It was my full intention to take my dogs out onto the grouse moor for some training, then have a late afternoon stalk through the forest whilst the dogs rested in the Toyota.
Well best laid plans... I got a phone call in the morning from an old lady I was doing a favour for, pressure washing her drive, she requested that I call and take my machine away as she was having visitors and wanted it out of sight!!! (Wish I was charging her now).
Looked like we'd be late in getting to the moor and would need to take the trailer and equiment with me, the stalk would now be somewhat shorter.
Whilst running the dogs I saw some deer in the distance, but only as they cleared the fence and back into the forest.
After the dogs were exercised I gathered all I needed and made my way to a spot I've been watching for a while now (plenty signs on the ground but never seen anything).
I arrived in the general area and settled down, ten minutes later a stag appeared at the edge of the trees, then another much larger joined him - they were a good 250m away and beyond my comfort distance for a sure shot. I weaved my way through the trees and advanced a good distance, but when I ventured out for a further look I realised I hadn't gone that far, so back in again and further down I went.
Eventually I arrived at a suitable location, sufficient cover for me yet a clear line of sight to the stags.
I observed them for sometime, one was the smaller and younger, if the shot presented itself it would be the smaller of the two I would go for. I assessed their location and the distance back to the track, it looked manageable.
Eventually the shot was taken and down went the selected stag, his mate didn't hang around.
It's now the tale loses any aspect of being a successful day!!
The stag had landed in a hollow and needed to be removed before I could check and gralloch. Bl***y H**l he was heavy it took me all my effort to get him out and into a position for gralloching, surely that would make things more manageable..
Gralloch complete and time to head towards the track, reality hit me within a second - dragging a roe was easy, but this guy was something else
Some time and effort passed and I had made it approximately half way back to the track, but the drag was becoming steeper
I was now nearing the track and opted to take the toyota down the ride and drag my stag to the track (hoping I wouldn't get stuck)
Thankfully the toyota managed fine and it was now just a case of getting him onto my trailer - wasn't I glad I had it now.
So my lesson is not to contemplate another stag until I have my own Quad!!!