Date: 26 March 2013.
By: Linda Mellor.
The UK’s first dedicated Deer Stalking Fair was held on 23rd and 24th March, 2013 in Kelso, Scottish Borders at the Border Union Showground.
The snowy weather made travelling to the venue challenging for both vendors and stalkers. Only one exhibitor based in south west Scotland was prevented from making the journey due to heavy, drifting snow.
Organiser Brian Lile said, “Despite the weather doing its best to spoil the first Deerstalking Fair in Scotland the event seems to have gone off with a bang! There was a fantastic turnout on the Saturday with numbers only slightly reduced the following day. Given the weather across the country, it is amazing anyone managed to get through!”
Craig Blackburn from Hunting Experiences said, “I travelled just shy of 500 miles round trip to get to the show to support it. I was impressed with the support from all attendees considering the horrific snow conditions across the country.”
Brian continues, “What we now have to do is look at expanding and evolving to keep the stalking community interested, without deviating from the promise that this fair will be different. Although we think virtually all aspects of stalking were represented, there are areas that can be explored within that theme. For example, what best to do with your end product, the venison. Also a practical demonstration on using a tracking dog on a trail has been suggested by several, including Rudi Van Kets himself after it was mentioned during his presentation on training dogs.
Hunting Photographer Linda Mellor said, “It was my first Fair as an exhibitor and I was pleased to say it was a great success. The Fair provided all of us with a devoted stalking audience and housed an unrivalled deer stalking knowledge base.”
Brian said, “There is a lot to consider and we will take on board all comments made in doing so. In the meantime, a huge thanks to the traders and exhibitors who took the gamble to support the event in its first year, and the public who trusted us in delivering the unique event that was promised from the outset.”