Deer stalker and land manager: Megan Rowland

Megan’s job involves a habitat management plan incorporating deer, forestry, peatland, and farm management elements. She said, "for around seven months of the year my colleague and I are dedicated to stalking deer with clients. So much of stalking is spent in observation, choosing the right deer, and right opportunity for a client, or selecting small groups of hinds; prioritising welfare and minimising stress.’" Megan uses a Sako rifle and a Swarovski scope - in .270 for red deer, and .22-250 for everything else.

Deer Stalker and Land Manager Megan Rowland
Spying with clients during 2017 stag season.(Photo credit W Hendry).

In March, Megan was awarded the "Game and Wildlife Lantra Learner of the Year 2018". "I was delighted and surprised. Having reflected, I'm pleased as it gives me a platform to work from; to promote informed, integrated land use; to educate people about what I do and change the narrative around land and wildlife management; to advocate for best practice and education; and to raise awareness of issues surrounding young people in rural areas and who want to work in rural areas."

Her job has provoked some negative reactions, "mainly folks whose lives are very bound by traditional gender roles, who can’t understand why I want to do this line of work. But they also don’t want to understand, and that’s their problem. Having spoken to other women who do a similar job, we’ve all experienced it at some point, so it’s nothing new. The more of us get into this line of work, or even recreationally, the more acceptable it will become."

Deer Stalker and Land Manager Megan Rowland
A stag culled with clients during the 2017 stag season. Examining the teeth afterwards it was about 13 years old.

Megan enjoys going out stalking with friends, "setting out early, taking our time, having a good wander, watching the wildlife and the deer, enjoying being away from it all – no mobile phones or noise. Having a cup of tea from the flask, enjoying quiet company, and the view. On a day like that, you don’t need to shoot anything to have a good day. Sharing a meal, and a dram or two by the fire, always rounds things off nicely."

Who is our author Linda Mellor?

Linda Mellor is one of Scotland’s foremost shooting, fishing and hunting female writers and photographers. She is the product Ambassador for Venator Pro, a premier hunting company and stockist of the European brand Hillman. With a lifetime of countryside experience, Linda’s passion, enthusiasm and respect for the outdoors and hunting is explored and shared across her writing and photography. 

For more information on Linda Mellor, please visit Linda Mellor's website, Twitter (LindaMellor) and instagram (linda_mellor).