I have been busy with work, hunting and other activities and had no time or motivation to write my stories down (sorry). Happened a lot and maybe i will tell the rest of the huntingstories later. But two weeks ago i went to Scotland together with my dad and that was something special i want to share with you.
I have been to Scotland before for fishing and hunting and liked the atmosphere, caracter and adventurous hilly landscape. You have to work for youre stag or hind. Because my dad is still in pretty good condition i had the plan to go stalking for hinds with him this year. In my (Dutch) opinion the beautiful conditions and special way you stalk make you work closer together. We made plans and with the help of a Dutch stalker friend we went up to Lairg for 2 days on the stags (surprise) and 2 days on the hinds. Accomodation was fantastic, never been in a better cottage ! Stalker was a nice guy and the landscape looked stunning (especially with the 2 days of snow coming down). The first day we stalked for hours and finally got close to a group of red deer. Because we where still a bit far away we were lucky to have some mist covering our approach and when it cleared after 5 minutes the deer where at 150 meters. The stag we where aiming for was laying down and at first my dad didn't see him. After a while the stag got up, chased a few hinds and stopped, it stood with the behind a little bit towards us not completely broadside and i told my dad to shoot it a bit more behind the shoulder so it has more mass behind the shot. The stag signed good on the shot and ran for 40 meters and then dropped. Of course we were all chuffed because it is my dad's first male red deer ever. We took pictures and went home.
The second day we had trouble seeing deer and chased two groups of deer who where quite far away but didn't get close enough to them. The third day we went for hinds and started from another place and straight away 2 nice stags stood in front of the car at 60 meters. The stalker told us that in this time of year the stags tend to go in that area because it is somewhat warmer then uphill (what made me think why not go here yesterday??). We switched to the Argo and went uphill. We again spotted several groups of red deer and many grouse. We stumbled on to several single stags laying down, lucky beasts could probably read a calender as they where closed for the season. We walked again for hours, spying, crawling, running, stalking again…..and finally we got close to some hinds and calfs. We crawled closer through deep puddles of water and mud but managed to get at 60 meters. I then first shot a calf and when the group ran away, then a hind stopped and was looking back for her calf. She stood perfectly broadside and dropped on the spot too after my shot.
Fourth day there was no wind and we had trouble getting close to the many deer we saw. Everytime they saw or smelled us before we where in a good shooting position. Nevertheless we had a lovely day walking up and down the hill, we even survived a steep mountain with the nickname "killer hill". (not sure it got the name because of the difficult steep stalking or the many deer shot there).
In all we didn't get many deer but that wasn't really the main aim of the trip. To hunt together with my dad in these conditions is still for me a mindblowing experience.
I hope i can enclose the pictures...