Charlie Jacoby on Muntjac Stalking
Former editor of Sporting Rifle and now editor at the Fieldsports Channel Charlie Jacoby sends us an article about Muntjac Stalking and takes up the story...
Charlie Jacoby from the Fieldsports Channel and former editor of Sporting Rifle Magazine takes up the story. Watch the whole stalk unfold via the link at the bottom of the article:
"Mark Gilchrist can't find a muntjac - but the game chef does know which deer is tastiest Mark Gilchrist has only shot two muntjac before. He is out with his friend Amir, who is an expert stalker, and he has high hopes for today".
"If I get one today it could be my third muntjac. So it is quite a big thing for me," he says. "We are up in Essex where a friend of mine has got too many muntjac on the farm and they want them culled. So hopefully Amir and I are going to go out and get some muntjac."
It does not look hopeful. Amir starts by having to lend Mark a knife and a pair of binoculars. The knife is enormous.
"What is this for?" asks Mark. "Are these legal?"
"Yeah," says Amir.
"What do you mean yeah? It is not legal."
"It is," insists Amir. I have 'good reason' to cary it - reasonable excuse."
"What is the reason for having a Rambo knife?"
Amir remains polite. "In case you need to bleed it from the sternum."
It does not exactly shut Mark up but he points out that, as we've all got up early, we'd better get on with it. It is wet underfoot and there is a constant drizzle which does not fill us with a great deal of optimism for deer to be on the move.
Mark is already feeling the Fieldsports Channel pressure. As much as we love him, the deer never want to play ball when we're stalking with the Gilchrist. We sometimes wonder if his game pies are actually full of quorn and hummus. As we are here in search of deer, apparently muntjac (although we haven't seen any) - what is this chef's favourite venison?
"I have heard every one say that everyone is the best," says Mark. "Of all the six species, everyone has said that the best one by far is the particular one they shoot. Actually if you know how to cook all of them they are all very good to eat."
That makes sense but the prospect of getting hold of some venison today is not looking good. We eventually rendezvous with Amir who hasn't seen anything either. "We are going to go and stalk the thicker wood, mainly a fir wood, which I think is where the deer might be," says Mark. "And you always find on a cold drizzly day, always, well often they are in thicker woods so we will go and give that a go."
Our last block of woodland is again a deer-free zone. They might be creating havoc here but not today in the rain. So what has Mark got to say for himself?
"All in all it wasn't a great success I am afraid," he says. "It just goes to show, a reminder to your viewers why I am not on the Fieldsports Channel very often anymore when you have got people like Crow, Digweed, Roy Lupton, the favourites that deliver every time. You have moved on, haven't you? Oh well at the end of the day it is a great privilege to be allowed to walk on somebody's land with a gun whether you shoot anything or not. We are here and I had a lovely morning and I am allowed to come back. So that is all that matters."
To watch the film about Mark's stalk, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNnUYigirgc#t=13m40s