‘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?

 

roe_buck_stalking_with_venator_pro_ltd.jpg

 

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.

XPR winter hunting suit save £100 until 31st October

Visit Venator Pro online and order the XPR Hunting Suit before 31st October to receive £100 off!

XPR_WINTER_HUNTING_SUIT

 

My Roe Buck Stalk parts 1 and 2 – read them here..

Read part one of my journey into deer stalking here.

Read part two of my dawn Roe Buck stalk here.

 

all4shooters_part2_roebuck_stalk

 

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

 

venator-hillman-hat

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.

hillman_hat_from_venator_

Linda Mellor’s intro to deer stalking with Venator’s Kenneth Larsen

My interevenator_intro_lm1st in wildlife stretches back more than 50 years, and as a country sports writer and photographer, Scotland’s fauna has featured in my work many times. No animal stands out more for its beauty and adaptability than the Roe deer.

I have worked with deerstalkers and accompanied many stalks with my camera but it wasn’t until I joined Venator as product Ambassador for their Hillman range of outdoor clothing did I feel the urge to stalk and shoot deer.

As the deer population continues to grow, I understand why deer numbers need to be managed as management means no starvation through overgrazing and strong healthy genes. I have worked with the Police involving deer-related wildlife crime and have seen the impact of deer populations near roads and the traffic collisions.

My ‘introduction to deer stalking’ was conducted by Venator’s MD Kenneth Larsen, a passionate deerstalker. We spent the morning discussing deer species, stalking techniques, shot placement and rifle safety then after a bite of lunch, we headedvenator_intro_lm4_kenneth_larsen out into the Perthshire countryside for target practice.

It felt good getting to grips with the Tikka T3 .243 with GRS stock; I loved the adjustable stock and felt comfortable with my shooting position. I took my time and slowed my breathing down to take my first shot, focussed and squeezed. I shot off sticks and in the prone position and felt confident and pleased with my very first target practice with a rifle. It’s a more intense process than shotgun shooting as there are many more factors to consider and, of course, safety is paramount at all times. Getting yourself into the focused and calm zone to shoot and then following through by shooting well gives a wonvenator_intro_lm2derful sense of achievement.

Kenneth said, “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and determination shown by Linda when she took her first shot with a rifle. She took to rifle shooting like a duck to water. Eager to follow all safety instruction, calm, confident and focused she shot a great 9 from the prone position at 80 metres, followed by a great 3 shot grouping. After 10 shots at the roe deer target from prone position and off the sticks, all within the target area, I am confident that Linda is ready to progress to the next step with a “live” guided stalk and ultimately cull her first deer”

My live stalk will be happening very soon, stay tuned.venator_intro_lm3

Visit Venator to book your stalk and buy deerstalking clothing from Hillman.