Arrived back home yesterday after spending a week in Kindrochet lodge on the Blair Atholl estate with a group of mates.
Caught my first salmon on the Garry , being a keen trout fisherman I had a bit of an idea of what I was doing , but fortunately there were some experienced salmon boys amongst us who put me right on the finer points, end result a 10lb cock fish .
The next day I was on the hill , The stalker Kevin had already been around to the lodge and introduced himself and after checking zero it was up to the Dalnamein beat of the estate.
I must just say if anyone has the fortune to stalk with Kevin ,you are in for a treat , what a top bloke .
With the Northerly wind the deer were heads down and moving slowly but surely into it and away from us all of the time.
We glassed roughly 300 hinds and a group of about 60 stags on a hill to our north and no apparent route to them without being in full view .
After ten minutes Kevin turned to me and said ...how do you feel about a 300 meter crawl. No sooner said the rucksack was off the back and was in the process of dumping off every thing I wouldn't need ,game on .
Kevin proceeded with the slipped rifle over back with me in hot pursuit . The crawl seemed to last an age but eventually reached some dead ground where we sat up to catch our breath before the last crawl in. He loaded the Blaser and closed the bolt over an empty chamber ,he then gave me last minute intructons ,we crawled a little further , but then a hand signal from Kevin stopped me as he continued the last bit .
I could see him just on a slight mound assessing the situation through the bino's, he then beckoned me to the side of him , I slid up beside him as quietly as I could and the .308 was waiting for me resting on the rifle slip ready to go .
The stag in question was lying down ,I studied him through the scope waiting for him to jump up. He had an unusual head , he was a switch but they had turned right over to nearly meet , ok not the most majestic of heads but good enough for this old southern boy. Twenty minutes later and the stag whilst roaring away had still not got to his feet , Kevin whispered that he was going to give him a call and be ready . Well the call was made and the Stag co-operated by standing perfectly broadside at about 130 metres, found the spot and squeezed , The 150 found its target and with a thud Staggie turned on his heels and began to run uphill as I rechambered another round, He'll not be needing a second said Kevin as I watched the stag make about 30 meters before crashing into the heather. Job done.
The gralloch was done in the time it takes to blink or so it seemed and arrangements made to extract the carcass .
Definately going back next year for a week and may be stay for a second week on the hinds if I can get a pass out the that long.
Will post some piccies when I get a minute.