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ilovemyheckler

How to "get into" deer stalking?

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I would like to get into stalking. What is the best way?

I had thought about attending one of the BASC Pre DSC1 courses and then their DSC1 and perhaps booking a couple of stalking days?

As I have no experience shooting rifles (apart from air rifles) is there anywhere that offers target practice using the relevant rifle.

Any advice appreciated

 

Thanks

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2 hours ago, ilovemyheckler said:

I would like to get into stalking. What is the best way?

I had thought about attending one of the BASC Pre DSC1 courses and then their DSC1 and perhaps booking a couple of stalking days?

As I have no experience shooting rifles (apart from air rifles) is there anywhere that offers target practice using the relevant rifle.

Any advice appreciated

 

Thanks

You could try to join a rifle club locally who may have club guns but may expect you to have BASC.  I’d suggest booking a couple of stalks as a first step.

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Go on The Stalking Directory, there are plenty on there offering paid staiks.

main man is probably Sikamalc, he has stalking all over the country and you won’t be disappointed.

Be sure to explain your beginner status.

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Not sure about the pre-DSC1 courses, but certainly do a couple of paid outings with a professional who can provide an estate rifle and give you range time. I wouldn't really know who to recommend in your area - maybe Moray Outfitting ?.  Just seen the post from LB and echo his advice.

You will get a lot more out of a DSC1 course if you have even a little experience of both live and dead deer.

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Buy yourself some outings with a reputable guide.  I believe you can still shoot the 'estate' rifle under supervision and can then make up your mind if to invest in your own rifle.

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You are obviously starting the right way by asking, keep going along this road by research, looking into the Deer species in the UK, and the reasons why we actually shoot them and not just to go out and kill something. 

DSC1 is both interesting and will give you a good foundation to build on. 

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On 13/07/2020 at 05:59, ilovemyheckler said:

As I have no experience shooting rifles

PPP's advice above to join your nearest rifle club  is where I feel you should start. https://www.shootingclubdirectory.com/scotland/ https://nra.org.uk/clubs/scotlandclubs/

If you were to spend your money on a paid stalk now without a hundred rounds under your belt your chances of a clean kill would not be great (I accept that there are folk out there who can pick up a rifle and shoot perfectly in 10 rounds but they are the immortals and most of us are mortal and need to practise more)

It is also very possible that your nearest rifle club will have members with local contacts on good guides or possibly even folk who will take you out and show you, if they like you and your attitude enough.

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22 hours ago, 243deer said:

PPP's advice above to join your nearest rifle club  is where I feel you should start. https://www.shootingclubdirectory.com/scotland/ https://nra.org.uk/clubs/scotlandclubs/

If you were to spend your money on a paid stalk now without a hundred rounds under your belt your chances of a clean kill would not be great (I accept that there are folk out there who can pick up a rifle and shoot perfectly in 10 rounds but they are the immortals and most of us are mortal and need to practise more)

It is also very possible that your nearest rifle club will have members with local contacts on good guides or possibly even folk who will take you out and show you, if they like you and your attitude enough.


Most rifle clubs have enormous waiting lists (years +) and most of them also have very little to do with stalking. 
 

You have gallery shooting clubs and if your very lucky a range with 100/200 yard targets in the background. 
 

You’ll spend several months applying and then have to do 6+ months probation before you can apply for a FAC through a club, then the rifles you pick are for the club type shooting not stalking. 
 

Besides, shooting off a sand bag off a bench isn’t representative of stalking. I was out last night and shot off sticks, quad sticks, very steady and good to shoot off but I can’t see someone setting them up in their shooting lane down the rifle club. 
 

 

 

 

On 13/07/2020 at 05:59, ilovemyheckler said:

I would like to get into stalking. What is the best way?

I had thought about attending one of the BASC Pre DSC1 courses and then their DSC1 and perhaps booking a couple of stalking days?

As I have no experience shooting rifles (apart from air rifles) is there anywhere that offers target practice using the relevant rifle.

Any advice appreciated

 

Thanks


Booking a paid stalk with a guide who will let your use their rifle and also get you into a deer is worth it. 
 

Getting a FAC, rifle, scope, mod, all the extra gear is a considerable expense. I’d want to book several stalks using an estate rifle before I even applied for my FAC tbh. 
 

I shot a Roe buck last night that we managed to squeak into about 50 yards. It wasn’t a difficult shot but it gets the adrenaline pumping when they’re charging in and your trying to get them lined up. 
 

If you tell the guide your experience they should get you within 100 yards of a deer with a bit of effort. You don’t need to be taking 300+ yard shots at most deer. 

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10 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:


Most rifle clubs have enormous waiting lists (years +) and most of them also have very little to do with stalking. 
 

You have gallery shooting clubs and if your very lucky a range with 100/200 yard targets in the background. 
 

You’ll spend several months applying and then have to do 6+ months probation before you can apply for a FAC through a club, then the rifles you pick are for the club type shooting not stalking. 
 

Besides, shooting off a sand bag off a bench isn’t representative of stalking. I was out last night and shot off sticks, quad sticks, very steady and good to shoot off but I can’t see someone setting them up in their shooting lane down the rifle club. 
 

I agree that waiting lists in some areas of England can be long but the OP is in NE Scotland. I also know a lot of stalkers that are members of rifle clubs.

No practice is ever wasted including off bags on a bench. If you had a completely novice stalker would you be getting him/her to take their first shot of a centrefire ever off of sticks?

My first ever centrefire shots were with a .303 on a sand bag on a military range - I guess that the RSM was wrong then - although I would not fancy your chances if you told him that face to face.

I am happiest when shooting off quad sticks as well when out stalking but that is because I am not an immortal and so practise a lot at the range. Breath control, trigger pull, cheek weld, stance all the stuff that someone else overlooking you can improve far better than you can yourself if you are prepared to listen. Then when in a stalking situation with less time all the practice decreases the errors that naturally occur. Again the OP is in NE Scotland so will be after reds and roe and his guide when he first goes out may well have a few beasts that he knows well and keeps up his sleeve for novices as usually presenting a relatively easy shot from a good position, possibly a high seat where the type of shooting is very similar to shooting off a sandbag on a bench.

I remember the nerves the first time I shot a deer, a muntjac doe, only 30 yards thank goodness. If the OP can find a guide who will maybe give him a few hours rifle tuition first then great - I agree that would avoid the need to join a club and one to one tuition is invaluable from a good coach. The first deer in your life can only happen once and making it an experience to remember in a good way is far preferable to a bad shot so needs a reasonable amount of preparation.

 

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21 minutes ago, 243deer said:

I agree that waiting lists in some areas of England can be long but the OP is in NE Scotland. I also know a lot of stalkers that are members of rifle clubs.

No practice is ever wasted including off bags on a bench. If you had a completely novice stalker would you be getting him/her to take their first shot of a centrefire ever off of sticks?

My first ever centrefire shots were with a .303 on a sand bag on a military range - I guess that the RSM was wrong then - although I would not fancy your chances if you told him that face to face.

I am happiest when shooting off quad sticks as well when out stalking but that is because I am not an immortal and so practise a lot at the range. Breath control, trigger pull, cheek weld, stance all the stuff that someone else overlooking you can improve far better than you can yourself if you are prepared to listen. Then when in a stalking situation with less time all the practice decreases the errors that naturally occur. Again the OP is in NE Scotland so will be after reds and roe and his guide when he first goes out may well have a few beasts that he knows well and keeps up his sleeve for novices as usually presenting a relatively easy shot from a good position, possibly a high seat where the type of shooting is very similar to shooting off a sandbag on a bench.

I remember the nerves the first time I shot a deer, a muntjac doe, only 30 yards thank goodness. If the OP can find a guide who will maybe give him a few hours rifle tuition first then great - I agree that would avoid the need to join a club and one to one tuition is invaluable from a good coach. The first deer in your life can only happen once and making it an experience to remember in a good way is far preferable to a bad shot so needs a reasonable amount of preparation.

 


 

Apologies I just know that the OP is now based in the South West area of England. 
 

One big point I was getting at is don't spend the next 6+ months waiting on clubs, get out with someone who can get you out fairly soon. 
 

Practice on targets first, then get out on the real thing when ready. OP might try it once and not like it and not bother again, saving considerable time and expense if he finds it out quickly (although I doubt it). 

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2 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:


 

Apologies I just know that the OP is now based in the South West area of England. 
 

One big point I was getting at is don't spend the next 6+ months waiting on clubs, get out with someone who can get you out fairly soon. 
 

Practice on targets first, then get out on the real thing when ready. OP might try it once and not like it and not bother again, saving considerable time and expense if he finds it out quickly (although I doubt it). 

Being in the South West does put a completely different slant on things regarding clubs for sure. 

With luck there may be someone on here who could take the op out and introduce him to a few calibres as a start

 

 

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