Getting deer stalking permissions

JMikeyH

Well-Known Member
#1
Evening All,

The bug has well and truly got to me, I'm no longer satisfied with getting a handful of rabbits from a night out with a rifle. What are the main methods for obtaining a deer stalking permission? Seems to all be a bit of a postcode lottery, if there's a farmer nearby with need of someone to control deer on his land. Thought about syndicates and so on but that's not something I want to commit to. Any pointers are appreciated.
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
#2
Glad it’s got to you!! Good luck, sadly I’m afraid you’re not wrong, postcode may be a factor but also credibility and contacts go a long way, living and working with landowners/farmer etc goes a long way, contacts made from days beating, doing a good job with your rabbits, pigeons foxes etc to keep farmers happy, it takes time, lots of it and rarely are there short cuts. Increasingly landowners are seeing the value in deer and money often becomes a player too, far more so than it used to.
Personally I’d stick to what you’re doing with bunnies etc and work up, don’t expect it to land at your feet, but do t lose heart, there is still vacant land out there!
 

JMikeyH

Well-Known Member
#4
The tac I'm employing at the moment is offering farmers help with standard pest control, however with the rabbit numbers down most of the arable farmers aren't in need of strangers walking around their fields!
 
#5
All mine started through shooting squirrels on a shoot when I was a lot younger, then people got to know me and it went from there. Squirrels to rabbits to Fox's then the 'do you mind taking a couple of them deer off' and I was away. Crack on doing a good job, leaving no mess and generally not getting in the way of a farmer. All will fall in place eventually!
 
#6
I'm lucky enough to have permissions on farms belonging to two friends but prior to moving to this part of the world and making these friends I found that offering other assistance in return for the odd deer to be the best way of going about it. For instance; when I lived in the East Midlands I beat and picked up on a local shoot, quite a smart one, and then started to help the keepers with other tasks - mainly sorting out the pens each season, dogging in, undergrowth clearance etc. I always let it be known that I was keen to shoot deer but never pushed for it. Once I was established as responsible, helpful and trustworthy I started to get the odd request to lamp the foxes. Once I had proved that I could shoot, be safe and behave myself then the opportunity to thin out some of the roe population followed. Goes without saying that if you are able to get a permission then your behaviour whilst on it needs to be impeccable and your compliance with any and every request of the owner must be immediate.

Where I shoot now both of the landowners appreciate being told of anything different or untoward you have seen while out. Down here there are a few members of the Itinerant Tarmaccing Fraternity who like to go for a wander around farms and size up various things for future acquisition (or illegal coursing) - I often see them out and about and just make sure that locations, where they were headed and what they seem to be up to are passed on. Many landowners are very happy to have a bit of pest control (and deer are a huge pest round here) and some trustworthy eyes and ears around the place.
 
#7
Just ask and keep slipping the fact you're a deer stalker into conversations wherever possible. I've had relatively few permissions from cold calling but have got others from conversations with a farmers wife at a post natal group, general conversations in the pub etc and one from a chat with a guest at a friend's wedding.

also if you have a trade or a skill maybe use that as a trade with a landowner for stalking? Fit a new consumer unit, replace some leaking pipes, do some accounting, sort out a computer issue etc??
 

Pete6.5

Well-Known Member
#8
It's not what you know or how much money you have. I find it's who you know and you have to make a effort to get know as many people you can. But not just people with direct links to possible deer stalking. And the number one thing it helps to have grown up it the area.
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
#9
It sounds like you are already doing the right things. If you are on the land shooting rabbits and you continue to do a good job, fox and deer permissions will come. Getting asked to shoot the deer is usually a mixture of all the things people are mentioning -being good, trustworthy, having a reputation for success in pest control, knowing landowners already but the key thing is the one you can't control -they have to need someone to do the job. When they are really bugged by the deer they will be desperate and then if you are available you will be practically begged to shoot some. You just have to keep doing what you are doing and keep putting your name out there as a stalker and wait till you are needed. Even the rabbits will come back eventually and then as you are already a good rabbiter, you will be begged to come onto new farms for that and more ground will open up.
 

75

Well-Known Member
#10
Thirty Years ago your principles would have been all you needed . Now it's how much money you have in your wallet.:old:
Don't agree. I've got 2 permissions I picked up in the last 18 months which didn't cost me a penny. Both in heavily populated areas in the NW of England. Both were through different routes and both took a while and a lot of trust built.
 
#11
A few observations.
  • I have met plenty of deer stalkers who bitterly complain they can't get any land, and I sometimes wonder what they actually DO to try to get some. And if and when they finally get some, they never or rarely go...
  • And I've met plenty of deer stalkers who get all their shooting for free and also keep all or most of the venison, to the point where they are in the luxurious position where they can (must!) refuse any new offers of land. They must be doing something right.
  • And I know of deer stalkers who, on their own, 'manage' 25,000 Acres + , spread over many different permissions, so each permission is only visited a few time each year. A real barrier to new people coming up through the ranks.

Anyway JMikeyH, I do hope you manage to get some, and would suggest that there is some very good stalking/shooting to be had on small patches of land, for example I have several permissions in the 40 Acres region which are very productive. As a new entrant to the hobby you shouldn't expect to be 'given' a 500 Acres + woodland, set your sights quite low and go for small patches / open farmland with a few hedges and a coppice/spinney, etc., and develop good relationships with landowners and their neighbours, and things can quickly take off. Finally I would advise to listen to the landowner, and DO WHAT THE LANDOWNERS WANTS YOU TO DO.
Best of luck!
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#12
As a new entrant to the hobby you shouldn't expect to be 'given' a 500 Acres + woodland, set your sights quite low and go for small patches / open farmland with a few hedges and a coppice/spinney
Yep! All you need is permission, a deer, and a backstop. Doesn't matter if it's on ten acres, or ten thousand :)
 
#13
Glad it’s got to you!! Good luck, sadly I’m afraid you’re not wrong, postcode may be a factor but also credibility and contacts go a long way, living and working with landowners/farmer etc goes a long way, contacts made from days beating, doing a good job with your rabbits, pigeons foxes etc to keep farmers happy, it takes time, lots of it and rarely are there short cuts. Increasingly landowners are seeing the value in deer and money often becomes a player too, far more so than it used to.
Personally I’d stick to what you’re doing with bunnies etc and work up, don’t expect it to land at your feet, but do t lose heart, there is still vacant land out there!
This, it took me over ten years to get my first bit of deer permission doing the above but was worth it, luckily I enjoy bunny bashing as much as stalking!
 
#14
A few observations.
  • I have met plenty of deer stalkers who bitterly complain they can't get any land, and I sometimes wonder what they actually DO to try to get some. And if and when they finally get some, they never or rarely go...
  • And I've met plenty of deer stalkers who get all their shooting for free and also keep all or most of the venison, to the point where they are in the luxurious position where they can (must!) refuse any new offers of land. They must be doing something right.
  • And I know of deer stalkers who, on their own, 'manage' 25,000 Acres + , spread over many different permissions, so each permission is only visited a few time each year. A real barrier to new people coming up through the ranks.

Anyway JMikeyH, I do hope you manage to get some, and would suggest that there is some very good stalking/shooting to be had on small patches of land, for example I have several permissions in the 40 Acres region which are very productive. As a new entrant to the hobby you shouldn't expect to be 'given' a 500 Acres + woodland, set your sights quite low and go for small patches / open farmland with a few hedges and a coppice/spinney, etc., and develop good relationships with landowners and their neighbours, and things can quickly take off. Finally I would advise to listen to the landowner, and DO WHAT THE LANDOWNERS WANTS YOU TO DO.
Best of luck!
This and this, keep the landowner happy, do a good job, the way they want it done and you may be lucky and get there. I have not taken anymore ground when its been offered as it would mean I'd start not doing the job properly on the ground that i already have.
 

tony rentokil

Well-Known Member
#16
I have been looking for ground over 10 years,,,If it was not for good friends,,,taking me on ,I would have jacked it in way back..
I work as a pest control guy,,,16 years, lots of false promises etc,
Its all about money unfortunately,,,
 

JMikeyH

Well-Known Member
#17
I have got a permission which is around 500 acres, however it's a cattle farm. Just grass fields and fences/hedgerows - almost no woodland whatsoever. Full of hares but I've never seen a deer there, though I've not been looking for them. Is it unlikely to find them on land like this?
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
#18
Not necessarily, entirely depends on what’s on neighbouring land etc.
They may not be resident but may pass through regularly. Only one way to find out, go look, look for slots, fur on barbed wire, runs, browse lines, droppings etc.
 
#19
I have got a permission which is around 500 acres, however it's a cattle farm. Just grass fields and fences/hedgerows - almost no woodland whatsoever. Full of hares but I've never seen a deer there, though I've not been looking for them. Is it unlikely to find them on land like this?
Where abouts are you? All of mine is cattle and livestock, get a good number on it, just have to look in the right place
 

Top