Well now for my final instalment of a fine weekend north of the border and what a week it was. Anyway, back to the point, after 2 great days out on the hill I was full of beans when I woke up for my final day on the hill and I was to be with stevie again. So off we set to the larder to get the maxcat and to hit the hill yet again We were there in good time, parked up the landy and set off in the maxcat to spy for some stags. At the start it was a SW wind and with this in mind we headed the opposite way to tuesday. We pulled up and I spied a group of stags on the sky line but moving towards us (my hill eyes were getting to grips with picking out deer ) So we doubled back, parked the maxcat out of sight and set off.
Whilst making progress after the stag the wind began to change from SW to a SE. This managed to blow our sent to where the stags where and unfortunately we were winded and they were off. But thats all part of the fun so having now winded most of that side of his beat we made our way back to the maxcat and headed to the other side of the estate. We parked up once more and headed for the hill. We stalked over most of this side of the beat to the march only spotting hinds and the odd stag but only fairly young boys so they were to be left for latter years. We got to the point where we had shot my stag the year before when stevie spied the hill once more and picked up a group of 3 stags on the other end of the hill. These were where we had spotted the stag I shot the so it was the opposite to the year before. It was going to be a 2 or 3 hour walk to the point so we dropped back down into the maxcat as the day was getting on by now to cover at least some of the ground a bit faster but still to leave enough to keep the fun in the stalk. So once more we parked up and set to on foot. However things are never as easy as they would at first seem. From this perspective the land marks that had been used to mark where the stags were seemed to have moved Anyway after much creeping and spying steve located them once again and this time I could see them my hill eyes clearly werent as good as I thought.
We stalked in slowly once more creeping around the undulating ground getting closer but keeping hidden from various groups of hinds and steve pulled it off once more as the rifle was removed from the slip, a round was put in the chamber and I crawled up a knoll to see the stags only 80 or 90 yards again. There were 3, at the bottom an 8 pointer with no brow but a bay and cup on top and a brow bay trey and point on top. A seven that was a brow bay trey and fork on one side and brow and switch top on the other and the highest was a good even 10 with brow bay trey and fork on each. The stevie said either the 8 or 7 were the stags to take and which ever stood first and presented a shot one be the one I was to take unless I had some preference (which I didnt as they were both interesting heads but slightly swayed to the one without the brow as it was a more interesting head. However, the shot wasn't going to be easy due to the high of the grass. Luckly the bottom stag was the only who could have seen us from our position and he nodded off for a few mins giving us enough time to shift to the left to get a clearer shot for when they stood however we were a little exposed and so had to be completely motionless until the last few seconds. So we waited and as the sun shone on the stags the lowest stag (the one without a brow tine showed signs of being ready to stand but settled down again but only for a few mins before he stood and took a couple of steps forward and turned broadside so I raised the rife, squeezed the trigger and he dropped like a sack of spuds which was a little disconcerting as i thought it may have struck a little high but it felt like a good shot so I was confident because there was no movement from the stags head. So we walked over, I approached from above and down wind and tapped him on the eye with my stick, no reaction.
An external examination revealed it went in right but exited a slight bit high as it must have tumbled a bit after smashing the ribs and nicked the spine on the way out but there was very little left of his lungs so I was happy with the shot. Once more hands were shaken, pictures taken then we headed down to the maxcat and stevie managed to get it to within about 15 yards this time (with some fine driving) and the drag was for more pleasant than the last time. They way out was a little more edgy with the back wheels lifting off once but we got down fine and I was very happy with the result and had had an amazing few days out on the hill and the final stag wayed in at 146 pounds and was showing a bad coat and really underweight for this estate and he looked very skinny so combined with the lack of a brow tine a good stag to cull and a very interesting head to boot.
Anyway we went back to the larder and the Germans also there this week had shot a monster. He weighed in at 20 stone 6 and had a huge 11 point head but I was still happy with mine none the less. Anyway we went home I had some tea and got an early night as tomorrow was to be my dads turn and I was going to come out with out the rifle just for the stalk and I thought i'd be nice not to be carrying the rifle for once
Morning came around all to soon but I was looking forward to yet another day on the hill. Stevie picked us up and we went to the larder to see niall, loaded up the mud ox and headed out to his beat. Niall had a rough idea where the stags would be lying up as it was a windy and slightly cold day so we headed up the hill to a point where he could spy from and soon enough he had located them and the game was on. we stalked into them keeping a close eye on stags and hinds out on the hill slowly making progress. and after a couple of hours when we were in an area sheltered from both the elements and the prying eyes or deer we had a bite to eat and a interesting chat and after letting it settle for a bit we headed off again. By now I was getting my hill legs and not tiring as easy and it was nice to just be carry mine and my dads lunch instead of a rifle It makes the going that bit easier.
Anyway I digress, after dodging around groups of hinds and the odd stag niall beckoned for us to stay whilst he slowly made his was to the top of the hill to see the stags were just around the corner. Me and stevie were to stay back whilst he and my father were to see how close they could get so this left stevie and myself to spy the group of stags and see if there were any of the big boys in the group and there sure was. There must have been 8 or 10 12-14 point royals and a couple of them had colossal spread and there was one 16 pointer but they weren't on the cards today. whilst we were watching the stags we could see Niall and my farther were in place then a shot echoed out but neither stevie or myself couldn't figure out what had happened as of the group of about 25 stags we were watching the wrong ones. Anyway stevie soon spotted a twitching/thrashing stag on the ground in the process of passing on. Anyway It was a great shot from my dad at 197 yards and the stag weighed in at 203 pounds so 2 pounds lighter than my one form nialls beat but it was a nice 8 point stag.
Anyway, what a way to end one of the most enjoyable weeks you could imagine and I cant wait to get back up there next year as we're already penciled in again and im looking at getting up there when on my christmas break from uni for the hinds to get my DSC level 2 in the bag an Niall said we should be able to get it sorted out. Hope you have enjoyed he write ups even fractionally as much as I enjoyed the week and sharing it with you all.