Buck fever

Sporting Shooter - - Ask The Experts -

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.

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