375mag and I managed to get a weekend up in D&G stalking roe and goats. It turned out to be a great trip, even if we both got sun burned and im so stiff i can barely walk!
We travelled up to D&G on Friday afternoon, arriving in enough time for a brew at Griffs and an early tea in Moniaive before heading out that evening stalking. I generally dont go stalking roe in Scotland during summer and have reminded myself why.. the midges!! Anyways, with the help of a midge net, a face veil and a couple of tins of jungle forumla, i managed damage limitation and only had about 15 bites by the end of the night!
Towards dark, i bumped a roe buck which leapt out of a clump of rhodies, but his mistake was to stop and look, i managed to get my rifle off the shoulder before he ran again, then stopped, by which point i was up on the sticks and ready for a pop. He was quartering towards at about 80yds. I heart shot him and he reacted well. bouncing off into a boggy bit. I saw his last bounce which he didnt get up from. After a few minutes, i went to the shot site which confirmed the shot and put my mind at rest as there was fantastic blood trail to follow. about a foot wide and 3 feet long, every 6 feet or so!
I didnt think he was in great condition and put it down to maybe concentrating on the ladies more than food at the mo..? Hes only a little lad so doubt he stood much of a chance anyways.
I took my midge net off to gralloch him but had to stop after a few minutes as it was impossible to carry on with them attacking me like something out of a horror film!!
375mag can fill you in on his stalk that evening..
We were up again at 0500 the next morning for a little roe stalk before going after goats. We were on the ground before 0600 and with the thought of midges, i decided to go for high ground. I stalked a few small replants on the way up the hill and saw 3 does, one of which had twins. We also saw a few does on the drive in. I got to the highest point on my permission and sat in the sun free of midges. It was a lovely morning but no bucks, which to be fair didnt bother me too much. I saw a crow at 230 odd yards so decided to have a pop. I flattened it with the 7-08, which spooked a doe i didnt even know was there in a rushy bog area in a sheep field. I had been watching it an hour previously without seeing anything! Also shows that roe and sheep will and do mix...
At about 9am i had a text from 375mag saying he had had enough of the midges and was going back to the truck. I met him there, neither of got a buck but saw 10 does between us.
After a fat boy breakfast cooked by yours truely we met up with Griff and went up to the ground where goats can be found.. We were briefed on the layout and spotted some goats, about 2000 feet above us. With the briefing on where to go and what we could shoot, we set off, first across the flat but hard going bottom, full of large tussocks, it was sunny and warm which got us warmed up nicely before reaching the bottom of the hill.. The climb up to the top was near 2000 feet from bottom to top and steep with it! It took us 2 hours to get from car to top covering a couple of miles in the process. Once on top we stalked along peeking down every now and then, finding small pockets of goats but no billys. We worked our way right around until we got into a decent area with several clusters of goats. Due to not being able to identify and billys we decided to take a few kids. We chose our animals and let fly, shooting 2 each. We were shooting from an elevated position on top of a scree, about 200 feet above the goats. They had no idea we were there and we could have shot many more.. We dealt with the goats and dragged them down to the extraction point where we managed to get a most welcome lift on the quad. I had a great time stalking a new species and although i cant say i enjoyed the climb up the hill, once at the top, the views were stunning.
Thanks to griff for helping us get on the goats and for the ride back on the quad.
From leaving home to getting back, the stats were 36 hours, 400 miles in a car, 4.5 hours sleep, 4 goats, 1 roe buck and a few billion midges and two happy yorkshiremen!!