I have just returned from a week in the lake district with the family, my wife booked me an evenings stalk with Solway Stalker on the goats & Roe, as an anniversary present. So we drove over the border to Scotland & met up with Colin after the greetings we followed him to his ground. The views were fantastic, as we arrived at his ground I said farewell to the family who went off exploring leaving me with Colin.
I was really excited as I had never been on the hill before the landscape was totally different to flat Essex.
We got ourselves sorted & jumped into Colin's truck & drove through the estate to the hills, en route Colin explained the day & pointed out lots of interesting facts about the estate & deer signs. I was amazed at the stunning scenery, we drove around scanning various hills.After a short while Colin was pointing out goats on the hill, he had to point them out to me before I could find them with my Bino's.
We parked up & we were soon walking through the trees into the valley at the bottom of the hills, the goats were about 3/4's of the way up the HILL !!!
Colin pointed out a route for the stalk, to an outcrop where we should be able to get a shot, most of it would be in cover but for a short period we would be in open ground. Colin assured me that it wouldn't be as bad as it appeared. So off we set across a small stream, through a fence & then the climb started, about half way up I needed a breather as I was puffing like "Ivor the Engine". Colin however was relaxed & enjoying the view.
I must get fitter!!
After a slog we approached a small crest, we peered over the top & there were the goats about 130m's away, I eased my RPA over the top & deployed the bipod, but despite a clear view through the scope the muzzle wasn't clear. So we opted to crawl up to a small rock about 20 metres further up. Reaching this vantage point I again crept to the edge & deployed the bipod, but made too much noise, the goats started to wander off up the hill. Bugger I was knackered & didn't fancy chasing them further up the hill. I was gutted thinking I had blown it at this point. But luck was on my side they moved up to a small rock face about 150m's up hill from my position, they started to moved across the rocks & I saw there was a nice Billie in the group, hopping across the rocks.
I settled behind the rifle & tried to settle my breathing, then he stopped Perfect broadside. I settled the crosshairs of the S&B on him & squeezed off the shot, it was good.
I had the nod from Colin to take another if I got the chance & luck was on my side another Billie stopped on another rock about 10 m's above. Again the RPA found its mark & another Billie dropped on the spot.
I was elated, the climb up to my prize was steep but worth it.
Congratulations from Colin & time to sit back take in the moment & enjoy the view.
Then we were off again in search of Roe this time, on the drive to a different location we saw a number of Reds . We foot stalked a number of areas seeing deer , but unable to get onto them, but hey what beats watching the sun go down over stunning scenery.
Another fantastic outing imprinted in my memories forever, thanks to Colin & my wife for the outing.