Having spent sometime considering my future, I decided to retire,so after the last shoot of the season on Saturday, I became to all intents and purposes retired.
This was not an easy decision, and not one that I had intended to make , at least not yet.
however my health has not been great for sometime, suffering two heart attacks just after the end of the stag season in 2010.
Did carry on stalking during the 2011 season but realised that I was no longer fit enough,not the actual stalking I could still walk on the hill, but dragging and lifting stags was just becoming to much.
In the larder even with the use of an electric hoist the final lift of the gambrel on to the rail would bring on an angina attack, when handling big stags.
Since that time I been diagnosed as diabetic with all the associated problems, eyes feet, and an immune system that's compromised, the signs have been there for sometime but I just put them down to getting older, infections that I could not throw off , and what I thought was just normal declining eyesight, always used to shoot on six times magnification, then up to seven and now eight times tests show some damage to my eyes through being diabetic, however if I can get my blood sugar levels down to normal then I may be lucky enough to prevent further damage.
Though officially retiring I am not stopping completely, at least not yet still going to be running a wild bird shoot, and roe stalking with regular clients, and will maybe do a bit of loading at the grouse.
Regardless of where I am physically , my thoughts will always be in the wild places among the misty corries ,brooding lochans and rushing burns ,where I have always felt most at home.
I have not get quite reached the end of the stalkers path, but it's close now I can see it .