Huge congratulations to Chris Dalton who has been named 'Professional Stalker of the Year' at the British Shooting Awards ceremony 2022.
The title means that Chris has been crowned Professional Stalker of the Year for the past four consecutive years across 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Chris Dalton is a full-time deer manager, an assessor for the British Deer Society, and a member of the UK trophy measuring team for BASC and BDS. He also runs South Ayrshire Stalking, providing ethical hunting in the wilds of Scotland. South Ayrshire Stalking is the first business in the UK to be accredited by the 2% for Conservation scheme (they set aside 1% of turnover and 1% of the time for wildlife and fish conservation-related schemes). Chris champions the role of hunters as stewards of nature, managing and harvesting the land, and holding a deep respect for their quarry. This is an ancient relationship and one he wants to see survive for the next generations.
I come from a farming background in rural South Yorkshire and my love of the countryside and rural pursuits have remained with me to this day. I was introduced to shooting from an early age and quickly became hooked on the sport My grandfather was a great horticulturist, another of my interests and I am passionate about sustainability and self-sufficiency, examples of this are that we grow all of our own vegetables, keep free-range hens and bees I was fortunate to be able to continue sporting shooting as I moved around the world as a serving RAF officer. Stalking came later to me - around 30 years ago and with Anne, we formed South Ayrshire Stalking in 2006. Our aim has always been to provide a full range of stalking activities; with the major emphasis on promoting ethical deer management principles and promoting the education and training aspects available to all via the Deer Management Qualifications. I keep Bees, have been a DMQ assessor with the British Deer Society, and am one of the senior measures with the BDS/BASC/ST trophy team.
I am a frequent presenter of The Shooting Show and write a regular column for Shooting Times. I feel honoured to have been awarded the title, ‘UK Professional Stalker of the Year’, for the last 4 years running, made all the more special as it is a public vote. I strongly advocate that we should not shy away from explaining and promoting what we do as stalkers or shooters, this is a conversation we must have as often as we can, we are the true guardians of the countryside along with its many traditions, and we should be rightly proud of that.