pit!
    Last edited by I. Farticus; 23-01-2014 at 18:53.
    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means youíve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Leazo there are a couple of members from angus I'm here pm them and ask if they could take you out on a stalk as an observer also mj robson on here in fife is a very good guide book a stalk with him there's also the stalking show, in Kelso were you will meet a lot of sd people
    ,,,,,,,,,,,...ATb tom

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ieazo View Post
    How do you decide if the Deer numbers on your land are to great,

    What kit do Deer stalkers usually have to hand which might not be carried out by someone going about general vermin control?.
    Welcome Ieazo,
    my £0.02 worth, as a forester I would say that if you are seeing obvious browse line in your trees, there is little regeneration of trees, ground flora is nipped back, obvious browse and fraying damage you have too many deer. There are quite a few opinions on this. At the extremes some stalkers pay stupid money for their ground and shoot everything to get money's worth, others won't shoot any females and even put out feed to build populations.

    i like to travel light: 1 knife, 2m loop of rope for a long drag or carry, couple of pairs of nitrile gloves, bin's, hat, gloves if its cool, torch at evenings, car key, mobile.

    happy hunting

  9. #9
    Sign up for the best practice guides, cheapest and best bit of literature you can get imo.
    Before forking out on centrefire rifles go and book yourself with a guide and use the estate rifle.
    Why? You just never know but you may not be able to actually take the shot on a presented deer (I know from a pal that is brilliant with a shot gun but just couldnt bring himself to pull the trigger on a deer, some folk just cant do it) and you'll learn more in that one outing with someone that knows deer than you'll ever read.
    You dont need much to shoot deer.
    Rifle+scope, binos, knife....pretty much everything else is peripheral.
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  10. #10
    I was planning to get to the show in Kelso, my father in law lives in Lauder, he is a butcher, so was going to bring him along for a day out.

    Thanks for the replies guys, I will look into the people mentioned.

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