First Red and Sika, at David Brownís
We arrived at Davidís on Thursday lunchtime, where he showed us our cabin and told us to get ready for the afternoon stalk. My friend and I, with David and his dog headed off into the woods looking for my first red or sika hind. After about 30 minutes Davidís dog indicated there were deer ahead, and just in front of us in an opening in the wood we saw a young red hind. She did not give me a good opportunity to take a shot, so we carried on. Not the long after we bumped in to a group of reds which had a nice ten pointer stag, but they had spotted us before we saw them. We glassed the area and spotted three reds in the distance and after five minutes of very careful stalking I was in shooting distance. It was third time lucky for me as I managed to shoot my first red, with many thanks to David and his dog. That night we relaxed back at the cabin and David joined us for a few beers and a BBQ.
Snow had fallen overnight and the ground was white and frosty. David met us at our cabin in the morning and warned us that the first snow is never good for stalking. We headed off again to look for a sika hind, but we only saw lots of roe. After a couple of hours of walking David spotted a sika that vanished when I tried to crawl closer to it. On the way back to the cabin for lunch David saw a young sika stag on the edge of the woods. That was it for the morning stalk and went back for lunch.
Just after lunch we didnít walk far when Davidís dog indicated there were deer ahead. We had a good look between a crop of young trees and spotted a sika hind between the trees. It wasnít long before I had shot my first Sika hind. As I had shot what I came to, David then took my friend out to stalk a hind, while I finished the sika ready for the larder. Just before dark they came back but they had no luck that time. Again David joined us in the evening at the Cabin.
There had been more snow and frost overnight. While we were eating our breakfast a group of 7 stags and 3 hinds walked past the cabin not even 200 yards away. Not long after we went for our morning stalk but it was even quieter than our second day. There was nothing to see until Davidís dog told him there was something, David suddenly stopped and turned so that we could also see. It was a huge 12 pointer stag, which had sensed the movement and had started trotting further into the woods. It had definitely made up for the lack of sighting earlier in the morning, and turned out to be the only excitement for the day. We tried the high seats in the afternoon but only saw a pine martin, and later on out way back to the cabin some hinds running away from us, but by that time the light was bad. We stayed another night and left in the morning.
Many thanks to David and his wife Laurna for the good atmosphere and hospitality; it was an experience worth revisiting. Iíve learned a lot from David and his dog amazed me. I will definitely be going back in the spring to see if I can get a trophy roebuck. Perhaps take the family along, as the cabin is nice and spacious perfect for a family to holiday in and enjoy the wildlife.