2 weeks ago now me and a good friend of mine made our way up to Sutherland / Caithness for a week on the stags with glen cadwallader . A 692 mile trip from the bright and breezy hills of Sussex , it took 11 hours , not a bad run !
Im not much of a one for writing pages and pages of story's of my trip , so I'll share with you one stalk , my first ever highland red . Before that though let me tell you a bit about glens setup and ground . Coming from a farming background I though I knew my acreage pretty well , but the area of land up there is incredible , acre after acre of sweet **** all ! I'd never seen ground so beautiful , or so wet ! I had never imagined the amount of stags I'd see roaming , the amount of roaring I'd hear or the amount of bloody sheep everywhere ! And I've never been told quite so much ******** about hard Scottish weather ! In what was apparently a strangely mild rut ( no one had told the stags , who were still in full coat with huge manes of deep red ) there were times when all I needed was a t shirt ! So now I know how bad it really can be up there ! Ha ha !
Joking apart , I'd like to thank Glen , both the Alan's , and Stuart for a truly incredible week , I've made some unforgettable memories and learnt more than I ever thought I would Its definatley changed my view on stalking and the way i stalk . And I've got a new found respect for how hard you guys work . So thanks for having me , I hope to be back soon . And a special thanks to Alan Munro , who got me into position for grassing my first ever highland red , and then duly blooded me , which seemed to get my luck up for the rest of the week .
so here's the story of that stalk .
The day previous I had arrived and gone out with Stuart , we had watched a big stag on the open ground for a good few hours but he never presented a shot before light failed us . So the next day , after a long hard stalk in the forest first thing , I was keen to go back to the open ground for another crack at the big lad . On arrival me and Alan spotted the stag well out on the open ground , so decided to take cover up a byrn ( not sure on the spelling for that !) the wind was tricky but useable , so we took it slow and using the few low mounds as cover we gradually got closer to the beast . It was hard going , the ground there is very wet , with the odd bog thrown in and also what I can only describe as hard grass tussocks , good footwear is essential ! On our way across we bumped a young stag and for a moment it looked like all was lost as he ran straight for our big one , but luckily , with testosterone pumping the bigger stag roared , chased off the young one and returned to his hinds , When we got to the byrn we where about 250 yards from the stag and a group of 6-7 hinds and calves the only thing we could do to get closer was to crawl up one of the small mounds to get a shoot able position from the top . I've never had to crawl before while stalking , so it was great fun for me , it was what I'd come up for , a true Scottish stalk on open ground and by the time we made it to the top I was excited and grinning like a numpty ! We couldn't get any closer at risk of giving our position away so all that was left to do was wait , and let the stag seal his own fate ! After a long wait , the light was fading and I'll admit I was beginning to get disheartened ! Alan kept his calm and low and behold the stag came across the byrn and stood broadside in front of us ! The .308 broke the evening silence with a loud roar ! The stag falters but didn't fall , so with another shot ready , I recovered my eyesight ( muzzle flash from an unmoderated .308!) and put another into him . He fell into the byrn , stone dead . I was absolutely over the moon , just writing down the story get my heart going again . What an unforgettable stalk !
Here are some picture from the week , I had an amazing time , and will definatley be back again soon , the ground is fantastic , and full of deer . Glens setup is very professional and also very friendly , by the end of the week I felt like one of the team . But boy was I knackred ! So cheers guys , I hope to be back soon !