Points on stag antlers

Stag antlers: what makes a stag a Royal, an Imperial or a Monarch?

Q: How many points on stag antlers can a red in the wild be expected to grow when it is in good health with a good food supply? And what then makes a stag a ‘Royal’ and an ‘Imperial stag’?  Many things have an impact on the number of points…

deerstalking

Being a better stalker: getting to the next level

Having successfully completed a deerstalking certificate, a stalker’s attention will turn to applying for a UK firearms certificate (FAC), along with accessing land and potentially sourcing a mentor. Covering the FAC first, I will be looking at deer-legal rifles. In the 20 years or so that I have been delivering…

Red stag

Finding the perfect calibre for deer

The UK is blessed to have a selection of deer species, both indigenous and introduced — and vitally important management of deer creates sporting opportunities all around the country. However, with species ranging from red stags weighing up to 190kg to a 10kg muntjac, having a suitable rifle for all…

Stalking Britain’s best reds with Chris Dalton

Do late season red stags on the hill make for the best stalking experience?  Chris Dalton thinks so. On this week’s show we have a double header. First, Chris is guiding Norman to try for his first stag on the closing day of the 2021 season. Second, the following day,…

Stalking Highland red stags

For years Thomas Nissen has dreamed about stalking Highland red stags. During a typically wet and windy Scottish stalk on the latest episode of TheShootingShow, Thomas encounters the finest game in pursuit of the dream shot. With thanks to our sponsors  

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…

Merkel Helix Speedster

Merkel Helix Speedster – for all types of stalking

Straight-pull rifles are becoming more popular as their ability to offer a super-fast cycling rate with a short and effortless bolt-action design is appealing. German firm Merkel has had good success with its version of this genre in the Helix system, and the Merkel Helix Speedster model embodies all 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…

lightweight rifles

Best lightweight rifles – we test a selection

I was two-thirds the way up ‘the Ben’ and puffing some when my companion started. “You should get a lightweight rifle, like mine,” he said. At that moment any rifle would have been too heavy, but I refrained from replying that maybe the 40-year difference in our ages ought to…

using a thermal imager

How to use thermal imagers safely

Before using a thermal imager The human brain learns from birth to process a colourful, bright visual world.  Our brains subconsciously assess distance, speed, size and the many other factors we see 24 hours a day. So it is key to take the time to get naturally acquainted with the…

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…

Stalking sika deer in Sutherland, Scotland

An early morning stalk in a snowy landscape. The stalkers discuss tactics and survey the horizon. A small herd of sika is quickly sighted and one of the number despatched. Sika were introduced in 1860 from the Far East and need careful management to protect the local habitat. The film…

Viking roe deer

Stalking roe deer

An early morning stalk on a glorious day in North Yorkshire, that takes the stalkers through waist-high corn fields through to the deep cover of a broad leaf forest, after the quarry. One clean shot and the deer is ready to be gralloched and taken home for butchering.

Stalking Chinese water deer

Chinese water deer established themselves in England in 1929, after escaping from a private park. The species has been successful and today Britain is home to 10% of the world’s Chinese water deer population. The stalker cautiously tracks a Chinese water deer with the essential skills of silence, stealth and…

Stalking red deer in Skye

A day stalking red deer on a 23,000 acre estate in Skye, with the stalkers striding through streams, wading rivers, clambering over rocky terrain, crawling across moorland and through boggy reeds. If you’ve been stalking before you’ll be familiar with the readying of kit, the atmosphere of growing anticipation and…

culling hinds

Lead alternatives for deer stalkers

Investigating lead alternatives for deer The lead versus non-toxic debate is nothing new to those of us actively involved in the management of deer. This isn’t going to be an in-depth technical analysis of the minutiae of bullet design. It is an insight into my experiences using various non-toxic rounds…

Deer stalkers scanning the hill

14 popular rifles for deer stalking

Our experts have reviewed 14 rifles for deer stalking that have proven popular and ranked highly with our reviewers. Choosing a calibre Consider the calibre that will fit your deer species  — for example, 
if you only have muntjac and Chinese water deer, a .22 centrefire, a .222, 
a .223…