I was invited some years ago to join a group stalking Red stags on Sir John Nuttings ' flow country' Sutherland Estate, Achentoul. The Stalker Guide, Angus took three of us out on the first morning, the weather was kind, a light wind and favourable direction. After a short landy ride we set of round the hillside, heading towards a corrie that Angus had hopes for. We could hear distant stags roaring further up the hillside. The others, knowing it was my first Reds stalk kindly insisted I go first, I had my Savage .243, previously sights tested on the range, with me. Angus crept up to a view point and finding deer motioned me forwards. The previous nights rain was flowing off the hillside in a flat sheet of water over the grass. Angus motioned that I must follow at his side and a little behind him, on my stomach in the water. I found out what 'flow country' was. I was quickly sodden but did not feel cold. Just before the crest he asked with a thumbs up and raised eyebrows if I was ok. I raised myself on elbows and tiptoes, water poured from my clothes at every possible point, and my reply to him was a big grin! Angus motioned me onto a handy tussock and whispered which animal to take. I looked at this huge animal about 120 yds away, he was looking over a reasonable harem of 15+ hinds with a couple of staggies in the distance. After double checking with Angus the animal to take I sighted on the shoulder of the stag. After hearing Angus say 'shoot' I squeezed of the shot and hearing the thump watched the stag stagger sideways and fall onto his side! He was 'flat packed'!
I moved forward, after making safe, with Angus and was congratulated by all when we realised he just made a 'Royal'! What a privilege! I was interested to know how the shot had behaved. At the larder we found that my shot had gone between 2 ribs and across the top of the heart taking out all the major blood vessels. Later in the season I had it confirmed by the estate that he was the heaviest stag of that year. Needless I was totally hooked on Reds and expressed my sincerest thanks to Angus and my friends. My stalking week was perfect. An experience I will never forget!