Testimonial from Sue Beveridge
My First Stalking Outing
Earlier in the year, I went stalking with two friends, just as an observer. I was curious to see what it entailed, but also to see what my reaction would be to seeing a deer being shot. Being a vegetarian for most of my life, I wasn’t sure how I would react. In fact I was surprised; the whole stalking, shooting and gralloching totally fascinated me. I decided to go and get some first-hand experience.
A search on the internet led me to the Scottish Country Sports Tourism website which, much to my surprise, had a ladies’ page! There, I read an article by Chris Dalton of Ayrshire Stalking about taking a lady out stalking. Sounded a nice approach. I booked an introduction to stalking with 2 extra outings.
To start with, we went on to the range where Chris explained rifle safety and I had some practice shooting from various positions and distances. The rifle felt quite heavy and cumbersome in my hands and the first shot was a bit of a shock but with practice I started to feel more comfortable.
I had 3 outings and on the third one I shot a 2 year old roe buck. Not the easiest of shots, on my knees, in corn, rifle balancing on sticks, my hands shaking, but when it came to the shot somehow I held it together, stopped shaking and got a good lung shot. A good clean kill. Chris then showed me the gralloch in the field.
It was a very exciting and rewarding experience; for a few days afterwards, I was in some sort of trance remembering it. A big event, bit like childbirth, less painful.
So while there feels like something instinctive and primitive about being the huntress, for me it was also about the ‘head space’ I got from the stalking. 5am walking around in the woods, a couple of hours sitting in a high chair, just me and the peace and the natural surroundings; it was a great change from my usually busy life.
And did I eat any venison? “