My interest 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 headed 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 wonderful 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.