I have just returned from 5 days in the Highlands, stalking reds with my brother.
The trip was particularly memorable as i got to see my brother shot his first red stag (he is the last of my three brothers to have achieved this; just need to get my father out as well to complete the male line!)
The second favourite part was getting to shoot "a long range stag"Prior to this week, the longest shot that I had attempted was 200 yards. Having practised considerably hard this year over various ranges and I did a drop test out to 300 meters, I was sufficiently confident of taking the shot if the opportunity arose. Well the chance did come on the first day when I shot my first stag at 220 meters. After an hour of watching him run around chasing off other younger smaller stags, he took a breather, presented himself broadside and I took the shot. The thud, jump and 10m walk confirmed that the shot was fatal; he was dead before he hit the ground.
However, on the penultimate day, another longer, long range opportunity presented itself. The stag was standing on the crest of a hill overlooking his hinds, who stood suspiciously watching as though they were expecting something to happen. My stalker ranged him at 270/280 yards and considered the distance abit too long. I told him I knew the drop, was in a comfortable position and could do it. I put the crosshairs a few inches over his back and took the shot. The beast wobbled for a moment before collapsing. Another clean kill.
Finally on Saturday I was given the opportunity to do a solo stalk, that is spot, stalk, shoot and gralloch the stag by my lonesome. My brother and stalker fell behind me as I took the lead. 15 minutes later into the stalk I heard the roar that I was looking for. I made my brother and stalker kneel down as I crept up the hill for a better look. After a brief scan, I spotted the beast and ranged him at 300m. He was a shootable switch and I informed the stalker that i would try. Like the previous stag; he had lots of hinds beneath him who acted like guard dogs. I crawled to within 185 yards where I took position. He was not far off broadside and i put the crosshairs just half way up his ches. I check the range again (Zeiss Diarange, cheating I know!) and settled back for the shot. Another clean kill.
A big thank you to Graham for the education and the trust, Truly, my best stalking experience....................and I hate this next word..................ever!
Pictures to follow