Wanting to make as much use of the weekend prior to meeting at Malcs and Johns for the SD week I decided to give Ian a ring and see if he could help me out..
One call and Ian had the accommodation and times sorted for me so I was off for an extended trip ..
Meeting Ian for a pint and a chat at the Cairndow Stagecoach Inn Friday evening I was full of excitement and ale as my head hit the pillow after an eight hour drive..
The Inn was really well priced,very friendly and clean and literally five minutes from the estate..
Meeting Ian at nine we were off to pick up the argo( little did I now at the time it was for show purposes only) and load it on the trailer heading out into the hills..
The number of reds seen at low level making our way into the ground was amazing.. There is an absolute abundance in the area..
Ian gave me a brief on route and heading off up the hill I realised just how fit these local fellas must be up and down these hills all day ..
Spotting plenty of stags and hinds the cull animal was chosen and the stalk began by descending half the hill we had just climbed and picking a route using the terrain and wind to our advantage..
We took our time crawling through the heather before finally approaching and observing as my heart struggled to regain a calm rhythm..
Ian was a fantastic fella to be on the hill with.. Extremely professional and exceptionally knowledgable and had me completely comfortable and at ease as the shot was released..
Having taken the stag midday it was a welcome change and so much more enjoyable than the pressures that fading light can place on you..
With the gralloch completed it was great to have a sit down and some lunch on the hill and at this point it was mentioned the argo could not be used for the extraction due to the terrain..
Attatching the rope and handing Ian my rifle I attempted to move off for the just over quarter of a mile drag back to the road.. At this point looking round laughing hilariously to Ian as I couldn’t move the animal..
It was horrendously tough as the boggy marsh and high heather and rocks sapped your strength.. But with a bit of help across the flats and just the hill descent we made it both looking a bit rosy in the gills..
All work completed in the larder I was amazed to see what had felt like a twenty stone monster tipping the scales at 12stone 12lb..
I like to have a head with a long nose cut and so it was straight into the boiler..
Ian invited me to share the evening and supper with his family on the estate and I would like to say a huge thank you to a great fella that gave me the memory and stalk of a lifetime..
Anybody contemplating stalking with Ian at Achadunan will be in for an amazing time and will definately not be disappointed
Thanks again it was a great pleasure to be in the company of you and your family Ian