Well to be honest I've not been getting out much over the past 12 months. Loosing both of my dogs in quick succession both at a young age last year hit me harder than I thought. Even when I went out shooting or stalking my heart just wasn't in it. My wife got a new dog in May and it was going to be hers, I wasn't ready to take on another dog but very soon had the new arrival pushed my way as the mrs decided she couldn't handle it. Well I tried but at first couldn't bond with it, I took it out stalking but was looking for excuses to pack in and come home early. On one morning stalk she messed up that much I even sat and had a cry as I missed my faithful stalking companion, having to remind myself later she was only 12 months old and had a lot to learn.
Last month I got the email asking for cull figure returns for the year and after consulting my shoot diary I held my head in shame as I reported a big fat zero. I have since got my backside into gear, taken a grip of the now 13 month old weimaraner and started to put the time and effort into her training, she is coming on well and she's growing on me.
Then I read the post by Stratts "epic day planned" a good write up and the inspiration I needed. So I've booked this weekend up at the woods in Dumfries and planning my own epic weekender, lets see how it goes.
I'm on nights until 0700 hours Friday morning so the plan is, Take all my gear and dog to work Thursday night, pester the boss for an early finish or play sick, be on the road by 0200 hours for the 3 hour trip, eat on route, a couple of caffene shots then get in a morning stalk just to see whats about. back to the truck for a fry up about mid day then drive out and speak with the neighbouring farmers wher I have permission, just to let them know I'm about. Mid afternoon sit up in one of the seats, see how the dog behaves at the bottom, and possibly grab 40 winks (harnessed in). Grab a bite to eat then out for an evening stalk, a couple of energy and caffine shots in my pocket. after dark over to the farm and do a spot of lamping to see if charlie wants to play before winding back the seat and getting some sleep.
Saturday morning up at first light and onto the hill, mars bar and bottle of water breakfast as I try for a buck, hope the dog is steady, see how it goes. Mid afternoon back over to the woods I've got some signage to fix to all the highseats, just so that they comply with H & S requirements. A mate is meeting me Saturday afternoon (if he shows I've got my doubts). Then I'll grab a bite to eat and get my head down for a couple of hours. Saturday evening I'll probably take a slow walk up the west side of the woods cutting in at the top and back down the middle by dusk, then it's over to the farms again for another dose of charlie. I'll drive back to the woods in the early hours and get a couple of hours sleep. Sunday morning out on the east side as the sun rises (hopefully) I'll sit up and listen to the woods awakening before a brief stalk. I'll then get back to the truck, have a big fry up and after mid day set up a target to test some home loads / rifle zero. clear up and set off home. For me the weekend will be about spending time with the dog out in the field and if I get a buck or a fox it will be a bonus, if I end up with the now famous Stratts McNowt I bet I will have still had a good weekend. Now what's the weather supposed to be doing?