No more sexist dinosaurs in country-sports

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It’s great to see women of all ages shooting, fishing, deerstalking, working their gundogs or bringing deer down from the hill with their highland ponies. Of course, the female of the species is no stranger to fieldsports; in Roman Mythology Diana is the Goddess of the hunt and wild animals, Anne Boleyn was a skilled Archer and Queen Victoria, though not a stalker, accompanied Albert on umpteen stalks. Victoria’s passionate writing about stalking in Scotland helped change the stuffy Victorian attitudes to something much more positive so that Londoners came in droves to enjoy Scottish fieldsports.

Other ladies earned their place in the history books like Angler, Georgina Ballantyne, with her record breaking salmon, the legendary Sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, who was trapping, shooting and hunting game before she was ten years old and went on to become an international shooting star.

When I was growing up, and going to shoots and gundog tests with my daddawn_roe_doe_stalk_linda_mellor, there would be very few women involved. Nowadays, as many women as men work their dogs on shoots, they beat and pick-up, you’ll see them in the shooting line, or enjoying blasting the targets at the clay grounds or fishing the rivers and lochs. Other ladies prefer deer stalking, and some of us, love all country sports. Earlier this year, I stalked and shot my first Roe Buck with Stalker Kenneth Larsen from Venator Pro; it was a great experience, and I went into the stalk, well-prepared and confident in my rifle shooting thanks to Kenneth’s professionalism. He treated me as an equal, I felt good about the entire process, it gave me a sense of achievement, and a new skill to improve upon. Continue reading →

Ultra-lightweight Boot ideal for shoot days

If you are out picking-up on your local shoot with your gun dogs, you’ll need comfortable footwear to keep you dry and warm. Hillman have introduced a new range of boots; the Feather boot is ultra-lightweight, and designed to keep your feet warm and dry in the coldest temperatures. Lawrie Robertson tested a pair of the feather boots out on his local shoot, he is a lifelong shooting and gundog man, based in Fife, Scotland, and has worn many different boots over the years.

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Lawrie wearing Hillman Feather Boots, picking up on a local shoot.

Lawrie said, “it’s hard to believe a boot could be so light and comfortable. A lightweight boot is great news, especially if you are getting on a bit in years (Lawrie is 78), as you are standing and walking all day when you are picking-up on the shoot. The Feather Boots are wide, and that adds to the comfort plus they’re easy to get on and off. They felt great to wear and I’ll be wearing them each time I’m out at the shoot, and when I’m gundog training. I give them 9 out of 10!”

Buy the boots online at www.venatorpro.com

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If you want to get ahead, get a (Hillman) hat

 

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Linda Mellor out deer stalking with Kenneth Larsen, Venator’s MD

Everyone should have a good hat or cap they can use for shooting, fishing and deer stalking. A hat serves many purposes; good camouflage, can be used for warmth, keep the sun and rain off your face and out of your eyes and, in my case, it helps keeps my hair out of the way.

For years, I have worn a couple of different hats; each one has its function; I love my Akubra hat for everyday wear and shooting, it’s also good for fishing and walking but not on a windy day. Recently, I tried and loved the Hillman Reversible Hat. It comes in a range of sizes and patterns; my favourite is the Autumn hat because of the green (I love green) running through the camo pattern. The hat has a folding bill; this feature was invented and produced by Hillman. Thanks to the hat’s lack of bulk you can stuff it in your pocket when not in use, and pull it out when you need it without the need for rigorous reshaping. It also had reversible fluorescent orange. I wore mine when I was out on my first dawn roe buck stalk with Venator’s MD Kenneth Larsen (pictured).

The Hillman Reversible Hat suits men and women and my one is now a permanent fixture in my hat collection.

You can buy one here online at Venator.

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Simba rods, handmade in Scotland

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Attention to detail and an innate understanding and passion for angling are three factors that make Simba rods stand out in the somewhat overcrowded marketplace. You won’t find any Simba rods for sale in the angling outlets as they are all custom-made to order. The rods are handmade in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland by Fisher Simon Barnes, and are personalised to suit the angler’s requirements. Continue reading →

Your Scottish Country Sports Adventure

driven_grouse_shooting_scotlandScotland 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 SSALMON_FISHING_FLYFISHINGcotland 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 →