Posts by Linda Mellor

I am a Pro-photographer and writer, I specialise in the Outdoors and Country Sports sectors. I am based in Fife, Scotland and travel.

Are your shooting skills good enough?

National Shooting Centre Scotland

National Shooting Centre Scotland

The game shooting dates have been in the diary since earlier in the year, your shotgun is clean and oiled, your shooting gear is hanging in the wardrobe ready to wear but are you feeling confident about your shooting abilities?

Oh dear….

It’s normal to feel excited when the game day approaches, but, be honest, is it truly excitement you are sensing about having a day out on an estate with your friends or is it a gnawing niggle about your standard of shooting or a worry about your lack of confidence? Perhaps you finished last season on a less than positive note, happy to put your gun away and forget about the missed shots?

Be realistic!

If your shooting did not give you a good feeling last year it is not miraculously going to improve this season if you’ve done nothing about it.

Consider…

On a game day there’s often banter and leg pulling amongst your fellow guns. The keeper, beaters and picker-ups will be watching, a photographer may be taking pictures, and partners and spouses may be observing. We’ve all seen the shooting guest dancing about on the peg, making excuses, not knowing what to do or how to select the best bird to shoot then missing. What if you are on the ‘hot’ peg? Are you equipped with the necessary shooting skills to knock ‘em down? You’re on a stage, and in full view, so if you consistently fluff your shots you’d better brace yourself for a day of embarrassment.

Hmm…

If you are going onto the field feeling unsure about your ability to shoot well there is a high probability your day will not the best. If you think you are going to miss, then you probably will. We all know someone who’ll turn up on a game day and be the butt of all the jokes because of their poor shooting, don’t be that person! You can build your confidence and go into the shoot day knowing how to shoot well and deal with challenging birds

A collection of used shotgun cartridges

A collection of used shotgun cartridges, NSC, Scotland

Get on target with the National Shooting Centre!  National Shooting Centre – Scotland, Wester Jawcraig, Falkirk FK1 3AL

The National Shooting Centre (NSC92) welcomes beginner, novice and experienced shots, their on-site Professional Shooting Coach is Stewart Cumming, a seasoned game shot and a top class clay shooter. If you want to make the most of your game day then Stewart will iron out any niggles, check your gun-fit, pass on invaluable tips and advice and build your confidence to shoot well.

Stewart Cumming, top clay shooter and professional shotgun coach, National Shooting Centre, Scotland

Stewart Cumming, top clay shooter and professional shotgun coach, National Shooting Centre, Scotland

NSC92 have an extensive range of shooting stands and simulated game drives to give you the full game shooting experience with clay targets over their extensive moorland location.

Become a NSC92 member and enjoy many exclusive benefits and generous deals.

Open Tuesday – Sunday, from 10am – 5pm, on Thursday’s you may shoot up to 8pm.

P.S.

Game shooting is a big day out, and also expensive, so invest in your shooting by visiting the NSC92 and book a lesson with Stewart. It will be money well spent, buying you the ability to shoot well. Remember, shooting with confidence treats the game birds respect.

Shotgun coach and National Shooting Centre Manager, Stewart Cumming looking out across the scenic open moorland from one of the clay shooting stands.

Shotgun coach and National Shooting Centre Manager, Stewart Cumming looking out across the scenic open moorland from one of the clay shooting stands.

‘Country sports – evolve to survive’ my regular column for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association.

SGA

Visit website to join and enjoy the many benefits of membership.

New skills, new challenges?

 

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Last year I put down my camera and picked up a rifle. It was all thanks to my collaboration with VenatorPro Ltd based in Perth, Scotland. Learning a new skill was an exciting new process, and one I embraced because I highly value personal growth.

When acquiring additional skills the benefits are numerous. Learning something new brings variety into our life, counteracts boredom and makes us more adaptable. Life rarely stays the same so being adaptable makes accepting change much easier.

Learning can help prevent dementia. When we learn new skills there is an increase in the density of the white matter in the brain and this helps improve performance. Learning stimulates neurons which form neural pathways and allow electrical impulses to travel faster across them.

There is a sense of euphoria when learning and seeing the result of your skills base expanding. I certainly felt that when shooting at targets with .243 Tikka T3 Rifle. It felt as though I was in a state of flow, where all my senses were charged and my focus was fully aligned to the task of target shooting. Previously, I had never shot a rifle, only a shotgun so my learning started from the basics.

If you wish to learn the skill of deer stalking in beautiful Perthshire, contact Kenneth Larsen of Venator Pro.

Selection of photos from the Deer Stalking Fair, March 2018

It’s hard to believe the Deer Stalking Fair is five years old. The dedicated deer event was well supported by specialist retailers, industry experts giving talks and demonstrations.
Venator Pro joined the Fair for the first time, MD Kenneth Larsen said, “Great place to meet deer stalkers and we enjoyed the atmosphere at the Deer Stalking Fair and organisers were very helpful. Our first year but we will be back next year.”

Click here for Venator Pro’s shop full of deer stalking clothing and footwear.

Senior Coach and Shooting School Manager,Tracy Meston said, “I had a successful couple of days making custom ear plugs and taking bookings for the Roxburghe Shooting School. There was a great cross section of visitors ranging from those that ‘do’ who are in the business to those that don’t but want to! It is also a great meeting place for friends to catch up and have a blather!”

Tracy can be found at the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course.

Personal safety for country sports enthusiasts

Going out hunting or deer stalking in remote parts of the countryside or fishing a distant hill loch?

Scotland is a sporting destination enjoyed by men and women from all over the world. Hunting and fishing in far flung, and often isolated, beautiful locations is part of the unique charm of the Scottish experience.

Scottish Country Sports participation requires preparation; picking your dates, finding your chosen location, and selecting a service provider to suit your needs.

Read more of my article on the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group Website, click here.

 

Perfect snow boots from Venator – only £49.99

I wvenator_snow_boot_1ent walking in the snow this morning and have discovered the perfect snow boot. The boots are lightweight, and keep your feet very warm. I was out in deep snow (Scotland has lots of it today!) and only wore a standard pair of socks under the boots. If I’d been wearing wellies I would’ve pulled on two pairs of socks.

I slipped my feet into thevenator_snow_boot_2 boots and headed out.  I had plenty grip in the snow, and did not slip once. My feet were kept very warm and dry. It’s a comfortable boot, and easy to wear because it is so lightweight. I love having warm feet, especially when out in the current blizzard conditions!

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Visit VENATOR website to buy this boot