How to Book Deer Stalking
- Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Book Deer Stalking - So you have decided that you would like to try out Deer Stalking, you may or may not have been hunting before but what are the things that you should ask the provider in order to insure that you get what you are after?
(Above: Book an Outings Deer Stalking - what should you ask from your outfitter?)
When receiving bookings for Deer Stalking myself I expect to have to answer certain questions, indeed if I am not asked them I often find myself volunteering the information freely, however here's a quick guide to some of the things you should consider and questions that you might ask before booking a stalk.
1) Firstly decide on what time of year you would like to stalk and find out what animals are in season. At certain times of year you may find some providers can offer no stalking at all, and at others the stalking may be only for Cull animals or Trophies. This could have a big impact on when you can go and what you might spend.
2) Secondly are you prepared to travel and what species would you like to hunt? There is little point in trying to secure Red Stag stalking in Surrey or Chinese Water Deer in Scotland.
3) Thirdly what is the likely cost? Speak to a couple of different Stalkers and compare their fees. Beware Deer Stalking can incur some additional charges, some outfitters will charge for using the Estate Rifle, Success fees, Shooting tests and trophies. This isn't a bad thing in itself, however be sure to get a detailed account of the likely costs, preferably in writing. A good outfitter will be able to provide you with clear written guidelines on their fees. There should be no nasty surprises provided you have read this through.
4) Ask how the stalking will be conducted? Is it on foot or are you in a High Seat? Is it accompanied and by whom? Over how many acres does the stalking take place and how long does the outing last for?
5) What qualifications and experience does your guide have?
6) Also don't be afraid to ask what your chances are of success. This will of course depend on the time of year, the species that you are stalking and how adept you are, however ask your guide to give you an idea of how many animals are typically culled in proportion to visits. It is not an exact science however good providers should have the confidence to be frank with you on this point.
7) Finally be comfortable with your guide, there is nothing more miserable than being taken stalking by someone who clearly doesn't even want you to be there, so at the least try and speak to them on the phone and check that they have more conversation than the occasional Grunt!!
Where ever or whatever you are stalking remember to be polite and straight forward about your level of experience and be prepared to accept the good outings with the bad.
Deer are wild animals and so there are no guarantees however it is fair to ask yourself at the end of a stalk: 'did my guide do the best he could for me?'
Coupled with your own observations as to slots on the ground and the level of browse this should leave you with a firm idea as to if you wish to re book.
If you would like some suggestions as to some great Deer Stalking providers feel free to drop me a line for a few recommendations. Good luck!