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Unlike some other stalkers, we are very happy to train and instruct novice stalkers / beginners and try to give them a good grounding in basic safety in field craft skills, to locating and identifying deer. To find out more on the services that we offer to novice stalkers, please complete our contact form.

Below are testimonials from novice stalkers who have enjoyed their first outings with us:

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My First Deer with Graham,  

I had been target shooting both Small Bore and Full Bore rifle for about 15 years prior to deciding to take my first tentative steps into Deer stalking. After initially approaching a few people who made it difficult for me to try stalking (such as suggesting that I take my DSC1 before taking me out) I contacted Graeme through the Devon County Deer website.  

Graeme was both friendly and helpful, giving numerous tips and hints for me to get started in Deer stalking without a huge investment in kit yet ensuring that I had proper insurance. The local Army surplus store is well worth a visit when starting out to get adequate stalking attire very cheaply.  

After a trip to Graeme's range to ensure that my shooting skills were up to the required standards with the estate rifle we were prepared for our first stalks.  

I did not shoot a deer on my first stalk but we did see some deer, doe's that were out of season.  

However on my second stalk on the edge of Dartmoor in some lovely moor land and forest, we were moving back to the truck at the end of the morning along a track at the edge of a hill when I spotted a young buck in the bracken and gorse with a good backstop. In what now seems like ages but in reality was no more than a few seconds I managed after a few false starts a good shot on the Buck and as can be seen from the attached picture I was a very happy novice stalker and have been hooked ever since.  

I have continued to stalk Deer with Graeme now for many years and would recommend any novice who is considering taking up stalking to contact him as I found his all round advice, safety conscious and helpful attitude invaluable when I started out.  

Regards Mike

 

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To fellow sportsmen & women,

I have done other types of shooting/hunting before I decided I was going to take up deer stalking. I watched videos and read books but wanted to do the real thing. So I set on my way to trying to find out information on how to start, what I would need by reading etc.... however reading didn't satisfy my questions and I wanted to book a few days deer stalking. This I thought would be easy but I had great difficulty finding a sporting agent that was professional, helpful and friendly. As many I phoned didn't seem to have the patience and manners to go out of their way to help novices, I was about to give up my venture when I found Graeme's advertisement in the BASC magazine. I phoned Graeme up to arrange some sport and to my delight I found someone who was prepared to help with any questions I might have and with such enthusiasm! Graeme informed me of what I would need and not need, what to bring and everything I needed to get me on my way. So I booked my stalking with Graeme and went down to Devon to start my stalking. Graeme was very welcoming and helpful and had lots of patience and advice instead of criticism when I made a mistake. I shot my first Deer with Graeme which was a roe and my second! The stalking was fantastic the company was great!

And for the hospitality what can I say, Fantastic! Jeans cooking had my mouth watering every time I walked through the door and believe me the stalkers breakfast would see you through to the next day! There are not many places where I feel at home and that were one of them! The stalking was great and the company to match! I booked my next stalk before I even left and can't wait to get down there. I'm marking the days off my calendar!

To fellow sportsman/women,

This was my third trip down to Graeme at Devon county deer which I was counting down the days on my calendar. I travelled down in November for the Roe doe season and when arriving at Graeme’s house I was greeted with a warm welcome a hot drink and the smell of good home cooked food as I walked through the door. I already had high hopes for the trip and the hospitality confirmed it would be an enjoyable time regardless of whether or not I managed to shoot a deer. Over the course of the trip we had seen many deer but were not able to take a shot, until an early morning stalk in woodland we were walking quietly along a woodland ride when I and Graeme spotted a Fallow pricket which we were quite surprised as Graeme didn’t think they were in the near vicinity. The beast continued to walk towards us so we stooped and got the gun ready on the sticks and the beast stopped 40 yards away I the released the safety and shot the beast with one clean shot through the heart area and it was nice to see it was a clean kill with the animal dropping were it stood. It was quite a special moment for me as this was the first deer I had shot with my own and first rifle after just obtaining my firearms certificate which Graeme helped me with. I had shot my first deer and others with Graeme previously but used the estate rifle which Graeme kindly lets you use should you be a beginner there’s no need to go spending lots of money to start with. Graeme will advise you on all the right equipment you need to buy. We Gralloched the deer and the dragged it back to the truck and then back to the larder. I celebrated that evening with whiskey and the good company of Graeme and his wife Jean and a fantastic home cooked meal! Unfortunately it was time to pack my bags and head home but like I expected it was a great and successful trip which I will never forget and can’t wait for the following Roe doe season to go again. I highly recommend Graeme for novices like myself and experienced stalkers for some great sport and company. Once again Graeme thank you for a wonderful stalking experience and hope to see you soon.

Yours Ben Winstanley

 
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After many hours on the practice range grouping 3 shots within an inch, I felt it was time to put it into practice. Graham, at Devon County Deer, was the man to help me do this. I arrived just after 5am, loaded my equipment into Grahams 4x4 and we were off. When we arrived at the stalking ground I could barely see a thing due to the darkness. We proceeded to stalk slowly into a small wood where a high seat was waiting, overlooking baby woodland of newish trees. Most of the morning was quiet apart from a couple of Roe does at the edge of the wood. Unfortunately this was all we saw in the morning.
In the afternoon we entered a different field covered in grass, the high seat was situated in the middle of the lower edge. As we slowly stalked in towards the high seat, the first time we saw a buck was when it was bounding away and exited near the high seat. After 40mins up in the high seat, a doe and her kid came stumbling into the field. She started to sniff around immediately below us - a mere 2 metres from our feet. With only half an hour of light left Graham spotted a nice Buck entering the field from the right. I readied my Tikka T3 and ran the cross hairs up its front leg trying to block out the glare from the sun in the background. ‘Crack’ as a moderated .243 round hit its mark. The buck jumped and bolted off, it stopped 50yds away just before the fence, I readied another round just in case but it was not needed as he staggered and fell.
Whether you are a well-seasoned hunter or a complete novice Graham, at Devon County Deer, can cater for all. Novices have the chance to learn all about the art of Deer Stalking, Firearms, Ammunition, taking the shot, gralloching and preparation for the table. Graham has a large depth of knowledge in all these areas and was happy to answer any questions I had. The hospitality was fantastic and cannot be faulted. I highly recommend this to anyone who is either into the sport or considering it. Deer stalking doesn’t have to cost the earth and Graham offers a quality service for a good price that is thoroughly enjoyable.
Paul

 

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I would just like to thank you for the excellent tuition in the art of stalking and the wonderful experience of my first buck, I look forward to many more days with you and will recommend you very highly to all who would like to get into stalking.

Tours thankfully

Graham Tate

 

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James Hodgson | April 2012

Friday 13th turned out to be a lucky day for me as I embarked on a stalk with Mike. We headed out in the early hours of the morning to a high seat on Graeme’s land. We approached the seat cautiously and then waited as the sun slowly appeared, warming up the field to our front and throwing some light in to the previously dark edges. Mike spotted three roe in the adjacent field to our far right and I prepared for them moving in to our field. However, the buck we spotted emerged half way down the field and as Mike whispered its move across the field I started by looking in completely the wrong direction! Eventually I was on to it and waited to take the safe shot as it turned side on and paused before approaching the fence line. The adrenaline was pumping and I put all my concentration in to getting the shot right. The shot was a clean lung shot. My first Roe Buck! We followed up after five minutes observing the buck from the high seat. All was well. I was then given a good lesson in the effective way to gralloch a deer. A great opportunity to put the theory I had learnt on the DSC level 1 in to practice. We inspected the gralloch and then carried the carcass back to the vehicle before we commenced another stalk in to the woodland. It provided me with another opportunity to learn more about the art of stalking through the challenging woodland environment. Whilst on this stalk we spotted two roe does and a number of deer runs through the area. A great morning stalking in the Devon countryside. Many thanks to Mike and Graeme

     

 

 

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