1 | Early Meeting At The Orangery.
The BASC young shot introduction to deer stalking day started early at the orangery within the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire. Directed at youngsters, the initiative has been established to teach the next generation of outdoorsmen and women about the importance of deer management in the UK.
2 | Deer Management Theory Application.
After registration and some confidence building activities, the group sat down to learn about various aspects of deer management before the practical application took place. The team from BASC highlighted the importance of deer management, the different species and their characteristics, seasons and the environmental damage deer cause.
3 | Keith Watson Talks Through His Stalking Essentials.
Realtree Pro, Keith Watson takes the group outside to introduce them to his stalking essentials. These include his rifle, binoculars (The most important kit he has), two types of knives, headlight, waist bag, headlight, ammunition, deer calls and first aid kit.
4 | A Key Point Highlighted By Keith Watson.
“Don’t ever shoot your last bullet”. Keith Watson emphasising that you should take more ammunition out with you than you’ll ever need." - Keith Watson.
5 | Deer Identification And Characteristics.
Practical application was an important part of the teachings and learning for the young group. Early in the morning, Keith had been out in his high seat where he shot a male and female muntjac. The group was encouraged to highlight the different characteristics of the male and female including colouration and antlers.
6 | To The Field!
After the lunch break, the group was taken out into the field where a variety of activities were in place to help establish and develop what they had learned throughout the morning. Taken from the woodland DSC 1 walk, the group were looking for deer silhouettes and whether they were in a position for a safe shot or not.
7 | Identifying Signs Of Deer Activity.
Highlighting the different signs of deer activity in the area, the children were set a challenge to find and identify any crop damage, flattened ground, tree shredding and slots in the soft ground.
8 | Tracking And Evidence Of Deer Slots.
Following Keith’s successful deer stalk earlier in the morning, the group was set the task of identifying the place at which the deer was shot. They then established how far and in which direction the deer travelled.
9 | Rifle Demonstration – Equipment and firearms talk.
The excitement gathered when the live firing demonstration and shot placement was announced. Three shots were fired, two with a moderator and one without. Following the demonstration, the group was taken to the target where the placements were identified.
10 | A Successful BASC Young Shots Day.
An incredibly successful and informative day provided by BASC and Keith Watson. “I wish I had something like this when I was younger. The practical application along with the theory aspect meant the day as a whole was incredibly informative and engaging for this group of youngsters.” - Keith Watson.