Here's a quick snap of my first ever Red stag I managed to stalk successfully a few days ago...in fact, It's my first ever deer of any species I've both stalked and shot myself!!
I was invited up to Stirlingshire for the day by a good friend and mentor who said I was ready to go it alone & was intent on being the man to put me into my first Stag..I couldn't wait.
When we arrived the weather was slightly improving after heavy rain and swirling mist on the peaks, bit later than forecasted but we got ready and headed off.
With a nasty swirling wind we took it very slow and steady along a forestry track paying particular attention to the glides running at 90 degrees off the track.
We spotted quite a few hinds but I eventually came across the stag with his head down feeding on a wide glide next to a small burn
I was given a few words of advice and crept into a prone position on a small knoll looking directly down to the stag. At this point his head was down but my host assured me he was the one for me to take.
It seemed like forever for him to lift his head until I confirmed his small antlers.
I slowly raised the rifle and had him in the scope and waited for him to turn broadside on to me
With my heart now pumping and the adrenalin rising I managed to keep as calm as i could and managed my breathing whilst waiting for the heart/lung shot.
The extra practice the day before with my host proved to be a great benefit.
What seemed like ages he eventually turned starboard side onto me, half way up the body, just behind the shoulder and the shot was away.
He shuddered with the shot and slowly slipped into the wood, the shot felt good.... but you never know…
We waited for 5-10mins then started to make our way down to where he had been shot.
The dog brought us onto him lying only about 10yds from where he was shot and slightly downhill from where we expected, I'm sure you can imagine the relief I felt when he was found.
I was delighted to find the shot had been placed exactly where intended and the gralloch showed it was a high heart shot.
So, after the congratulations I was given a masterclass in the gralloch and as tradition dictates, I was "blooded”, to ensure he's not the last stag I ever shoot!! I was still shaking and could finally relax and enjoy the moment!!
After a drag uphill to the track I was still absolutely buzzing and still couldn't believe my luck!!
We got into another stalk up a burn side but the swirling wind didn't help and the big stag stood with his head up knowing something was amiss and he slipped away for another day, it was great just seeing him and to be perfectly honest, I think one was more than enough for me.
As you can see from above it is lovely ground
We continued stalking the beautiful ground and my heart was still pounding as we got back the motor at the end of the day, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
I had a completely unforgettable experience and without the generosity, experience and advice from my host it would never have been possible. For that I can’t thank him enough
I'm still buzzing now and the bug has well and truly bit me hard