Drove up to Dumfries on Sunday afternoon, checked in at the Mabie House Hotel, very nice and reasonable! Colin picked me up for an evening stalk, and although we covered a fair bit of ground and saw Roe, the oppertunity to bag one never presented itself. Monday morining was an outing on Goat, so a lie in (8.30 start), and a trip up towards Castle Douglas. The scenery up there is something to behold. We drove the forestry tracks glassing the hill, to get a clue, as where to start from. They took some finding, and when we did see them, they were not far from the top of the hill! We parked up, got our gear (Colin's was a thumb stick, my gear was a little heavier!) and started our ascent. Some say that Goat stalking is easy, well I'm affraid nobody had told this lot! A group of about 20 kept moving away from us, and eventually disappeared over the top. We kept on upwards, and saw the same group reappear 700 or 800 yrds away, we continued towards them (still uphill) untill we were about 400yrds from them. They seemed settled, but there wasn't any cover to use to get closer. I wasn't confident enough to take the shot at that range, so a cunning plan was hatched for me to stalk in alone. I set off uphill with the intention of rounding on the group from above, 15 mins later, about 300yds from the top, I spotted a small group of 10 or so, crossing above me. I managed to crawl in to about 140yds using a rock outcrop, and picked out an old nanny in the group, waited for her to stand alone, and felled her witha 100g soft point! Made up, to say the least!
That evening we were off in search of a Buck, but the gods weren't on our side, Roe were seen but between one thing and another, a shot wasn't on, but not for the lack of trying!!
3.45 am, the alarm went off, Colin picked me up at 4, we saw deer right away and our first stalk found me a nice 6 pointer! He'd seen us, but at about 60 yds he wasn't going to get away, my nerve held out, and he dropped on the spot! Colin was almost as happy as me, he said the pressure was off and we would probably be tripping over Bucks now!! He wasn't far wrong, 20 mins later, he tried to get me on a young Buck about 50 yds away but I couldn't see him, well not 'till he turned and ran!
We moved on to another area, and Colin suggested I could stalk this clearfell on my own, I wasn't too sure, especially after not seeing that last young Buck at close range. I set off glassing the area as I went. I have to admit I thought it would be a fruitless stalk, but 20 mins later, whilst scanning with the bins, I saw another 6 point Buck, looking straight at me! I must admit I thought I was seeing things, I slowly mounted the rifle, but couldn't find him!! Back to the bins, found him again but still couldn't find him in the scope!!! Third time lucky, got a good mark on him and found him in the crosshairs. The problem now was, that he was standing face on looking at me, he knew I was there, and I was sure if I waited for him to turn, he would be off. I was behind a stone wall using it as a rest, so at about 120 yds I decided to take a neck shot, and he fell on the spot! The grallach was made interesting by the midgies bighting lumps out of me, and a struggle back to the truck with the carcass and my gear, made that I'd earned breakfast !!
Big thanks to Colin, for a great couple of days! My first Roe Bucks!! I'm already booked in, for a another jolly with him. Top Bloke with great ground, and plenty of deer!