I am a new subscriber to The Stalking Directory and have chosen the moniker Lucky Jim because of two people in particular that I have met through my interest in stalking. Firstly my mentor over the last seven or eight years has been Jon ( Amhuinnsuidhe ). Without his generous help I would not have been able to develop or even get started in stalking. Secondly, David Brown the owner of the Mellness Forest Estate. Jon's review of our visit there( I am the Jim in that report) amply describes David's kindness and generosity together with his delightful family but I fully endorse his sentiments. Hence my choice of moniker.
On the first Day of our visit, David accompanied me as I am the least experienced stalker. After walking up a track for a mile or so we saw some hinds up on the hill to our right. There you are, said David, let's try those. They were well over 350 yards away so we stalked closer and I then crawled up to a point where I could get a good stable shooting position. They still looked a long way off but Jon had previously taken me to a range in Wales where I had gained more experience in longer range shots. The hind fell to the shot and rolled 50 yards down the hill. The others ran back but then stopped about 50 yards further back. David pointed out a lighter coloured hind and that fell too but it was by then on flatter ground and didn't roll down towards us. They were my longest shots by some margin. David gralloched the first and I did the second taking at least twice as long. We then dragged the carcasses down the hill to the track to pickup later.
my second stalk was on a wild windy day. David led me through some forest and we disturbed a few hinds and stags on the way down. It was so wet and windy that the deer were tucked down and we were on them before we saw them, less than 50 yards, but they saw us too! We disturbed some hinds and yearlings a bit later and David took us quickly to a spot where he thought they would come out and present a shot. Sure enough they appeared about 80 yards away and stopped to look our way by which time we were sitting and waiting. I took a freehand shot at the only one that was clearly presented a yearling. The herd ran off with the shot including the one that I had shot at. I was very concerned that I had only wounded the animal and after a search we fetched David's lovely young Labrador, Mhari. After returning to the area of shot Mhari tracked down hill shortly and then turned sharp left. After 50 yards there was the deer lying dead. The shot was slightly too far back and high but at least it was a killing shot. A long drag down through a newly harvested area full of brash was my penance!
I would like to add my thanks to David and his family for their great hospitality and congenial company.