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Thread: Stag in Caithness

  1. #1

    Stag in Caithness

    Took off this weekend with a mate to our permission near Thurso, which is primarily mature forestry with good open rides surrounded by open hill. All looked good on the road up with plenty of stags spotted holding hinds on the road between Helmsdale and Melvich. We arrived about 4.00pm with clear bright sky's but barely a breath of wind, which is not the best conditions for stalking on our ground due to the boggy conditions.

    Never the less we split up and set off with high hopes but it soon become apparent there would be little chance of sneaking up on anything, every step you took sounded like a prostitute on her 20th trick of the day. After reaching a decent spot, with plenty of tracks and signs of deer, I decided to sit down until dusk and feed the midges for a while in the hope a stag would cross a good sized ride. Unfortunately with the midges full to bursting point and the day coming to an end it seemed it was not to be. I gathered up the rifle and began walking towards the track leading to the truck and needless to say hadn't walked a few hundred yards when three hinds burst from a hidden opening and disapeared into the tree's. I gave it a few minutes in the hope a stag was with his ladies but nothing else stirred.

    With darkness beginning to descend and reminding myself not to buy a lottery ticket that night, I continued on, glassing every few steps and there he was, a good sized six pointer standing on a dirt track about 600 yards away. The wind was in my favour and hugging the side of the wood I began what seemed like the noisiest stalk of my life, every footstep sounded like I had sponges on my feet. Eventually I managed to drop down into a ditch which took me to within 200 yards of the beast. He'd moved off the track and was now standing on a bank, presenting a perfect broadside shot. With the racing heart beat that every stalker knows, I steadied the .30-06, settled the cross hairs on his chest and squeezed off the shot. I lost sight of him with the recoil of the rifle but the 'smack' that followed the bullet crack gave me confidence that the 150 grain Hornady SST had done it's job. Reloading and watching the spot where I had last seen him, showed no sign of the stag or any movement. Giving it a few minutes, I mentally marked his position and found him exactly where he had stood, dropping on the spot. After checking to see there were no signs of life, I bled and gralloched him. The bullet had performed flawlessly, taking out the top of his heart and lungs, as it passed through and fully exited his chest cavity for a good clean kill. A short drag to the side of the track made an easy recovery for the truck and trailer and an even happier stalker.

  2. #2
    Well done mate, a good read. Those bloody midges are hanging on a bit this year up North, happy to say that they have not been too bad with us this year, don't know why but I am not complaining.

    John
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

  3. #3
    Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed reading that , atb Jim
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JAYB View Post
    Well done mate, a good read. Those bloody midges are hanging on a bit this year up North, happy to say that they have not been too bad with us this year, don't know why but I am not complaining.

    John
    The fisheries biologist I was talking to in Argyll reckons the dry spring and early summer meant the midge numbers were down this year John, we even escaped them on Lochbuie, Mull which is usually thick with them. He reckons they can survive cold but not the dry then.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by NickJ View Post
    The fisheries biologist I was talking to in Argyll reckons the dry spring and early summer meant the midge numbers were down this year John, we even escaped them on Lochbuie, Mull which is usually thick with them. He reckons they can survive cold but not the dry then.
    dam shame that, I'm gutted...... no doubt the will make up for it next year and be back ten fold!!

  6. #6
    Oh, aye - them midges just saving themselves up mate! The biologist was bemoaning the fact his Loch Awe fish might have less to eat, must have been the only man in Scotland not delighted at the fact!
    Good going with the stag Bliztking by the way.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NickJ View Post
    The fisheries biologist I was talking to in Argyll reckons the dry spring and early summer meant the midge numbers were down this year John, we even escaped them on Lochbuie, Mull which is usually thick with them. He reckons they can survive cold but not the dry then.
    Every day is a learning day, I knew they could withstand the cold but did not know about the dry spells affecting them, thanks for that.

    John
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

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