A rare sight and an even rarer left and right, especialy for a first timer!
Last Friday, with a useful North wind, out with a guest and the stalker on the hill in Inverness-shire we witnessed an old red stag sparring with a sika spiker. The sika yearling was doing all the goading even though the red was nigh-on twice his size! They were proper, head down sparring albeit with some nonchalance on the part of the red. They had no hinds in tow.
Just goes to show how tough sika are, this we witnessed for the best part of 20 mins as we bent double then crawled in for the last 100 yds. I was 'covering' with my .308 but wasn't needed, when in postion my friend AD grassed the red first with a well placed heart shot at about 130 yards. As the red staggered the sika ran out another 50 yards but he was on him and took him in the heart. Only a little bit far back it was a good shot for a guy who had only shot one hind before out at over 180 yards. Further proof of the mettle of sika it ran over the brow, about 100 yards but was stone dead when they walked in as I went off to fetch the landrover up the hill.
The estate policy is to take sika off when they stray out of the woods on to the hill and the red was getting on with only 2 points now in one cusp so a good cull double.
The weather both on the Friday and the following day, Saturday when I took my stag was amazing, not a cloud in the sky. The wind the following day had gone right round and was a fickle south westerly which messed us around all day. It was 4.30 before the poor cull stag we were waiting on eventually stood up and I took him in the neck as a knowl in front dicated it and it was little more than eighty yard. The beast was not old but held no hinds and had a narrow, switchy head. The light was fading by the time we decamped from the argo to the land rover at the end of the hill road. All in all a fantastic end to the stags and a very happy pal.
For those interested AD used the estate rifle; a superbly accurate and hard working Carl Gustav (regulated by H&H) in .270 with Norma 125 grain ammo topped by a Kahles 6x40 scope. My less sleak lines, in .308 is a Remington actioned Savage with a S&B (Hungarian) 8x56 scope and a TB mod. I was using 150 grain RWS.
Photo below of AD with his first stag and first sika, all within the minute!