More than £5,000 was raised for charity at what is thought to have been the biggest ever gathering of deer stalkers in England and Wales.
More than 200 deer stalking enthusiasts gathered at Malmo Guns in Lancashire for the Deerstalkers’ Best Practice charity evening organised by the Deer Initiative, BASC, the British Deer Society and hosts Malmo Guns.
The money raised will be split between ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and North West Air Ambulance.
John Thornley, who is vice chairman of BASC Council and a trustee of the Deer Initiative on behalf of BASC, said: “The event is thought to have been the biggest gathering of deer stalkers in England and Wales ever. It doesn’t appear that there has been anything to top the number of people who came along. This was a fantastic turnout and a tremendous result for two very worthy causes. Well done to all involved.”
Duncan Thomas, BASC’s director for Northern England, said: “This is yet another fine example of people who shoot coming together to help others. We were delighted with the turnout and the amount raised. Our ST-2 shooting simulator proved very popular on its ‘running boar’ mode and BASC regional officer Lewis Thornley and deer officer Sam Walker were kept very busy measuring trophies throughout the evening.
“One of the highlights of the evening was an auction of some superb lots including stalking outings donated by the likes of Cervus UK, Levens Hall Estate & Euston Estate.
“The raffle was equally well supported with great prizes being donated by Meindl, Deerhunter, Seeland and Hoggs of Fife among others.
“Honeywell Meats kindly donated their time again and fed everyone on superb venison burgers from the barbecue.”
All of the organising associations had stands. There were talks on tracking with dogs by the UK Scent Hound Association, venison butchery by Honeywell Meats and ballistics by Simon Roche.
Trade attending included Swarvoski, Tikka, Sako, Mauser, Sauer and Harkila. Daziels butchers’ supplies featured a wide range of knives and larder equipment on their stand. SMH attended with their mobile chiller trailer and fieldsports jeweller Rachel Elizabeth Wood had a stand.
The local Forestry Commission Wildlife Rangers gave carcass inspection demonstrations. Other stands included those from Charles Campbell Tailors, Yorkshire Deer Management and Huntershill Safaris. ABF brought along a marksmen team from a local regiment and Lancashire Police were on hand with their Wildlife team and a Firearms Enquiry Officer.