Well today was the day for my stalk with Craigievarkiller. I won the stalk on the charity auction for H4H held by Stav.
Excited was an understatement, I could hardy sleep last night must have got 3hrs max! Anyway up bright as a button checked I had all my kit, jumped in the motor & made my way up to meet Craig at his ground. On the way up it was clear to see that the Roe was enjoying the nice weather we are having and I spotted a fair few on the drive up, expectations were high!
With the introductions out of the way Craig showed me a map of the ground and explained which route we were going to take and off we set.
The hills were steeper than I first thought, fairly gets the heart rate going that's for sure. We stalked from the farm up to the top of the track and immediately bumped a good buck who barked his way through the wood alerting everything else that was in there but things were looking good!
We glassed the fields as we went and decided to work on down the hill again through the middle of the wood, well we bumped him again didn't we? and the bugger would not keep quiet! I think it was the same beast but hey ya never know!
At the bottom of the wood we could clearly see the hill on the other side of the steep gully, the sun was beating down onto the heather on the other side, was it any wonder that it was moving with Roe!
We sat on the edge of the wood and glassed the hill for a good while trying to work out how we were going to get onto them, conditions were bright sunshine and no wind whatsoever so it wasn't going to be easy. Still glassing we spotted a Buck with a very healthy heed on him bedded down beside a solitary tree on the other side, I was given the go ahead to take him if I could get anywhere near him. So we were planning our approach when he decided to get up and work towards a wood to the right of the hill, he eventually jumped the fence and disappeared from sight. No joy there then
We made our way down the hill across the gully and back up the other side and stalked along the fence on the edge of the wood towards the heather. We spotted a good buck in the heather about 300yards out so it was decided I would go for it, I got through the fence unloaded all the nonsense from my pockets took the bino's off, put the rifle across my back and got down into the heather, this was going to be hard going! Craig stayed back to watch the stalk from a vantage point. (Lucky sod)
Well the sweat was running down my neck by a 100yards in when I came across a Doe feeding about 20-30yards from me slightly to the left so I changed course in the heather and cut back up the way to where I thought the buck was, I spotted him again after 150yards or so and continued in gingerly to within striking distance, very hard to get a clear path for the bullet to fly in the heather, I eventually got set up and put the 100grn on it's way, he took the shot and dropped straight away. Wow what a stalk I just had!
When we got up to him the shot placement was a little further back than I had hoped for but the main thing was he was killed outright so no suffering.
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The beast was gralloched and left on the hill whilst we went for Buck number 2. Almost straight away Craig spotted one way up on the hill above us so it was more of the same again, we worked back down to get behind him and crawling in from 300+ yards following a depression in the hill to about 100yards, I got set up on the bipod just as he heard/winded me, he was making away over the hill but stopped to have one last look and turning broad side on, another 100 grainer was sent on it's way & he dropped where he stood. Job done!
This was the most challenging stalking I have done to date and I loved every minute of it, Craig was very good company on the hill and new the ground like the back of his hand. I would recommend this type of stalking to anyone who has not tried it. True Scottish Hill Roe Stalking, one word (Fantastic)
Here's hoping there's another auction with this lot up for grabs again, I for one will be bidding hard!
Hope you enjoyed the read.