Complete beginner!

I am completely new to stalking and the forum and would be grateful for any advice and help that anyone could offer. I have been lucky enough to have been out on a number of stalks with experienced guys in Herefordshire, Hampshire and the Scottish Borders and managed to shoot my first Roe buck in Hampshire. Since then I have had the bug and would really like to get into the sport more. I am currently applying for my FAC and have named a .243 which should hopefully be granted.

I have been shooitng game, pigeons and clays for a number of years but find that the challenge of these is becoming a little less attractive.

I would appreciate any advice on kit such as which optics to buy, recommended rifles, etc. and if anyone knows of any stalking in Shropshire or nearby. Hope to here from you.




Distinguished Member
hi chris and welcome just joined this week myself . i started out with a 243 eight years ago and still shoot one now nice little round have a look at as many as you can and c what feels good to you . price . weight . etc and go from there really . and for the scopes i tend to agree with the old saying go for the best you can afford . i have tried 3 0r 4 makes and have a leupode ? and two swarovski s and i wouldent want anythig else . i do a lot of lamping and you cant shoot what you cant see as for stalking i like to keep it simple 8 x 56 normal cross hair point and shoot 'im sure othr members will also help with advice . al the best pete.


Site Staff
Hello C and welcome. That little question as regard to kit is, or could be, easy to answer. You could say you will need appropriate clothing, knife, rifle, scope, bin's and various bits of ancillary kit. The trick comes into deciding which make, model, calibre etc. :eek: :eek:

I would suggest you search the site and produce yourself a short list and then look for suggestions in refining your shortlist. You will then receive all the help necessary and end up a happy bunny :D



Well-Known Member
welcome chrismac78

my advice get stuck in on the forum, and for kit buy the best scope and bino's you cant afford, most rifles shoot straight and group well enough for stalking , but you will need the low light performance of the scope and bino's more.....neil


Well-Known Member

Like you, I'm very much new to this game but I have managed to pick up a few hints along the way. Griffshrek makes the best point, when it somes to optics "buy the best gear you can't afford"!

I started off with a pair of £150 Nikon's, they were ok but not so good in the half light. After my first few days out I was straight down the shop to buy a pair of 7 x 42 Swarovski SLC's, brand probably isn't so important but quality really is. Off loaded the Nikons on to the old man for spying on the neighbours!

I will open up a can of worms here and bow humbly to the far greater experience than mine if it says different but I would say that if you really can't afford expensive bino's and an expensive scope at the same time, get the binos out of preference. Thats what I did, my scope is a 6 x 42, cost £125, it holds a 3/4" group at 100yds on my .243 and is only about 5 - 10 mins behind my bino's. When the .243 goes though, the .308 thats coming in behind it is going to have the best Swaro I can find on top!

We all do it, buy cheap gear when we are starting out and then spend heaps on what we really should have bought in the first place. In the end those Swaro's cost me a pair of Nikons more than they needed to...

Roe Hunter

Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome.

Let me second the comments about getting the best binos.

Think about it.

You will spend more time looking through your bins than looking through your 'scope. A really good pair of bins will show you deer that you wouldn't otherwise necesarily pick out, because they are sharper and better contrast etc. Remember that you have to look for parts of a deer - don't be looking for the whole outline of a deer. Many's the time I have spotted a Roe laid up chewing the cud in long grass at the edge of a field, and the only thing that gave him away was the movement of his ears, which were just a dark shape.

If your bins don't show you the deer, you can't shoot it with whatever scope / rifle you have! The bins are the first step on the ladder leading to a kill.

Having said that I do have a Schmidt & Bender scope on my beloved .243, with Swarovski SLC bins. Having had various other bins, I was amazed at the difference the swaro's brought - cost me a shedful of money but well worth it! I now pick out deer that are laid up in very shady areas, that my previous bins wouldn't necessarily have revealed!

Good luck, and enjoy the wealth of experience on this forum.

Roe Hunter


Site Staff
Welcome to the site. Neil has given you good advice, with bino's you only need one pair, buy the best and they will last a lifetime. Scopes as well, although I have always favoured Leoupold for many years which are very good scopes for middle of the road money.

Hope you enjoy the site ;)


Distinguished Member
Hello and Welcome.

Look through the Equipment & Accessories Reviews on this site, it will give you such a in-depth knowledge from an vast amount of people who have bought/sold/lent/given all the equipment you will need for stalking. Will tell you what's good and not so good, what's over rated and what's a bargain.

Hope that helps


Little Terry

Well-Known Member
Just don't listen to the Blaser 'non-believers'! ;)

Seriously though, just make the best-informed decisions that you can. Nobody gets it all right straight away. Just don't rush into the first thing you see and try to pinch every penny. Buying from a reputable source is well worth it in the long run. I've tried to save a pound here and there in the past and it ended up costing me in the end!

But remember, you don't have to have what everyone else has got. Go into it with an open mind and you won't go far wrong. Pretty much like life in general I suppose.

Don't be afraid to ask - there's no such thing as a stupid question......however, there are a lot of inquisitive idiots :)

Oh, by the way I'm in Shropshire (Bridgnorth), so if ever you need a buddy to cruise the gunshops with...............

Cheers for that Terry, I am only in Ludlow so may well take you up on that offer. Do you know of any decent places locally that stock a variety of kit so that I can go and try several things against each other to get a good comparison?

Does anyone have any experience of Kahles optics out there?


Little Terry

Well-Known Member
chrismac78 said:
Cheers for that Terry, I am only in Ludlow so may well take you up on that offer. Do you know of any decent places locally that stock a variety of kit so that I can go and try several things against each other to get a good comparison?

Does anyone have any experience of Kahles optics out there?

No worries Chris. You'll struggle to find anywhere to my mind that will let you try out rifles, but the best place that I have found for stocking a wide variety of rifles is the Contryman of Derby. Got my .223 there. Rugby is another good one.


Well-Known Member

Just thinking here, when I was up in your part of the world, Garlands always used to carry quite a lot of stalking gear and rifles in stock. That was 4 or 5 years ago but might be worth a look?

Roe Hunter

Well-Known Member
Hi Chris

Don't know about your area, but John Knibbs International near Shustoke / Maxstoke / Coleshill (15 mins from M42) are superb for stalking kit.

Mark Knibbs who runs the shop just lives for stalking, and is very very helpful, particualrly to beginners.

They have a very good selection of new & used deer rifles, and all the other kit you will need.

Welcome to stalking and the forum.


Roe Hunter


Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum, I only joined earlier this year and met some top blokes, all very knowledgeable guys.

I think with optics there can be a bit of snobbery, me included :oops:
I got a Zeis scope of ebay US didn't pay the earth for it either 8) , one 'cause its a Zeis, and looks really sweet on my rifle :D it also happens to be a great scope.
My brother in law has a jap scope cost about 100 quid and its the mutts nutz, got range finder, all the bells and whistles, and its as clear and bright as anyone would want.
I'm just looking at bins now, read the forum threads on equipment reviews
there are great one on optics and bins in particular.
My target shooting friend, who is also an avid stalker, uses German optics always, but has grudgingly admitted that maybe 10 - 20 years ago Japs were lagging behind but now there is virtually nothing in it.
I have tried out several different makes and could make out no discernable advantages, my eyes are crap, ask everyone who saw me shooting clays at the quex :lol:


Well-Known Member
Minsterley Ranges in Shropshire is a good place to pick up a nice rifle and scope. I have brought two rifles from Mr Ryan and have been very pleased with both.