Diary of a Lady Hunter - Audrey Watson
Posted on April 08 2021
Here at Lady Hunter we love to listen to and collect interesting stories from ladies and gentlemen in the hunting, shooting and country sports arena. Everyone's story is unique and there is always something interesting to learn.
This month we have the pleasure of introducing Audrey Watson, an ecologist and professional deerstalker in the UK who has travelled afar and taken part in some interesting adventures.
Audrey has also contributed a story of one of her memorable adventures, you can read all about it over in the Campfire section of our blog.
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As an ecologist, I have always loved the countryside and have spent all my working life working in the “countryside industry” – as a Countryside Ranger, an ecological adviser, forester and a recreation consultant and now work as a Deer Officer. I think it must be in my genes as my maternal grandfather was a forester and my father began his working life as a farmer then re-trained as a biologist.
I didn’t actually pick up a gun or become involved in shooting until I was in my 30s, mainly due to lack of opportunity. None of my family are shooters and, growing up in a Scottish New Town, I didn’t actually know anyone who went shooting and, at University, my first introduction to shooting sports was American-style! I did my Masters degree in Forestry at Pennsylvania State University and, come the end of November and the opening of the buck season, the building just emptied!!!!!!!! I was intrigued as to why and soon came to realise the reason that “buck-fever” is so named but I was interested to hear the stories from colleagues on their “hunting” exploits and their “bird dogs”.
It was still a few years before I actually took up shooting though. Although I lived and worked in the countryside, I still didn’t really know anyone who shot until I met my husband. He got me into deerstalking as I accompanied him on his stalking trips to the north of England and quickly decided that I wanted to give it a go too. How someone like me who can’t stand the cold, can’t sit still and can’t keep quiet for very long ever got into deerstalking still mystifies me!! Nevertheless, I did the Deer Stalking Certificate level 1 qualification in 2004 and have never looked back. I bought my first rifle - a 6.5 x 57 - then, after a year or so, bought a .243 as ammunition was easier to come by! I now shoot a Tikka T3 Lite in 25.06 and absolutely love it. It is light enough to carry round all day and does the job brilliantly!! In 2010, I passed my DSC Level 2 and, in 2018, became one of the few women Approved Witnesses and can now witness for other people who want to do their Level 2.
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To read Audrey's Campfire story about her very first overseas hunting adventure in New Zealand stalk on over to our Campfire Stories blog. If you have passed your DSC1 in the UK and are looking for a witness for your DSC2 and would like to contact Audrey you can reach her by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.