I've just got back from a lovely week with a group of friends and I just wanted to say a big thanks to the guys on here for all their suggestions on things to do around Glen Lyon.
I highly recommend the Fortingall Hotel if anyone is passing that way. The food is really good and the host was extremely welcoming. The 5,000 old Yew tree wasn't that impressive when we first saw it until we read the notice and realised that tree is only about a 10th of its original size.
Due to staff numbers the estate were only able to offer some evening stalking around the farm and along the river as they had a large fishing pasty staying in the main house who took up most of the Ghillies' time during the day. On the first night we saw plenty of Does and Hinds but no bucks or stags. On the morning of the second stalk I decided to carry out a recon of the area and I was pleasantly pleased to come across this chap (see below) who was munching away close to the river. In the evening I headed out with the Ghillie and Ollie a friend. Ollie had never been stalking but was keen to see what it was all about. To both myself and the ghillies' surprised Ollie had eyes like a hawk and was spotting Does and Hinds everywhere he looked. He was particularly good at picking Roe in bracken. Our plan was to drive down close to where I had last seen the Buck in the morning and stalk through the area he would most likely be at last light. On the drive from the cottage along the farm track we came across a small group of Hinds. We watched them for a while hoping they would move off so we could pass but they didn't look like they planned to move off to soon as a plan was needed. We decided to run the risk of driving past them hoping they wouldn't run off and scare anything further up the track. Just as we started the engine Hawk Eye in the back picked up some slight movement to out right. We quickly identified it as a buck but not the one I had seen earlier in the morning. We reversed back up the track a little way and planned our stalk with an aim to get close to a stone wall where we could oversee the bracken where the buck had been seen. On reaching the wall there was no sign of the buck but after a short wait we spotted him. Ollie showed all the characteristic of a newbie stalker by standing up and pointing out the buck Luckily for us the buck could only see parts of Ollie due to some over hanging branches and the wall. Unsure of what was waving around behind the wall he turned side on a presented a perfect shot position for me. He dropped a few meters from where I stuck him.
On approaching the buck we found him to be a yearling with two small single points. He had a particularly small head but his body size was surprisingly weighty. Once dealt with we hopped back in the landy and continued our drive. Although we came across some stags they were too far off and the light was fading fast so we called it a night.
To say that Ollie has caught the stalking bug is an understatement. He has already started inquiring about getting some rifle lessons and which books I recommend he should read.
All in all it was great holiday.