Well the time of year has finally come around for the family holiday to scotland that meant there was some stalking to be had
Anyway on monday morning we hit the roads after having picked my brother up from leeds fest and were on the way north. 7 hours later or there or there abouts we had arrived at the ardnamurchan and had gotten to the house on the estate we were staying in. I met the head stalker on the way in and we were to visit a high seat that evening to see if anything was about.
Anyway after a quick nap and a bite to eat I was picked up at around 6.30 and off we set to the high tower in a block of woodland and as we got close Niall spotted two stags leaving having probably heard our approach which wasn't the best start but we endeavoured to stay in the tower until last light not seeing a thing but it probably wasn't helped as Niall, stevie and myself were having a good catch up. Anyway it didn't bother me much as it had been a nice few hours and its better than sitting in the house waiting for the morning. So I was dropped back at the house had my tea and was off to bed to be ready to be picked up around 9 the next morning (a bit of a luxury compared to the very early starts im use to with roe) Anyway after a big cooked breakfast a got my gear together and stevie arrived as I was gathering my last bits and we were off to the hill. Anyway we drove up to the Glenborrodale beat, parked up the landy and got the maxcat off the trailer and set off to spy the hill for any stags to stalk in to. We spotted one group with a decent number of stags but carried on as they were a very long way away and more importantly up so we carried on to see what else there was with them as a contingency plan we carried on further and spotted another group of stags and hinds going over the top of the hill in a similar direction to the first group so we doubled back, parked up and set off.
It was a rather impossing hill that we had to get to the top off to get to where the stags had been feeding towards and after an hour of walking up at a large gradient with a we were at the top, in an almost moon like land scape now all we had to do was find the stags....
Where we had walked to at this point was far from the summit of the hill but where it levelled out to an extent but we had to walk higher still so that stevie could glass the area to locate the stags.
He managed to spot them but they were a long way away in a group with about 10 visible stags and a hand full of hinds and calves so we headed out towards them. As we got closer stevie spied the group again and said of the 10 stags 8 would be shootable including one with massive brow tines that was the one he would prefer to take and they were absolutely huge. As we got to within about 500 yards or a slight problem was encountered, there were two stags looking out over the area stevie intended for me to take the shot from so we took a different angle to see how close we could get. Unfortunately this was around 300 yards so a no go. So we doubled backs ducking in and out of hillocks and peat hags but once again a no go so we commenced on a big manoeuvre to get within shooting distance of the stags that had scuppered the original plan. As we set off we had to cross a small patch of open ground but luckily the stag was looking the other way so, slowly we edged our way across when stevie dropped to his knees and I quickly followed suit. The stag had turned and was looking in our direction so, we both crouched, like statues waiting for him to look the other way and, luckily, eventually he did so we edged away into some dead ground to work in to him and some work it took.
Between sinking half way up my shin in peat, walking around the entire circumfrance of a loch standing on the stones in the shallows then after that a crawl to get into position on the opposite side of a mound to the stags. Stevie crept up to make sure there was a clear shot and slid back down telling me they were only 50 yards away and a neck shot would be the best shot and at that distance, from a firm rest, I was happy so I removed the rifle from the slip, loaded it and handed it to stevie who then crept up once again and to get the rifle in position and he then beckoned me up and I sunk in behind the rifle and was struggling to get a clear view of the stag's neck whilst resting the rifle on the rock without basically sitting up and whilst trying to get into a good position the stag stood and I got told chest so quickly tucked a shot in straight behind the shoulder and he ran a little around the corner and stevie told me not to worry as he could see red foaming blood being splattered against the rocks so we knew there would be a dead stag waiting around the corner so we waited a few minute for him to bleed out. Hands we shaken we took so pics then went to do the gralloch.
After this was when the fun started as there was no way the max cat was getting in to where he was lying and the drag rope had been forgotten. With my belt and his scarf we started the drag that was the best part of a mile and dam near killed me but we did it and then had the hour and a half walk back to the maxcat to extract the beast. Stevie dropped me back at the house at gone 8 so it had been a long day but extremely satisfying and I have never felt i'd earned a deer so much and it was the most enjoyable day stalking i have ever had and I went to bed, very tired but raring to get out again the next day. He weighed in at 186 pounds and was a nice 9 point stag.