10 Steps to Becoming A Great Deer Stalker
So you want to start deer stalking from scratch?…
Here are 10 tips that will help you on your journey to becoming a top-class deer stalker.
10 tips that will help you become a top class deer stalker
You’re reading this, so you are obviously looking to get into deer stalking? The good news is that you’re in the best possible place to be able to get there. Jelen PWS are the UK’s only deer-related training providers to be able to take you from being a complete beginner, to becoming one of the best. You don’t have to be a beginner to benefit from the vast range of opportunities that are available to you from Jelen. Start your journey here.
1. Find out what deer stalking is all about
Before you even think about shooting a deer, you need to find out what deer stalking entails, and know the reasons why you are doing it, what the results are of you doing it, and what the consequences are of you getting it wrong! There are some important do’s and don’ts that you need to know in order to make your experience as a new deer stalker both enjoyable, effective and humane.
You need to be clear on what it means to shoot your first deer, and understand why a degree of selectivity is crucial to effect meaningful, compassionate and effective deer control. There is
no place in modern deer stalking for the indiscriminate slaughter of healthy deer.
2. Learn about firearms
You MUST learn about the firearms you may be using right from the outset. You will need to know how to safely, competently and effectively use a variety of rifle types and sighting systems. You need to understand the capabilities of modern rifles, and the associated safety considerations that will both keep you and others alive, and keep you out of jail!
This is vital to ensure your safety, that of the public, and to know why it is important to deliver humane, ethical and sustainable deer control in the modern world.
3. Apply for your firearms certificate (FAC)
Your FAC is the legal document that you will need before you can purchase any firearm. To apply for a FAC, simply go onto the website of your local Police HQ and onto the Firearms Licensing page from where you should be able to download the application form.
Before any Police Constabulary will grant you an FAC, you will need to convince them that you have ‘good reason’ for wanting a firearm. Having Deer stalking permission, membership of a
shooting club or needing a firearm for your employment are all considered ‘good reasons’.
From applying for an FAC to it arriving in the post can take several months, but there are ways of avoiding long delays by ensuring that the form is filled in correctly and completely. If you have any accompanying documentation to support your application, you should send copies in with your application. Such documentation might include a letter of permission from a landowner to shoot deer on his/her land, or a membership card from a rifle club.
Once your Firearms Licensing Officer receives your application form, then they will assign your application to your local FEO (Firearms Enquiry Officer) who will carry out some background checks to reassure him/herself that you are a suitable person to own a firearm.
These checks will include a search for any criminal records that you may have, and also an assurance from your Doctor that you are not currently receiving treatment for any mental health issues, or that there are historic issues that may have a bearing on your suitability to own and use a firearm.
Once all checks have been carried out, then your FEO will make a recommendation to the FLO (Firearms Licensing Officer) as to your suitability to own and use a firearm.
4. Sort out your Firearms Security Arrangements
It is a good idea to ensure that you have suitable storage arrangements so that the
security of the firearm and ammunition that you are hoping to acquire will be stored in such a way that unauthorised access is prevented at all times to everyone except you – and that includes members of your own family unless they too have an FAC authorising them to use the same firearm.
Your gun cabinet should ideally be to British Standards, and it will need to be bolted to a solid brick wall and/or to the floor so that it can’t be prised free in the event of a break-in. You also need a separate smaller cabinet in which to store ammunition, bolts (and your FAC when granted) as well as any other valuable equipment such as binoculars and thermal image equipment.
5. Decide on the calibre and type of rifle that suits you best
Rifle calibres, types and sighting configurations are very much a matter of personal choice. However, you need to have decided on this before you apply for your FAC. Either way, the rifle/scope system you choose must be suitable for the type of animal/s you are looking to shoot. For example if you are only likely to shoot Red Deer, then the calibre should be large enough to ensure a swift and humane death, although bullet placement must be precise to
6. Buy your rifle, scope and associated equipment
Always ensure that you receive some professional advice on what equipment you need to buy. Rifles are very much precision instruments, and although they may look well-looked after on the surface, a rifle barrel can be irreparably damaged in only one or two shots. So time spent making sure that the equipment shoots well is time well spent. A gun shop that is reluctant to allow you to do this should be treated as suspicious.
7. Begin your training
You will gain so much more from your experiences by knowing the right/wrong things to do. The best way of achieving this is by enrolling on good training courses run by professionals – people who have done this work for many years and have seen both the benefits, and the pitfalls that you need to avoid.
There is currently little public appetite for the slaughter of healthy deer, so learn how to take an evolutionary approach towards deer control (as a large predator would) by focusing on the removal of the poorest specimens, instead of seeking out the biggest and best. Be be mindful of the effects of what you are doing on the environment as a whole is. Its This is just one way that you can set yourself apart from those who simply wish to kill deer with no longer-term vision of what the effects might be.
8. Gain Experience
All classroom training is good to a point, but at some point you will need to put into practice the theoretical and practical knowledge that you have learned through training. There is no better way to do this than to align yourself with a service provider who is doing this professionally. You will achieve incredible satisfaction from doing it right, and you will gain respect from professional people who may be in an ideal position to provide you with an opportunity for on-going skills development across the whole spectrum of deer management.
They may even be able to steer you to possible employment opportunities, so gaining experience with the right people will pay off for you in the end – provided you are committed to making it work.
9. Commit to excellence at all levels
You will become one of a relatively small number of people who are able to steer newcomers in the right direction. Remember where you started, and remember how you were assisted, taught and generally encouraged to subscribe to excellence.
The keystones of excellence are solidified by your refusal to accept mediocrity in deer control, by rejecting inhumane treatment of animals, and by your commitment to a conservation-led approach to wild deer control and management.
10. Trust Jelen Premier Wildlife Services
On your journey to becoming a successful deer manager, you will find that only Jelen PWS will be there to support you from your very first thoughts about becoming a deer stalker through to you becoming a professional. With almost 40 years experience of helping people just like you, the opportunities for you have never been better.
But we can’t provide everything for you. The commitment, the self-belief and the determination have to come from you, but we can promise you that if you have it in you, then we’ll help you
bring it out.
Founder and CEO
Nearly 40 years ago, Mike Allison Set out to raise the standards of deer control, management and husbandry in the UK.
To this day, his determination to continue this process has been unwavering.
Jelen PWS (Jelen Premier Wildlife Services) has become synonymous with the very best services in the wild, park and farmed deer sectors.
Mike’s commitment to the modern UK deer industry across all its sectors is evident through his conservation-led approach to delivering humane, ethical and sustainable deer control.
His rejection of the widespread mediocrity that typically surrounds wild deer management, and his refusal to accept unethical, inhumane and indiscriminate control techniques sets a standard within the industry.
Mike is married with 3 kids and loves them almost as much as his dog and his guitar!
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