I recall once stalking game in thick bush in Limpopo. Rifle on shoulder, out of nothing I detected shapes that quickly became warthogs. They froze, I froze. As I eased my rifle from my shoulder, the velcro fastening on my jacket gave off its distinctive ripping sound; in an instant my quarry were gone. An afternoon's work in the heat of the day for no reward. Because of a detail.
Passionate stalkers, be we in Africa on the trail of kudu, on the hill in Dumfries, climbing high for red stags during the rut, or treading silently through the beech woods of the borders in search of roe bucks, spend a lot of money on our rifles and optics. So we should, we invest time and we invest funds in being our best selves when we don the mantle of hunter. We owe that to our quarry and ourselves.
For most of us, stalking is a life-long passion. It is a gentler art than the shotgun sports; one that suits men as the desire for action is replaced by the pleasures of gradual reward; won through patience, observation and skills built from long experience, observation and frequent failure. That being the case, the smaller details of our kit bag get refined with time. Every item becomes a familiar old friend, getting better and ever-more comforting and confidence-inspiring with each day in the field. The best kit becomes, unobtrusively, part of us. If ever the adage 'buy well-buy once' fitted a sport, stalking is that sport.
Leather, canvas, brass, pewter; traditional, naturally-sourced materials, prepared using centuries-old craft skills still deliver the timeless qualities we seek in out-door equipment. They wear hard, repair easy, last lifetimes and adapt according to our peculiar usage; effortlessly moulding as we use them until they fit us like parts of our bodies.
Westley Richards has been equipping stalkers for two hundred years and there are countless examples of century-old leather goods still in use by third and forth generation stalkers. These are the details that add up, making every element of the stalk a pleasure. Each contributes something positive to the role for which it is designed: it negates a challenge or facilitates an action. In time, these pieces become simply reassurance; allowing us to focus on the job in hand.
Our stalker's requisites are made on-site in our own leather workshops using the highest quality, organic, vegetable-tanned hides. Each item is discretely identifiable with Westley Richards embossed branding.
Stalker's Kit List:
Two- Inch Leather Belt: Hand-stitched, from premium cow-hide in our own workshops. The two-inch belt is the platform for our ammunition wallets, providing an effortless and stylish means of keeping your next shot secure and available at all times. Also available in one-and-a-half-inch width, to hold-up your trousers.
Open Ammunition Belt Wallet: Premium cow-hide, calibre specific, holding ten rounds securely, within easy reach for smooth re-loading. Available in dark brown or London tan.
Closed Ammunition Belt Wallet: Premium cow-hide, calibre specific, holding five rounds, protected by a fold-over flap, secured with a brass stud.
Ammunition Pouch: Carry five extra rounds securely and silently in your pocket, using our supple hand-stitched buffalo-hide wallet. Also available in premium cow-hide.
Leather Shooting Gloves: Protecting the hands from bramble, thistle and stone, when a crawl is necessary. Serving also to negate the unwelcome effect of pale hands acting as flags to scare skittish quarry, our Italian leather gloves mould to your hand, forming a second skin. The trigger-finger folds back for shooting. Available in three colours, with velcro or snap fastenings.
Leather Rifle Sling: The silent sling, adjustable but with no brass fastenings; made from London-tan, premium cow-hide, with a non-slip, suede inner-facing. One-and-a-half-inch width, tapering to one-inch at the butt end. A best-quality sling that will last a lifetime.
Canvas Rifle Sling: A wide, two-inch, best-canvas sling with leather ends and brass slide-adjustments Hand stitched, practical, light and comfortable.
Hip Flask: Crafted from English, hallmarked pewter and encased in our London-tan cow-hide cover. Packing one ensures the availability a small dram for a celebratory toast or a warming slug on a cold evening.
Explora Rucksack: Now also available in soft, silent, buffalo-hide, the Explora rucksack provides an ideal way to carry a day's requirements. Fitting comfortably on the back, leaving arms free, the clean lines do not hamper movement or catch on under-growth.
All our leather work is guaranteed fit-for-purpose and makes the perfect choice of gift for yourself or the stalker in your life. Buy well-buy once.