Over a Decade of County Deer Stalking
- Monday, 20 January 2020
To this day, I vividly recall getting out of bed on a warm, early spring day, excited to be taking out my first paying client deer stalking. Today, over one decade on, I look back at quite a journey.
Over previous years, Deer Stalking had become a passion for me. I had grown up on a farm in the Fallow rich area of Ashdown Forest where, from just a boy, I had grown up with ‘Field Sports’. The ambition of making ‘Field Sports’ a career initially became secondary to other more realistic choices and so my long-held love of shooting, was to be put on the ‘back burner’ whilst I pursued career’s in the Police and Residential Property. Eventually however, having retired from the Police and with a lull in the housing market in 2009, an opportunity presented itself to revisit my passion.
Now as anyone will tell you, turning a hobby into a career is no easy task, however, as I had heard it said before: ‘If you can turn your hobby into your job, you never work a day in your life’. This may have rather overstated my perception of the last ten years! However, I’ve never looked back and still today there is nothing I’d rather be doing. Ever since that first spring day, I have considered myself immensely lucky.
( I first started 'Guided' stalking with clients in Hampshire, grounds which were rich in Roe)
As with any new start-up, it’s a gradual process, money and clients do not come flooding in from day one, you have to take steps to develop the income and your client base. However, it was to be the good fortune of my chosen field sport, that over the years it grew in popularity, so in truth, I did not find it hard to attract a series of loyal clients, who happily spread the word.
Indeed, in the early days, I didn’t spend a single penny on advertising my services, instead I ploughed any available time I had into setting up a website called ‘County Deer Management’, through which I wrote a regular ‘blog’, something that undoubtedly widened my reach as well as improved my knowledge.
Today, over ten years on, as we charge headlong into the ‘roaring 20’s’, things have grown beyond expectation. ‘County Deer Stalking’, as it is now called, attracts over 40,000 unique visitors each year to its hundreds of articles, features and reviews.
Our later established ‘Youtube channel’, has also been a huge success. A growing list of over 60 films have now attracted over 1.5 million viewers and the channel now typically achieves between 500 – 1,000 views each day.
We have pioneered the ‘Proficient Deer Stalker’ (PDS) range of ‘Deer Stalker training courses’, including the hugely popular PDS1, and have helped train hundreds of beginners in achieving proficiency in deer stalking.
Mid way through the decade, in 2015, we also launched the UK’s premier deer stalking club, in the form of our official members club, the prestigious; ‘Capreolus Club’. Having started with an initial 14 original members, as the club now approaches its fifth year, we are proud to have just issued membership number 151.
Yes, we have worked hard, however, as I look back, I recognise, that first and foremost, we could not have done any of this without the support and help of our thousands or readers, viewers, clients and sponsors. What the 20’s will have in store? Who knows - the future looks bright, but for the time being, as we enter a new decade, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart and wish you a very happy, prosperous and exciting new year!
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Or maybe you’d like to book yourself on the popular ‘PDS1 Course’, in which case please click here for more details: proficient-stalker