Thermal imagers for hunting – our top riflescope picks

Over the past few years, there has been an ever-increasing use of observation units and thermal imagers for hunting in the shooting world. An array of well-known and not-so-well-known manufacturers are dipping their toes into the market and releasing models. As the landscape of the shooting industry changes, the need…

Choosing riflescopes

Choosing riflescopes: what you should look out for

You don’t actually need much kit to go deerstalking. Binoculars to spot a beast and a rifle to bring it down are essential, but I would argue that choosing riflescopes is the most important part of the set-up. There’s a reason why most stalkers advise spending more on a scope…

Deer stalking

How to choose the right camouflage for deer stalking

Guests preparing for deer stalking often ask what kit they need, especially clothing. They ask whether they can wear camouflage. Usually the answer is yes, however some of the ground we stalk is on estates where the manager prefers us not to wear camouflage. (Read more on what to wear…

deer stalking clothing

Deer stalking clothing: this is what to wear

One of the things I most enjoy about deer stalking is working with newcomers. Often these are people who have done a fair bit of game shooting or fishing but have decided it’s time to get into stalking properly. Inevitably, if you’re deciding to take up stalking or you’re keen…

Setting up trail cams for hunting

The best trail cams for wildlife monitoring

Four sharp ‘pinks’ from a blackbird and she froze, ears strained, tongue flashing across her nose. Then she was off. A minute later an unfamiliar man lumbered into view, trampling clumsily through the thick bankside grass. The nearest footpath was a few hundred yards away. It was one of the…

deer in garden

Shooting deer near houses. Is it legal?

Q: We’ve all heard of the proliferation of the deer population over the last few years. Where I live muntjac are starting to be a real nuisance in local gardens. My neighbours know that I go deer stalking and have asked me to come over to do something about controlling…

high seat for shooting

How to build the perfect high seat

High seats feature in some of my most enduring stalking memories. With the safety of a permanent earthen backstop and the comfort and concealment that a high seat for shooting offers, it’s easy to see why elevated hunting blinds are enormously popular both in the UK and throughout much of…

Deer stalking

Why do we keep deer heads?

Why do we prepare and keep the heads of the deer that we shoot? Why do we measure deer heads and treasure them in the way that we do? Since the dawn of time, hunters have retained the antlered heads of the deer that they have taken in the chase.…

Chinese water deer

Stalking Chinese water deer

Britain now has more than 15% of the world’s Chinese water deer population, but it is an exotic species native to China, eastern Asia, North Korea and South Korea. It was first introduced to the UK in 1873, when the deer were kept within zoos. They were released into parks…

Professional deerstalker

What it means to be a professional stalker

I am stalking on the edge of the Breckland at Euston and following estate stalker Chris Rogers in pursuit of roe and muntjac. The two roe we are watching are almost hidden by the scrub. With their heads down it also hides us from them and we quietly close the…

English roe review 2020

English roe review 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on both professional and amateur hunters alike has been extraordinary. It is interesting that, despite the pandemic, we still evaluated 1,014 heads of all species last year compared with the 1,200 that we looked at in 2019. The courier business became an enabler for both hunters…

Scottish roe review 2020

Despite COVID-19, figures for the Scottish 2020 list are impressive. From more than 260 roe heads presented, 232 were awarded CIC medals — 61 golds, 65 silvers and 106 bronzes. An astounding 19 heads achieved a score in excess of 150 CIC points, the level considered to be the benchmark…

deer fighting

Do deer kill each other?

Last October I saw for the first time a battle between two big fallow bucks. The violence astonished me and makes me wonder how often they are killed?

deer stalking

Cull before the storm

‘‘For at least 20 years, deer stalking has been one of the brightest stars in the shooting firmament. Its rise has tracked the steady growth in the range and population of our six native or naturalised deer species and has effectively resulted in the establishment of a new fieldsport. Until…

Fallow deer

How to create your own deer management plan

Deer management in 
any landscape requires 
a coordinated and well-thought-out plan. When it comes up in conversation, as it does more regularly than one would imagine, the viewpoint of those unfamiliar with deer management is more often than not, “Isn’t the aim simply to shoot as many as possible?” While…

Sika deer

Why sika deer are posing a threat to our native reds

Sika deer and Coco Chanel When I say ‘invasive non-native species’ the first thing to spring to your mind may be mink, the American signal crayfish or Rhododendron ponticum. It probably isn’t Coco Chanel. A keen angler and worthy of more Shooting Times column space than I can offer, Chanel…