I went stalking yesterday evening on one of my pieces of ground near Alford in Aberdeenshire. It was a wonderful evening, warm and bright and with lots of bird song, even a cuckoo was calling in the distance. Although I wasn't successful I saw a good number of deer, including two nice bucks. Sadly, one was just over the march and the other was in a, well, safe area and could not be stalked. I would have come home completely contented and enlightened with the experience of being out in such wonderful countryside as I do every time I'm out stalking, whether I have shot a buck or not, as happens to most of us stalkers.
However, that was not to be the case. I have become fairly dismayed by the attitudes of some people these days and especially so of those townies, urbanites, politically correct do gooders and busybodies that we now have to put up with in the countryside. I came accross one just last night.
I parked my jeep in a clearing on a farm track at the botom of the rough hill I intended to stalk, which is a good distance off the main road and about three miles from the vilage of Alford. Getting kitted up I noticed a black terrier dog on the track a little further away and after closer inspection there on a make shift bench built into the dyke sat a man with his wife along with two other terrier dogs, all now on a lead. There was the odd bark from the dogs. They were obviously admiring the view and soaking up the evening sun and why not, afterall it was a beautiful evening. As I approached them carrying my rifle and binoculars I bid them good evening and advised them where I was going to be stalking on the hill.
"Does the estate know you are shooting here" said the man in an abrupt manor. A person I have not met before.
"Yes I am quite sure as I have been stalking here for over twenty years now. And to whom I am addressing". I replied.
"Thats my business" he replied. "And according to the farm manager and XYZ who works on the estate there are no people allowed to shoot here". He continued to express him self in a rather bombastic tone.
"Is that so" I replied and advised him that I had every right to be here as the stalking tenant.
His dogs now were becoming very vocal and the cattle with calves in the field behind him were becoming somewhat alrmed and began to bolt.
I then asked him where he intended walking for the rest of the evening should he desire to do so, so that I would have knowledge of his whereabouts for safety reasons.
His reply............ You guessed right........ "That's my business and I haven't decided where to go yet" came his response.
I then told him, in a polite manor of course. "Well I am trying to be civil and I like you are here to enjoy myself and I will go about my busines". I then left him wearing what could only be described as a self accredited smirk on his face.
After ten minutes or so and after weighing up what was said between us I feared for the safety of the evening and, posibly a bit over worried about my jeep fearing some damage may be done to it, I retraced my steps to observe where he intended going. To my surprise and after what he had just told me, I saw both he and his lady with the dogs walking back down the track past the farm and out of sight. I then continued with my stalking.
Well he ruined it. What could have been a pleasant evening was somewhat marred by his, well what should I say, unpleasant and totally uncalled for and arragant behavior to a stanger. Before driving home back to Aberdeen I called in at the farm house and told ABCD the farm manager my story.
"Oh him, yes I know him and what a pratt he is too" said the manager.
Well I now know who he is and where he lives and, when and if I should come accross him once more, I can call him by his name and when he asks me how I knew I shall say "It's my business"
What a twit. I am sure others have come accross one.