“Having passed my DSC1 a few weeks earlier I was keen to get out for a few stalks to raise my skill level. As a complete novice (but good shot) I decided to spend a full day with County Deer Stalking’s James Mott on an intensive course, which was adapted for my particular training needs.

He picked me up at 4.45am and off we went to Oxfordshire in the pursuit of some Fallow Bucks. On our arrival just before dawn James led me to a high seat, which looks along a ride to wait and see if any resident Bucks put in an appearance for 30 mins before setting off on foot.

Literally within 15 minutes a huge buck appeared in the tree line, and with James permission I took the shot. As I reloaded I heard the Buck crashing through the undergrowth out of my sight. As we sat in the seat waiting the standard few minutes I knew the shot was a good one.

Now my days training began in earnest.

Under James’s instruction I visually marked the spot in the tree line where I last saw the buck and climbed down from the seat and walked to the spot and placed a marker. A careful 20 meter area search revealed no blood trail, and James asked me what I was going to do now?

It’s an unsettling feeling when faced with the fact that I may not have fatally wounded the deer especially when I was 100% sure that I had hit it correctly in the heart/lung area.

But I gathered my thoughts and said that I would extend my search out towards where I heard the deer run. This we did, and in a few minutes I found the Buck around 30 metres away. The shot was good, but there was no blood signs even though the bullet had struck the heart. In short the hardly beast had managed to stop the .243 bullet within the body cavity.

I then gralloched, skinned and butchered the carcass myself in the field with expert guidance from James.

I have to say, that you cannot get this knowledge, from a book or from You tube. I know, as I researched all this before the trip, nothing can replace the hands on approach.

In the afternoon we went on to field craft and James opened my eyes to how much information the woodland gives you to help you ascertain not only the numbers of deer present but also the species. He showed me signs of couches, racks, rutting stands. etc

As a result of this intensive course, I now feel so much more confidence to go out on my own land and cull and process deer.

This course is a must to any novice deerstalker. I look forward to going out with James again in the near future to continue to build on my knowledge. Stuart Gill”.



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