Scotland has a rich hunting heritage and is one of the most sought after sporting destinations, attracting hunters, shooters and anglers from around the world looking for a Scottish sporting adventure. The dramatic glens, ancient forests, flowing rivers and lochs are the habitats for a vast range of species, and the setting for some of the most spectacular sport to challenge the boldest of hunters. The country is relatively small; it is only 274 miles from North to South and makes shooting and stalking very accessible. With more than 30,000 freshwater lochs and 6,600 river systems, anglers have a vast choice.
Each county is richly woven with centuries-old history, and many of the landscapes are strewn with castles and ancient ruins. The sporting traditions such as blessing the river with a whisky filled quaich, dragging red deer down from the hill with a garron or acknowledging the ‘Glorious Twelfth’, are all unmistakably Scottish and recognised the world over.
Hunting lodges have been part of the Scottish landscape for centuries, one of the oldest dates back to 1107 when royal hunting parties hunted wild cat, wolves, deer, wild boar and bears. Wealthy Edwardians and Victorians made Scotland their sporting playground. Many of those who flocked to Scotland were influenced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who bought Balmoral Castle and embraced the shooting, deer stalking and fishing.
Today, country sports tourism boosts the Scottish economy by £155m and is expected to reach £185 million by 2020. There is an estimated 4,400 working full time in the industry; 2,600 employed in shooting and stalking and 1,800 engaged in fishing. Continue reading →
Venator Pro is based in Perth, Scotland and offers deer stalking experiences for novice and experienced hunters, and is the supplier for stalking clothing and accessories. The business consists of accomplished, professional stalkers and is headed up by MD, Kenneth Larsen, who settled in Perth 15 years ago and established the company in 2014.
Venator Pro is the UK distributor for Hillman hunting clothing. The Hillman brand is an established market leader, selling to over 2 million hunters worldwide. The European company is known for its innovation and single focus on hunting clothing and accessories. It leads the way by using memory foam technology and magnetic closures in their hunting clothing. Venator Pro stocks a wide range of deerstalker clothing, footwear and larder equipment, and all can be bought via their website or in person from their unit at the Riverside Business Centre, Perth. The Hillman deer stalking range offers hunters a wide selection of jackets, trousers, camo suits, shirts, pullovers, boots and base layers. Continue reading →
Linda Mellor in her Akubra hat
Each year we are all faced with the seasonal challenge of present buying for our loved ones. The pressure is on as we tackle the dilemma of choosing an appropriate and thoughtful gift.
Nowadays, the choice is vast and most of it is available online, however, it does not make the decisions surrounding what to buy any easier. The ‘it’ll do’ approach will not work; gift buying is a dark art, feared by many, mastered by a few. If our seasonal gifts reflect a lack of thought perhaps they may be interpreted as a measure of our feelings for the recipient. Get it wrong at your peril.
If you have searched the internet, exhausted your inspiration and trawled the shops to no avail then look no further, I have the answer! The Akubra hat.
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Gundogs have been bred over many years for specific roles. They are divided into three main classifications: retrievers, spaniels, pointing and setter breeds. There are also HPR (hunt, point and retrieve) breeds such as the popular multi-skilled Weimaraner and Vizsla.
A retriever is a dog bred to primarily retrieve shot game back to its handler without damage. Popular retrieving breeds are the labrador and the golden retriever. Most gundogs will naturally retrieve a shot bird however regular training is needed to harness their natural instincts so they understand and respond to a range of advanced commands. Training is also a great bonding exercise for dog and handler, uniting them as a team and creating a stronger, close-knit relationship.
Handler sending his gundog out on a retrieve during a training session
A good working dog should come from working lines, it should have a pleasant temperament, be biddable, intelligent, friendly and strong. Retrievers are bred for their soft mouths so they carry game in their mouths without biting into it. This trait is particularly important as the majority of the game birds shot are destined for the table. A hard-mouthed dog renders the game unpresentable and unfit to eat. It is a serious fault in a gundog as a hard mouth is nearly always incurable.
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