10 Minutes With Realtree Pro-Team Member Keith Watson.
Recently, we caught up with Realtree International Pro-Team member and deer management expert Keith Watson. Keith shares what still motivates him to go out hunting and educates us on how the younger generation can get into hunting.
Q1 - How did you get into hunting?
My Grandad and Dad had a small holding, so I suppose my hunting career started with hunting rats around the farm.
Q2 – What is your favourite animal to hunt?
My favourite animal to hunt with a rifle would be a Muntjac Deer. Wing shooting would have to be crows.
Q3 – Where is your dream hunting location?
I would have to say the UK because it offers a full and varied hunting calendar, some of which is unique.
Q4 – What is your current rifle set up?
My rifle set up is a Tikka 595 action, 18” border barrel, 1 in 10 twist, Northstar moderator and a custom laminate stock, which is pillar and glass bedded, fuelled by 150grain SST.
Q5 – How do you prepare before you go hunting?
As I hunt on a regular basis, I have a box that I carry in the truck that holds all my stalking equipment. So apart from having to check my ammunition and that my knives are sharp, I do very little in the way of preparation, as I am ready 24/7!
Q6 – What makes you excited about hunting?
If I’m hunting for myself and I’m honest, not a lot gets me excited now. But a big and I mean big, Muntjac buck has been known to make my heart skip a beat. To be perfectly honest, I get more of a buzz out of being a guide and sharing my knowledge.
Q7 – What was your most challenging hunting trip?
My most challenging hunting trip was in Oxfordshire for a Roebuck a few years ago now. A trophy buck that I decided to take for myself, which put my stalking skills to the test. He beat me at every opportunity. My patience and perseverance won the battle in the end, but it did take me over 2000 miles of travelling before the deer graced my wall and my table.
Q8 – What are your hunting plans for the future?
I’d like to do a lot more wing shooting, I do have a few driven days planned and some decoying for crows/pigeons.
Q9 – What advice would you give someone who wants to get into hunting?
Back in the day when I was a kid, it wasn’t an easy process as shooting/hunting wasn’t as popular as it is today. Now there’s a stalking guide in every county, game shooting and pigeon guides galore, so the world’s your oyster if you’re a youth. I would advise that you take part or contact BASC about any young shot schemes that they have running, which is an opportunity I wish I could have had as a kid.