I had the absolute pleasure of stalking with one of the members from the site who booked 2 days at Sika stags with me, over this past Monday and Tuesday.
He traveled up to stalk in what he knew would be very difficult conditions with the wind and rain we were having. To be honest if it had been anything other than Sika I would have probably put him off to another time except for one thing. He is due to go back out to Afghanistan in a few weeks for a 6 month tour. I believe his second trip with tours in Iraq already under his belt.
He has a lot of experience stalking but had never seen Sika. We saw a few including what I told him was a stag of quality that I would be happy shooting 2 or 3 like that in a whole season. Unfortunately we were unable to get a shot at any of them but the comment he passed when seeing his first, 'that's me made up now...' made me realise what a genuine and true stalker he is.
The reason I feel compelled to post this, is he told me of some of the experiences he has had during his time in the above countries, and the mates he has lost while standing a matter of feet from them. Yet he laughed, joked and accepted his return to Afghanistan like I would accept a visit to the dentist! I am not easily moved or shocked because of my own employment but what we see in the media is the tip of the iceberg. My own brother in law spent time with the Pathfinders in Iraq and Afghanistan and I now realise how lucky we are to have him back unharmed.
I have never been so desperate for someone to get a shot at a beast, nor had a more deserving guest out with me.
Kris (gr1ffer), I wish you and your mates well over the next 6 months and look forward to having you back out with me. I never thought that being on this site would open my eyes so much to what war is actually about.
You are a credit to your regiment and your country.