QI went for my first stalking outing the other day and it ended up being a disaster! I got the shakes really badly and wasn’t able to take a shot at all. The stalker was a friend and was OK about it, but I felt very embarrassed. It wasn’t a gold medal or anything and I never imagined I could succumb to buck fever. How can I stop it happening again?
ADOM HOLTAM replies: It is perfectly normal to have this kind of physical reaction. I remember the first time I went boar shooting and heard an animal approaching the feed site… if a shot had presented, I was in no state to take it! You did the right thing in refusing the shot and a good stalking guide will probably be an expert in calming clients. They don’t want over-excited clients missing or wounding a deer.
From your side, make sure you are well prepared, that you are 100% confident in your ability and in your rifle and try to relax. If that means taking a while to watch the deer and find your zen, no problem. If you want to get closer, just tell your guide.
Always remember that there is never a rush and that the only pressure is what you put on yourself. Take your time and try to enjoy what will be a memorable experience.