Page 49

country woman seven year old’s camo!” said Emma, laughing. Growing up with shooting and gundogs became the norm for Emma, and it was always part of family life. She trained her own Spaniel, Charlie, and he joined Emma and her dad’s seven-strong gundog pack. “It is so rewarding to see Charlie work on a shoot day, and knowing it is all because of my work and training. He is such a lovely dog, uses his initiative and has a great nose. We have a wonderful connection.” Emma and Charlie work alongside her dad beating and picking up on shoot days. She helps out with the bird rearing and also with the pest control. “It’s not a hobby, it’s a way of life, and it becomes my life,” said Emma. “I feel most comfortable in my muddy boots and shooting clothing and being outdoors. I also love hiking, mountain climbing and

rock climbing, and I can’t wait to hike Ben Nevis!” When Emma was in her twenties, she got her own shotgun. “Being only 5ft and shooting with my dad’s silver pigeon felt like I was waving a fence post around in the air. So I tried a 20 bore, and it fitted me straight away.” Emma then got herself a CZ .17HMR rifle, followed by Sako A7 .243 and enjoyed going out shooting and deer stalking all over the UK with her dad. A gamekeeper friend of her dad invited them up to his Perthshire based estate to go deer stalking. It was then she fell in love with Scotland. “We did the sightseeing thing; there was so much to see. I love mountains, and in Scotland, there are hills upon hills, and one mountain after another. It is all so beautiful. I remember being outside at night and

looking up and seeing all the stars spread across the clear sky, it really sparked something within me.” Emma went stalking in Perthshire and shot a fallow buck. She said, “I thought I was pretty fit until I went stalking in Scotland! When Calum the stalker went up the hill he did it so effortlessly, but when I finally made it to the top all I wanted to do was lie down for a rest, I felt so unfit!” As a self-employed hairdresser, Emma said, “My job is very different, and I didn’t speak about shooting when I was at work, so people didn’t know what I did. One day, I thought, ‘why am I hiding it?’ I need to be open about it because the more we talk about shooting and conservation, the more we raise the awareness.” Emma met Brent, and they spend every moment they can

outdoors, shooting and deer stalking. Emma travels up to Dumfries and Galloway to see Brent regularly and stays for up to two weeks at a time. “I am lucky my work is flexible, I load up my car with my shotgun, rifle and dog and I head up to Brent’s, or he comes down here.” Brent is a professional stalking guide for Strahanna Stalking based in the Galloway hills. “It’s been a fascinating experience getting to see the inside of a stalking business and learning about the conditions of the deer, managing deer and about the butchery side of it. I have learned so much, and although I have expanded my knowledge, I still have a lot more to learn.” “It is interesting to see how things are done in Scotland. Take pest control for instance, in Wales we go out at night but

49

Profile for Athole Design & Publishing Ltd

Shooting Scotland Magazine (October - November 2017)  

Shooting Scotland Magazine (October - November 2017)  

Advertisement