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Chris Smith  |  June 2002

After looking through several sporting magazines, I found Graeme's telephone number advertising deer-stalking in Devon. This was the start of many a happy day learning a new sport and craft.
I first visited Graeme in February 2002, when I booked my first deer-stalking outing. Graeme was a pleasure to be with, his knowledge on the subject is second to none and he is a very patient tutor for the inexperienced stalker. On the very first outing I shot my very first Roe Doe thanks to Graeme?s skill and knowledge of where to find these elusive sly animals. It was with his guidance that I could prepare the Roe for the table.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Graeme to any inexperienced or experienced stalker. I have nothing but praise for his knowledge on the sport and any novice wishing to learn this sport would learn a great deal from this professional stalker.
Great times, beautiful countryside, excellent company and guidance, great sport and if you wish to stay with Graeme and his wife, Jean, excellent food!
Fully recommended and I shall be back again soon.


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Andreas  |  September 2003

I wanted to thank you again for a superb stalking weekend - Lisa and I had a great time. It was interesting to see how 'hunting' is conducted is England and what tactics you guys use to stalk/hunt the game. I also wanted to thank you for respecting the German hunting customs and participating in them, i.e. "the last bite", and handing over the "ownership branch".
Also wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed yours and Simon?s company. Was impressed how concerned you were about gun safety and how calmly everything was handled - from the target shooting to the actual stalking.
Last but not least, thank you for guiding me to my first roe buck. I still can?t believe what happened. Well, it was a great experience that will stay in my memories for quite some time.
I will contact you about stalking in Devon in September in the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you can make it around the last two weekends of September - that would work best for me. And please give my regards to Simon. Tell him I am looking forward to the pictures and my first buck trophy.


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Ian Gilbertson  |  February 2005

Just a quick note to say thanks to you and your wife for the stalking and hospitality I received whilst staying with you for the second time.

Having cut my stalking teeth with yourself last year, where under your expert guidance I managed to shoot my first ever deer after a long but successful woodland stalk. I decided that I would book for a second visit this year, and again after a glorious morning stalk you guided me to an excellent doe. I cannot thank you enough for your guidance, patience and tuition in my search for the stalking experience. I would heartily recommend you to any novice stalker looking for an honest, down to earth introduction to the experience. All this and excellent hospitality and food courtesy of your wife Jean. So once again thanks to both of you and looking forward to visiting you & Devon again.


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Colin Bowden, Welstor Estate, Ashburton  |  February 2005

I confirm that Graeme Prowse has been managing the deer on Welstor Estate, Ashburton since 1996. During this time he has shown due care and consideration for all aspects of safety with firearms and has been responsible for deer management, including safely, building and siting high seats, sex and age ratios, disease, cull plans, cull reports, accounting, liaising with Estate workers without causing upset to the working of the Estate or antagonising any of the tenants on the estate.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Graeme to any other landowner


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Andreas  |  September 2005

Thank you for another superbe stalking weekend. I had never been to Devon before and was absolutely stunned by the picturesque countryside and beautiful forests. Of course, I never expected to be guided to the 'buck of my life' that weekend but I knew that, knowing how much experience you have in deer stalking, I would be successful.
Well, Saturday evening started off well by seeing a good buck using its path on the way to the grazing field. It was late, the light was poor, but we managed to observe it for a while. Although no bullets were fired, which is only part of the stalk anyway, we had a pleasant and good start to our stalking weekend. The buck detected us and jumped off into the woodland with a loud bark.
The next morning, we headed off early (5 am) to stalk properly, aiming to inspect the open field on which the deer is known to graze in the mornings. As we approached 'wet back hill' we already spotted a doe & kid. As we proceeded by crawling towards the outlook, we noticed that there were a few more deer grazing on that field. Within minutes, Graeme's experience played a vital factor in my success. He saw the 'Eighter' first. The air was misty, the light poor, and we were laying about 160 paces away. None of us, at this time, realized how big this buck actually was. As I focused in on the buck, I gently squeezed the trigger, and let the 6,5 x 57 fly. The buck fell as the other deer jumped off into the woodland. After waiting a few minutes, Graeme and I approached the 'Eighter' and realized how strong he was. He turned out to have eight points, two crowns, beautiful pearling, and weighed in at around 50 pounds. We guessed him to be around 4-5 years old.
Graeme - thank you very much for guiding me to the buck of my life. I now know why Devon is notorious for strong roe bucks! I really enjoyed myself and cannot express enough how much I appreciate this experience. It means a lot to me. Also, many thanks for your great hospitality - I felt like I was home and that doesnt happen very often.
Best wishes and Waidmannsheil!


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George  |  January 2006

Being both a seasoned rough and clay shooter I decided to try stalking. Initially I did an introductory course elsewhere and paid to stalk with others on numerous occasions, but had not seen any deer and had come away feeling despondent.

After seeing Graeme?s website I made contact and we arranged a long weekend stalking and took up the option of staying at his house rather in a local hotel. I was made to feel really welcome, especially by Leila (the dog) and enjoyed some really good home-cooking prepared by Jean, which was just what you needed after a long stalk.

After arriving at Graeme?s house, we discussed the extent of my experience and then went out to check that I was a competent shot and my rifle was correctly zeroed. This still allowed us plenty of time to go out for the evening stalk.

On this first stalk I was lucky enough to bag a Roebuck. On subsequent stalks we saw plenty of deer but they were either the wrong sex or not in the correct shooting position but it was encouraging to see so many. It was exciting to see the deer in their natural habitat and Graeme was constantly showing me evidence of browsing and other tell-tale signs of deer presence etc.

I found to my cost how sensitive a deer?s hearing is; we saw many deer who were not in a shootable position so I decided to try capturing them on film instead, however just the noise from the Velcro on my camera case made them scarper into the undergrowth! Graeme recommends ?your camera should be loose in your pocket?!!!!

During stalking I was wearing Le Chameau shooting boots, these again proved to be rather noisy and from his wealth of knowledge, Graeme suggested Neoprene wellies would be better for stealth and I have since invested in a good pair.

Also, I found that my rifle sling was too short. This became evident when climbing into the various high-seats so once again I have taken on board Graeme?s suggestion.

I was very happy with the whole weekend. The variety of the stalking areas and the knowledge gained from Graeme has ensured that I will go back for another outing at some point. The beautiful surroundings and sunrises all added to my enjoyment. I would heartily recommend Graeme as a first call for novices or for the experienced stalker also, as he can accommodate all standards.


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My First Deer  |  November 2008

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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Paul  |  March 2011

Wanting to start Deer Stalking can sometimes be like trying to join the magic circle, you have to have the skills & knowledge and to get the skills & knowledge you have to have the ground and rifle. I decided a couple of years ago I would like to see what it was like so contacted a number of friends and companies looking for an opportunity to see what it was like. Friends didn’t have the resources and all the other companies I tried or read about were only interested in cost.
I spoke to Greame prior to going out who asked a few preliminaries and described the kind of experience I was looking for. A few days later I found myself chatting like an old friend in his house Greame explaining skilfully Deer Stalking from the beginning. After firing my test group we loaded up the truck and headed for one of his high seats on the doorstep of the cottage.
My first outing was memorable in that I was able to watch deer with Greame while he explained the recognition of males and females, feeding, habitat and that you must always expect the unexpected when Deer Stalking. Fascinated I booked another outing immediately and couldn’t wait to get back out.
Time came and we headed to another high seat on another part of Greame’s land overlooking a small wood and a stream. Again we sat quietly with Greame whispering nuggets of deer ecology, safety or just answering my every question no matter how uninformed!!! With a small nudge Greame’s “deer eyes” had spotted a young buck on the other side of the stream just where you never expect it. It was out of range but in season so the heart started pumping like mad. The buck came across the stream then disappeared behind the high seat on to reappear in front of us well within range. My untrained and clumsy movements spooked the deer but not enough to make him run. I placed the cross hairs on him waiting for him to offer the best chance of a humane kill as Greame had explained. As he turned I took the shot grassing my first deer, in what seemed like the blink of an eye Greame explained the gralloching and set to work with all the skill of a surgeon.
We headed back to the cottage and toasted the Buck with one of Greames many whiskies and forged a friendship that goes way beyond Deer Stalking. I don’t recommend many people but if you are looking for a place to start Deer Stalking or a point of contact for an outing Greame is your man. Please see some of my memorable outings with him.

Paul


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Andreas, May 2011  |  May 2011

Dear Graeme,

Dominik and I had a superb weekend with you which was definitely one of the best ever.

Two cracking bucks, one cull buck and one fox. What more can a stalker's heart ask for? All animals were shot well and even little Angus got a bit of a workout.

A huge Waidmannsdank from both of us to you and Jean for the lovely food and great hospitality.

Waidmannsheil!
A&D


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First Buck  |  August 2011

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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My first buck  |  September 2011

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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Richard Huxley  |  January 2012

I’d wanted to try out deer stalking for a few years and having found Graeme’s details through his web site, we made contact and arranged for Graeme to take me deer stalking. We’d been out several times, seen quite a few deer, but the deer that I’d seen were either the wrong sex, or had stationed themselves well out of range of the rifle. However, that was not wasted time. The outings provided an opportunity for Graeme to teach me more of the field craft associated with deer stalking, for which I am extremely grateful.

On this particular cool, windless, January evening, my luck finally changed. We’d been in the high seat for about an hour when two Roe does stepped out of the woods onto the fringes of the field about 70 yards away from us. The doe to the right was the natural shot given my position on the high seat. I removed my gloves and carefully moved myself into a good shooting position, patiently lined up the deer, safety off, waiting for it to turn side on. When the deer had presented itself I did one final check, steadied my breathing and pulled the trigger. Once the bright flash had gone, I looked up to check the shot, to see that the deer had fallen where it had stood. As someone who has shot for a number of years, I always find it greatly satisfying when this happens as this always tells me that there has been no suffering whatsoever.

Graeme has made deer stalking accessible to me, for which I am very thankful, and I look forward to many more evenings with him on his stalking ground.


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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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Ray's First Buck  |  April 2012

After in excess of a year I have my first animal, a roe buck, and I think it is a very fine animal, although it must have had suicidal tendencies as it walked straight at us [ not the first to do so that night] than he turned and presented the shot to me. On being shot, the animal reacted as I had read about but not seen before, recoiled and than ran towards cover disappearing into the under-growth, we followed up and the result is what you see above. Many thanks to Graeme for an excellent evening.
Ray Evans


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A brace of bucks  |  May 2012

After a weekend of unsuccessful stalking on my usual ground which culminated in me only seeing out of season does I rang Greame of Devon County Deer. As usual he was helpful and accommodating and invited me straight over as he had seen bucks on his ground. After a brief stalk into the high seat on one of the nicest evenings of the year I settled in. I knew there was a problematic fox in the area that had eluded me on a couple of previous visits so I was prepared for him to make an appearance. After a short wait I spotted the back of the fox just over a rise out of the back of the high seat but from where I was sitting I couldn’t get a shot. I managed to stand up in the seat using an upper branch as the rifle rail a little more difficult than it sounds at 5.2m off the ground. Once I managed to stand up I was surprised to find it was a nice buck about 120m out in the field with the rise providing a nice back stop. The shot was true and he ran five steps back towards me then collapsed into the grass. After a short search in the long grass he was gralloched and prepared for the larder all before 18.30. I returned to the high seat and waited for my elusive fox.
After about 30 minutes I heard barking from the wood behind me and I could see an animal behind me in the wood but not clearly enough for a shot. I gave one brief call on the butello and he stopped barking and started to move along a track but I thought that would be the last I would see of him. Prepared for Charlie I sat back and waited for my chance. St Hulbert was looking down as a wonderful buck came out of the wood behind me out into the same field as the last one. I waited as there was cattle in the field behind him and no clear back stop. The climb up the tree seemed somehow less attractive this time but it was the only way I could get a shot. Slowly he made his way into the field and offered the shot. The shot was good and he dropped on the spot. After the gralloch I realised I was a good distance from the drop off point and the realisation dawned that he who shoots them carries them! Fortunately the carry was down hill and I improvised two straps to make into slings. With the deer lardered and tagged Greame and I shared a customary small dram to drink the deer dead. Thank you GP for a fantastic outing.

Paul


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Old buck gets his last bite!  |  May 2012

What a fantastic weekend once again. After a restless night, I was keen to go into that specific seat of my choice first thing Saturday morning. After I saw a young red stag who was just starting to grow his antlers back, I sensed a movement in the woodland to my right. A roe deer with a grey body slowly moved through watching every step very carefully. I knew it was an old animal straight away due to the covert behaviour. As soon as the deer stuck its head and shoulder out I whistled, realised it was a cracking buck and let my 7x57 fly. The buck ran for another 30 odd yards before collapsing in his tracks. The bullet had shredded the heart and we could backtrack the blood trail like someone had spray painted the ground.

When I stepped up to the buck I realised how much of an amazing head he had produced. Abnormal and roofed coronets with the brow tine in a completely different place, long antlers but shrunk tines, a really grey masque, and old age present everywhere. I was in awe and thought what could a stalker's heart desire more...

Many thanks for the great time. The fact that I then shot two more muntjac afterwards topped it all off.

Waidmannsheil


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First Muntjac  |  May 2012

After trying out The Devon side of Devon County Deer I thought it only right I try out the Suffolk side of Devon County Deer with Simon.We started the morning very early with Simon picking me up at the pub not far from his ground. He explained the safety aspects of the stalk on the way as Suffolk is flat and has very little backstops when shooting from the ground in contrast to Devon. I had a quick stalk into the high seat with Simon taking up position close by if I needed a hand. Not long after I got into the high seat I had a lovely buck come out in front of me at about 180 yards. Conscious of Simon's brief on back stops I was happy to watch him for a while before he moved back into the wood. Things then became a little hectic with the sight of a Muntjack moving through the wood to my right. He was constantly moving and gave me little chance of a shot. He was shortly followed by three others who were using the same track but at a trotting space each stopping at different times but none offering a clear shot. I then turned to my from to see an animal out on the ride about 120 yards away as soon as I got onto him he turned rear on again not presenting a shot and before I knew it he was gone tricky little critters they Munties! As agreed with Simon I came out of the high seat about about 06.20 to commence my stalk on the ground. As I did so I bumped two animals that had got into cover behind the high seat one went into the ground on my right offering no shot but the other trotted to my left along a ride. It totted and stopped then trotted and stopped disappearing behind cover then reappearing. I followed the deer along the track safety on safety off as it presented a shot then moved quickly on. The animal moved into a clear fell area giving the briefest of chances of a shot which I took. Not convinced of the strike I chambered and waited but saw nothing, I carried out a difficult follow up as there was little to mark the strike point from the ride. After a brief search I found a blood trail and followed up about 15 yards behind the strike point the animal was dead in the clearing. That was the first stalk of three cant wait to see what the others bring thank you Simon for a great stalk everything I could of wanted.

Paul


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A happy stalker  |  August 2012

hi graeme, just a note to say thank you for an excellent weekend stalking, while saturday evening was quiet sunday morning more than made up for it. stalking through the woods and being challenged by a 6 point buck was certainly exhilerating. the subsequent shot to the heart stopped him short. my first gralloch followed and i got good marks for it. back to the house for a very filling breakfast from jean i went on my way a very happy stalker. hope to see you both soon, regards, graham


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James's buck  |  August 2014

A great three stalks. Thanks for taking me out. James


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Mark H - 2016  |  March 2015

I would like to thank you for a great couple of days stalking and to Jean for the excellent home cooked food; which was more than welcome after each outing. In between stalks, there is plenty to talk about and Graeme's wealth of knowledge and experience is well worth tapping into.

I also had the pleasure of seeing first hand the effort he puts into improving deer habitat on his ground and creating a healthy sustainable deer population, which in turn will benefit all wildlife.

Again, thank you for your hospitality, and look forward to seeing you next year; may be sooner!

Best Regards,

Mark H.


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