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Thread: A Good Book

  1. #1

    A Good Book

    Dear all,

    I am sure there will be many of you who enjoy reading about the life and times of a deerstalker. Well I have just completed reading " My Yester Years in Glenn Affric by Duncan MacLennan" and whatt an excellent book it is too.

    It is about the life of Duncan who was head stalker in Glen Affric from 1942 - 1989 and a good period before then when he left school and lived in strath Glass. He waxes lyrically about the gen, the people and how it all changed with the comming of the Hydro.

    My first visit to the glen was in the mid 70's then a trainee with Scottish Television when filming with the late Tom Weir. It is a wonderful part of the world and when one sees the amount of mass forestry and the changes in water courses as a result of the hydro, it must have been even more spectacular as Duncan eloquently reflects on his experiences in the book. I was last there in the late 90s, again filming, but this time for Grampian TV for a contryside programme I used to produce, and with a forester who had just retired and he too, as portrayed in my programme, confirms what a spectacular glen it is. Perhaps there are many more highland glens that have seen such changes and not, as some may say, for the better.

    Anyway, less of my goings on, go out and get a copy and have a days stalking from the comfort of your arm chair and a large dram. It certainly has whetted my apettite for my stalking in Glen Lyon in a couple of weeks time.

    I got my copy from the general store at Cannich


  2. #2
    That certainly is a good book. A step back in time to when deer stalking was about more than vermin control? I think that you can buy it directly from Duncan, thats how I got mine, I'll see if I can find the details.

    We need to get Stag1933 to write a similar book? A little peer pressure required I think. I have a friend who might be able to help if he was interested. What do you say H?

  3. #3
    I'm glad that you also enjoyed reading the book as I did. And by your post do I presume that you have met with Duncan. If so lucky chap as I enjoy the company of old stalkers and gillies and even more so with a dram.

    There are a few books written by stalkers or about them. One written about a stalker in my neck of the woods here on Royal Deeside is "Highland Stalker" by Colin Gibson about the stalker who lived at Moulzie in Glen Muick. An excellent book.

    I think it would be an excellent idea to get Stag 123 to write a similar book. Although I do not know him I gather he too is a stalker also. Lets hope your chum helps provide the necessary peer pressure and if so may I reserve my a copy now.



  4. #4
    I'm glad I've seen this thread! I was about to put one on myself asking if anyone could recommend some good books involving stalking reds in the highlands!!

    I've read a few books on Roe stalking and have been on the look out for a couple of books just like the ones you have mentioned, I'll be searching for them directly.

    There's no such thing as a stupid question.

  5. #5
    Yes Donsider,there was no better time in my life when 50 years ago as a small boy I used to sit in complete silence every Friday night and listen in rapt enjoyment to the tales of stalking in my Grandfathers house. The neighbouring ghillies would come round ,all men in thier 60s , pull the cork out of a bottle and throw it in the fire , then start on their tales. Most of the stories were from pre-war days and even went back to pre-great war. Thier stories of how they worked the deerhound were of special interest to me and I have written as many down as I can remember. My Great Grandfather worked the last proper pack of Scottish Deer Hounds to exist as such and the tales of what they did stir the blood. The changes these men saw in stalking were amazing. In one story my grandfather on seeing an army officer hit a twenty inch bull from 400 yards with a magnum .303 with telescopic sight got maudlin drunk as he thought that type of weapon would signal the end of the hounds and his profession. That was in 1920 and only became half true. I have loads of old stalking books and the points they raise are often more true now. David

  6. #6
    Alcock, Ian 'Deer Stalking' 1993- a fair bit about Reds in Scotland
    Luxmoore, Edmund 'Deer Stalking' 1980 - pretty much all Reds
    Hudson, David 'Highland Deer Stalking' 1989
    Brander, Michael 'Deer Stalking in Britain' 1986 - mixed, but includes Reds
    Cameron, A.G. 'The Wild Red Deer of Scotland' 1923 (reprint 1984)
    Chalmers, Patrick R. 'Deer-Stalking' 1935 (reprint 1984) Scottish goings-on, mainly.

    Hart-Davis, Duff 'Monarchs of the Glen - a History of Deer Stalking in Scotland' 1975

    More 'yarny' offerings:
    Drain, James A. 'A Stalking Break in Sutherland' 1912 (reprinted 1999)
    McManus, Peter 'One Man's Scotland' - I particularly enjoy this one
    Forsyth-Grant, Michael 'Deer Stalking in the Scottish Highlands 1940-1990' 1999
    'An Old Stalker', 'Days on the Hill' 1926
    McConnochie, A.L. 'Deer Stalking in Scotland 1924

    Completely yarny:
    Buchan, John 'John MacNab'

    Nothing to do with stalking, but a super yarn (IMO, of course)
    Buchan, John 'Huntingtower'

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