Deerstalking event went like a fair

CROWDS were shoulder to shoulder at Scotland’s first Deerstalking Fair in Kelso over the weekend.

The busy event in Springwood Hall in the Border Union showground was organised by Borders stalkers Brian Lile and Steven McGeachie.

Brian said: “There were more people than we could have hoped for on Saturday and slightly reduced numbers on Sunday, but it was still very well attended. The feedback has been incredible, it’s been very good.”

The event came about after the friends became frustrated at going to game fairs and finding much at them unrelated to stalking.

“We decided we would put on a fair we would want to go to ourselves,” said Brian, a deer stalker of 25 years.

Presentations over the weekend included Brussels’ Rudi Van Ketts of the Flemish Scenthound Society talking on training a dog to track wounded deer. In charge of games sales, Glyn Ingram from Holkham Estate, near Norfolk spoke on managing park deer, while Borders taxidermist Colin Scott gave a presentation on his skill.

And demand is such at the organisers are holding the event again next year.

Brian said: “Every single trader – and I think we had over 50 different exhibitors – has asked us to do it next year at the same venue, but they don’t want us to widen it into a game fair.

“There are ways of diversifying – we could go into food preparation and cookery [of deer]. We will look at ways we could expand it.”