Well , where do i start - at the beginning i hear you say , so here goes!!
I would like to call this ( as per title ) the " Dream " , because thats exactly what this trip was - a dream of mine that i have had for some years now , but not got around to it!!
That dream for me was to , 1) go to Scotland for the first time , 2) go there to stalk and 3) hunt the Scottish Roebuck!!!
Well this came to a reality this weekend with a kind invite from Dave ( remmy ) .
Now Dave and myself have been chatting for a few years ( 7-8 could be more ) now , on the forums and on the phone , and he has made very kind offers before , unfortunately i was not able to go so at these times - so with some recent things going on at home i really needed a break away!!!
So i was talking with Dave on the phone some 3 weeks ago and he said " come on up pal " which this time we was able to arrange!!
So i booked a flight from Exeter to Glasgow and Dave kindly arranged some accommodation for me
Well that moment soon came around last Friday when i arrived in the afternoon in Glasgow!!
Dave came to pick me up and i must say after all these years of talking and not meeting face to face , it was great to finally meet Dave!!
I met his daughter and then the rest of his family later on that day!!! .
After a good chat and some lunch ( thanks mate ) we got ready for my first outing in Scotland stalking!!
We made our way to the highseat , and Dave told me the safe arcs of fire should a shot present itself and where the deer could come out from!!
As time went on Dave said to me that he could not understand why nothing had shown yet and that we would wait till 7 o'clock then we would go to another spot - which we did when the time came!!
As we arrived at the other spot and approached the first gate a Roe doe made her way over the brow and down into the young plantation.
As we entered the field Dave spotted a Roe doe and a young buck browsing along the hedge line , due to the lay of the land it was a no go for a shot and hopefully they would go down the field - which they did not but that did not matter as Dave spotted a Roebuck out in the field below us!!
I followed Dave down the field some 40yds or so and Dave got me set up ( sitting ) with the rifle and sticks and asked me to wait until the Buck got to a certain point for a safe shot and a good backstop with a high rising bank behind the Buck .
Well after a few minutes the Roebuck reached that point and i was ready to go but the Buck did not stop , Dave gave a bark but it still did not stop!! even after another 3 barks it still did not stop!! , its then Dave gave a very loud bark and this time it stopped and gave a good side on shot which i duly took!!!
It ran few yards then dropped , so after a good 10 minutes or so we made our way down the field to the Buck.
I was absolutely chuffed to bits and my dream came true in this moment - Dave was so pleased for me and congratulated me on my first Scottish Roe buck!!
I was beaming from ear to ear as Dave has helped me achieve my dream
So once the gralloch was done , it was off home to sort the carcase out and clean up and then go and get some fish and chips!! ( thought i was still home in Cornwall ) .
Dave dropped me off later that evening to my accommodation and it was arranged for him to pick me up early in the morning..
Did i sleep - heck is like!! - probably got 3 hours total as i was buzzing so much!!!
Next morning ( Saturday ) came and we sat up in another beautiful spot in the highseat , nothing showed but what a place to be with all that beautiful scenery and watching mother nature going about her business!!!
As the morning wore on Dave suggested we go to for a stalk , which we did and saw 2 Roe does out feeding .
We then went to another spot and saw a Roe doe who then disappeared into the wood!!
We then made our way to some scrub-land and came across a young buck , we froze as the buck started to stare at us - it then decided it did not like what it saw and made off some 30yds of so and stopped to look back , there was no time for me to take the rifle and it was one of those moments you probably had just a few seconds to get a shot off - which Dave duly did and dropped the buck with nice shot!!
The gentleman he is , he apologized for me not taking the shot , i told him there was no need as i clearly seen what unfolded and that the buck was not going to hang around!!
So with that we went to collect the buck and i congratulated Dave this time , he done the gralloch and then , as we made our way a bit further on we saw a Roe doe who then disappeared , we then went on to sit up and wait!!
This was another beautiful spot , we later saw a Roebuck some 700yds or so , if i remember right this was neighboring ground but it was great to see!!!
That was the morning stalk over and what a great morning it was , so it was off to Daves home to sort the carcase / some lovely breakfast and Dave kindly done my first Scottish Roebuck head!!!!
I was that knackered from all the excitement , i later went asleep for a while in the afternoon before tea - glad i did because i felt better afterwards!!
We was not going for stalk in the evening because the forecast was for heavy rain ( Dave offered to go anyway but i declined if the weather was going to be that bad ) , so after a fantastic tea ( Fallow haunch steaks in home made peppercorn sauce ) the weather was looking pretty good so off out stalking we went again!!
We arrived at another plantation and on the approach to the covered low seat Dave showed me some heavy stripping saying it was probably done by a big buck!!
Dave had brought his video cam just in case!!
We got into the low seat / box and got settled , again Dave told me where to look out for deer and safe arcs of fire .
As we got settled i smiled and whispered to Dave that we was like 2 fat Wood pigeons after eating so much!! so much so , he said he would have to slacken off his belt!!
Then it happened!! ---------- A loud " boowff " , Dave looked at me with his eyes wide open and whispered " thats a big bugger mate " , then "it barked again and again 4 or 5 times and it was getting closer!!!
Get ready Ray Dave whipered , which i did - it then went quiet for what seemed a few minutes so i relaxed the rifle!!!
" somethings upset him " Dave whipered .....
Then again " boowf " so again i readied the rifle and thats when we saw it by the brush - then again " boowf " , it then came towards the low box and was about to go under the fence some 7yds from us then it ran some 15yds or so and then spung up into the air and landed our side of the fence line like someone had just lifted it 6 feet into the air and dropped it the other side!!
And there it stood in its magnificence staring at us , i was already sighted on the Buck and all i could see was the head and half the neck " neck it " i heard in a light whisper!! as i was already on this area on the buck i squeezed the trigger and saw the Roebuck drop on the spot!!!
Dave was looking at me and i was looking at Dave -it was one of those magical moments that dont happen very often in your lifetime and Daves face said it all!!!
It unfolded so quick that he forgot to run the film camera in all that excitement - we laughed at this!!
As we made our way to the buck we just looked in awe of what just unfolded and that magnificent Scottish Roebuck!!!
Dave gave me a big congratulations and took some photos before the gralloch...
So with this magical moment and my dream made even more special , we made our way home to deal with the carcase and after this was done , Dave kindly made a celebratory drink ( 10 year old sloe gin for special occassions ) ..
We toasted that fine animal / the hunt / each other and to sharing such a magical moment - we had a few whiskeys too and relived that moment and spoke of many others which we have had when out hunting!!
It was a taxi job for me that night and this time i slept like a log....
Sunday soon came around and Dave picked me up and took me back to his for breakfast!!
It was soon time for me to go and catch my flight back to Exeter then back home to Cornwall ...
It was still sinking in what had happened in this trip , in that i had finally met Dave after all these years and his very kind and wonderful family - they was very welcoming and we had some great laughs and discussions!!
Dave dropped me off to the airport and it is with a heavy heart that i said goodbye , i have been honored to have been given a opportunity to live out a dream of mine , to meet someone who is very passionate about stalking and respecting what we hunt , who welcomed me into their home and treated me like a part of their family , and for that i am and will be always eternally grateful to Dave because you have given me a lifelong memory i shall never forget , and when those bucks are mounted and i look at them - it will take me right back to reliving my " dream " that you gave me!!
Thanks mate ...