I have one more stag to find for the cull this year and have been trying to identify a suitable animal in my very thick woodland.
On Sunday morning I heard a stag roaring from a particular area of very thick cover, by the time I went back he had given up roaring and I couldn't locate him. The rut has been strange in the wood this year, I'm still not convinced it's fully underway yet.
I returned Monday afternoon and decided to stalk up a narrow ride to the north of his patch and see if I could locate him,as I approached the top of the hill with a bracken/Rhody steep bank on my left, and a lochan on my right, I heard movement on th bank above me, Pheasant? I had sen a hind there the week before on a DSC" witnessed stalk as well. I moved forward and unslung the rifle, slightly nervous, we are talking 10 yards but could discern nothing! The movement continued and as I moved forward I saw movement in the bracken coming down the bank at an angle ahead of me, I stopped, spotted an antler tip and the next thing a fully mature maned up black stag leaps off the bank and confronts me at 5 yards!
He had heard me but not winded me and obviously thought it was an interloper. I brought the rifle up and as it settled on his shouder he whirled and was gone!
Exciting stuff, I went back yesterday as he was, from my brief glance, exactly what I was looking for. He must have elarned his lesson as it was a no-show.