While up in the highlands last week I had a spare day so went over to a friends estate for a stalk. Of course the day was the worst of the week, with high winds and driving rain, but decided to try anyway. Arrived at the estate at 6.00am where i met my mate. We were off for the forested area straight away. As entering the open lower ground we had a look around with the spotlight, seeing a red hind and calf on the woodland edge, off with the light and on we travelled. Driving along a rough track towards our starting point a sika hind was spotted on the side of the track and just moved away into the darkness. Just 50 yards away a sika stag crossed infront of us, using the spotlight to have a look at him, he was a nice 6 pointer, looking in good condition, maybe making a nice specimen for a client next year. After reaching our chosen area, we waited in the truck until the light come up a bit more.
With the light now enough for us to see, off we set. Just around the first corner in the track we spotted a sika calf, which after a few seconds was looking straight at us and hopped into the tree line where its mother moved it away. The clear fall was spied for a length of time, with a few calls but nothing was seen or answered back . Making our way to the top side of the clear fall, we stalked into two more Hinds and calves, but no sign or whistling of any stag. By 10.00am the weather had closed in, so we made our way back to the truck and decided to go for the comfort of my mates bungalow.
By 14.00pm the weather had not eased at all, so it was either pack up or give it one more go. We decided to try in one of the thickest cover parts of the estate, and see if we could find a sheltered area where we thought any wise beasts would be trying their best to find warmth and bed down. As walking down a well used deer track into the thick cover, a sika pricket came bolting out of the cover almost running into us. As we had a face off, the pricket turned and ran back into the cover, on which we caught sight of a large sika stag giving him a hard time. Due to the height of the cover we were very lucky that the stag moved left handed underneath us to see off the pricket. As the stag came from behind a large tree he stopped for a second, offering a quick neck shot. Leaning against the trunk of another tree gave me a steady shot to which the stag dropped immediately and vanished to the ground in the high cover. After reloading and watching the drop area closely for several minutes we made our way forward. Finding this lovely eight pointer lying exactly where the impact hit him. Another memorable stalk with a great friend in great highland countryside, so who cares if we were soaked through. Bring on the Hinds Gaz