Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Deer stalking is the term given to the uniquely British sport of pursuing deer for recreational purposes. Head stalkers generally work on game estates that specialise in deer. It is a managerial role where the head stalker must manage the deer population and devise effective wildlife management plans.

Head stalkers usually have a higher level of qualification than a normal game keeper or stalking ghillie. It is likely that they will have a broad knowledge and experience of deer and wildlife management, and will have worked in the gamekeeping profession for a number of years.

Their main responsibility is to control and manage the deer population on the estate through a number of tasks:

  • Introducing new deer to the herd
  • Managing the population
  • Organising hunts
  • Maintaining land security
  • Protecting the herd from predators and poachers
  • Maintaining habitats
  • Shooting and supervising hunts

Stalking is an important part of modern day land management which also contributes to local economy and protects other species of plant and animal. As well as controlling the population, the head stalker must provide shooting guests with healthy and strong deer.

Head stalkers, due to their senior status, are also involved in the financial and commercial aspects of the estate. They will assist land owners and managers with business and wildlife management plans and will work to promote the success of the estate.

Head stalkers often have to deal with clients during shoots, assisting them with locating and shooting deer as well as transporting carcasses back to estate buildings. Head stalkers therefore will need to have good customer service skills, ensuring the return of clients and upholding the reputation of the estate.