Features

The Pressure of Guiding for a Guide

Can Chris Rogers deliver under the pressure of guiding for professional hunter Chris Bilkey, as they seek two good bucks in just two days?  After being deer manager on the Euston estate for the past eleven-and-a-half years things run fairly smoothly and consistently year on year. Every year has its slight variations and highlights, be it a memorable stalk, client, trophy or the weather. This roe buck season, which we are now just about finishing (at the end of August 2016) has been memorable for two reasons. Firstly, it’s been extremely wet! I can’t remember a wetter roe buck season...

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Muntjac – Menace or Magic?

Muntjac –  like them or loathe them – they are here to stay! Most of us can’t help but be impressed with this little deer, brought over to England as specimens for the few remaining grand deer parks. Several collectors kept different species of muntjac but Woburn Abbey Deer Park is the best known for keeping a collection, along with some 40 other deer species. The Reeves muntjac (Muntiacus reeves) or Chinese muntjac, were named after John Russell Reeves who worked for the British East India Company in Canton and organised their transport back to the UK. They have...

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Venison: A Question of Cooking

Jose Souto, Chef Lecturer in Culinary Arts and author of Venison: the Game Larder, runs through the basics of cooking venison, including a break down of the many factors that may affect the flavour. This article will get you thinking about how you treat your meat right through the journey from field to fork. I am often asked how best to cook venison. The answer to this question is not as simple as you might think. Every animal has muscles that it uses more than others, these parts of the animal are tougher and need more cooking. The less-utilised...

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UK Deer Trophy Measurement Guidelines

Chris Rogers offers a brief introduction to trophy measuring and some rough guidelines to help you assess whether your trophy might be worthy of a medal. What is, or what makes a deer trophy? A trophy can contain a huge amount of personal memories: the landscape, the weather on a particular day, the stalk and shot itself. Or, for many, memories of the individual animal if it has been observed, purposely left for several years or simply been clever enough to evade the hunters rifle. Whether it be a  strong, weak or bizarre set of antlers or horns, beauty is...

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Dogs for Deer Tracking

Peter Cheeseman gives an introduction to dogs for deer tracking, including the history, considerations for choosing the right breed and a brief evaluation of some of the main breeds as tracking dogs and companions. The origin of dogs being used to hunt large game probably stems from around the early 1100’s, when man really started to use dogs’ ability to hunt and find food. However, it wasn’t until sometime in the 1800’s that man decided to breed dogs specifically for the purpose of finding wounded animals by means of tracking. They realised dogs that air scent could quite easily...

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The Cutting Edge – An Introduction to Knives

Could this be the best time in history to be a knife maker? Custom knife maker, Stuart Mitchell, reflects on the history of knife making and his personal journey into a trade that is his passion.  The Cutting Edge – one of man’s oldest tools and one that we all use every day. The Oldowan tools (the earliest evidences of the human fossil record) tell us that cutting edges were in use over two-and-a-half-million years ago. Of course they have evolved over time, both in terms of materials and methods. Essentially though, these are the same basic tools, doing the...

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Mighty Mouflon

For hunting adventure European mouflon are hard to beat. Tomo Svetic provides a general introduction to the mouflon and how they can be hunted in Europe. And describes what, for him, is the ultimate mouflon hunting adventure on the Croatian coast. The mouflon is thought to be one of only two ancestors to all modern domestic sheep breeds. It is a species that can live successfully almost anywhere. They inhabit Caucasus and parts of Northern Iran and Iraq but 7,000 years ago the first known mouflon got to Europe; precisely to Corsica and Sardinia, perhaps as feral domesticated animals....

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Position Yourself for the DSC1 Shooting Test

Andrew Papworth, experienced DSC1 trainer and assessor, runs through some of the challenges and gives his advice on how to succeed in the DSC1 shooting test. Candidates attempting to pass their DSC1 assessment nowadays tend to fall into one of three camps, with varying degrees of experience. Firstly, there are the complete novices who haven’t done any deer stalking or any other rifle based sport. Secondly, the experienced shooter who has been involved with shotguns, airguns, or target shooting. And thirdly, the experienced stalker who has been involved in stalking for some time but has only just decided to...

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The Call to Prayer: Ibex Hunt

This exciting, detailed and honest account of hunting for ibex in Kyrgyzstan will give you plenty of insight into the ups and downs of an international hunting trip. Practical information is included, if you feel inspired to plan your own adventure. I hadn’t got much sleep. It was a combination of the altitude affecting my sleep pattern, an early night in anticipation of a very early start and the snoring of my guides in our very small cabin. But mainly it was due to pain. The previous day I had been confined to camp suffering with a horse riding...

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