Deer stalking is a sporting pastime, but it is also essential to protect forestry and valuable agricultural crops. Deer breed prolifically and suffer from starvation and disease unless they are culled.
To this end, landowners and stalkers usually work in close co-operation with one another to create a plan that balances the welfare of the deer against the damage they can cause if allowed to breed unchecked.
The responsible stalker will know and understand all the laws applicable to the sport and will act with safety as a primary concern.
Shooting UK regularly publishes articles from a pool of deer stalking experts covering every aspect of stalking including: safety, rifles, ammunition, equipment, clothing, techniques and finally some recipes for venison dishes. You can read them here with regular updates.
How do you carry a rifle when woodland stalking?
Carrying a rifle – advice from those in the know
Personally, I believe that the solution lies in the rifle sling itself.
I have spent 3 years with the Army Reserves, and the British Army (as you might expect) have thought of pretty much everything when it comes to carrying a rifle.
Whilst an assault rifle might be shorter and lighter than your average stalking rifle – the standard issue military sling certainly could help woodland stalkers.
Time to go shopping
A multi-point sling allows the woodland stalker to be hands-free.
With the rifle strapped up tight against your chest with the barrel pointed towards the sky, you are free to push branches away from your face and find your pockets.
It lets you use both hands to aid the monkey-like crawling over tree stumps and low branches that is characteristic to woodland movement.
Then, as soon as your quarry is in sight, a single clip or quick release is all that is required to quietly swing your rifle barrel down, bring the butt up to your shoulder and take a shot.