Im up working out of Kinloss at the moment (sad as its one of the last detatchments before the base closes..), were up for 10 days but due to more luck than judgement, we managed nearly 2 full days off in which most of the guys tied one on in Elgin, however i made for the hills with the rifle..
On Sunday I managed to get out after the roe bucks on my last stalk for DSC2, was a lovely morning and such a lovely area to stalk (spey valley). We spotted a few really nice six pointers but these were still in velvet. We stalked from around 0600 and at around 0845, we came across a young buck, less than one year old. He was trying to cross a fence (with little luck i may add!) which gave us time to get into position for a shot at around 90yds. He pretty much dropped where he was shot. What was interesting was that he had a fairly bad infestation of lice. Its the first time ive seen it, so was a good learning experience. After i had done all of the bits by the book and discussed with John lots of DSC2 type stuff, we stuck it in the roe sack and romped off to the car. I finished the gralloch back at Johns house and the deer was stored in the larder, ready for its journey back home in the jet along with the rods, guns, wellies and other shooting/fishing/golfing paraphernalia! After lots of questions over a coffee and a good chat about stalking, the cull record was complete and all that is left is to send off the portfolio and await the scary phonecall!!
This morning brought an 0410 alarm.. We got to John Ross' place at 0530 and had a coffee and a chat. Within 3 minutes of leaving Johns house, we had spotted over 10 roe, a mix of does which looked like barrels, youngsters with them and also some fine bucks (still in velvet). We drove round to an area to be stalked and had seen the best part of 20 deer en-route. We glassed a buck from the wood egde, he was around 100yds into the wood and moving away slowly, so i set off by myself and stalked in close to it, the buck disappeared over a small brow, however there was a doe and kid in full view, so the stalk was slow and good fun! I ended up side stepping the does, downwind and got to the small hillock where the buck had disappeared, by this time the does had wandered over there too. I managed to slink over the hillock and glass the next few hundred yards. It turned out that i was now 20yds from the does who were unaware of me but no buck. I watched for as long as i could, but the does were feeding towards me so i decided to pull back without disturbing them and go elsewhere. I really enjoyed the stalk, its always good to be working so close to the deer without them knowing!
We then carried on and spotted another doe set off the wood track by 80yds, we managed to get past her without being spotted, shortly after we spotted a young buck still in velvet but fit for the cull criteria. He was around 100yds away but behind a tree, so i set off to get some azimuth on him, however at the same time the buck was feeding away. I had the scope on him at one point, but he was still feeding away and then disappeared. we think he sat down in a dip, we definitely didnt bump him. I managed to cross about 30yds towards where i last saw him, but couldnt see him. I ended up pulling back again to avoid bumping him and disturbing the whole wood.
We carried on for anther few hours, seeing a few more does and bumping a few deer which could have been bucks but no joy on grassing one.
Overall, it was a really pleasant morning for it, lots of wildlife, more deer than you can shake a stick at and a few really good stalks. John is a really helpful and friendly guy and also has great coffee and bacon rolls! I reckon we saw around 40 roe this morning, they were everywhere, a lot we didnt stalk as they would have been too easy, others because they were in velvet and it would be a shame to take a good buck still in velvet.
Im now trying to reset my body clock as were now working nights, starting at 0200.. I think i may be in for a long night!
No pics im afraid, was too busy! John Ross, who i went out this morning with is based in the Inverness area and is a member on here under JRoe. Highly recommended!
Thanks John & John for the two stalks!