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Thread: Hind stalking on Arran 2014

  1. #1
    Established Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    The Tidal River Tamar

    Hind stalking on Arran 2014

    Three Thursdays ago, my friend Paul (PCal) and I left Cornwall for our first trip to Scotland. Only ten hours later (much to our surprise), we arrived in Ardrossan and proceeded to camp on the harbour wall...Catching the 7am Friday ferry meant we first caught sight of Arran as dawn broke a few miles off Brodick; a great view and the first part of Scotland we'd ever seen in daylight. After introducing ourselves to Bob the FC ranger, we spent the next three days recceing the various beats and generally getting to know the island. I'll let the following photographs tell the rest of the story.

    Watching the deer above Lochranza, after visiting the Arran distillery - enjoying a tipple of Arran Gold as I type...

    Checking the rangefinder works on Sunday afternoon - The southern lighthouse on Holy Island, (ranged from the living room of our Lamlash apartment):

    After spotting a hind & calf Monday evening while orientating ourselves with the ground, we decided to take a look - but they were almost 70m or so directly above us...A good introduction to the terrain! Especially when we reached the top and PCal hadn't locked the car....back down we went, only to return to the ridge 10 minutes later!

    PCal's two hinds & two calves on the first morning - a real baptism of fire for him after not stalking for a few months. We caught the group at first light, presumably returning to the forestry higher up. The first hind and calf were taken prone at circa 250 yards, then the others ran on slightly, so after a 50 yard dash PCal went prone and took the second pair. All the while, the remaining member of the group (a spiker) looked on unconcerned!

    Getting stuck in on the second hind:

    Tuesday afternoon with intermittent rain / low cloud, we found a suitable high point and setup a couple of laying up positions that covered the ground:

    What the view should have been like...

    DPM works well in this terrain (with Tuesday afternoons vantage point in the distance). Also sticks are essential for walking, if you wish to survive! Especially when descending off the hill and through steep clear fell by head torch in the evenings.

    The terrain is VERY tough going in places and presents a decent challenge in itself! Wednesdays mornings dawn accent from the car (just visible) a couple of hundred metres below:

    More traditional stalking Wednesday evening....

    Thursday morning at 08.00, after getting into position before first light.

    Large pockets of heather (400+ yards long) amongst the forestry, great for passing the time and having a spot of lunch with a view:

    Remember to always use protection....As the temperature increased throughout the day it expanded considerably (much to our amusement) at least proving the airtight/waterproof seal - essential given the changeable nature of the weather.

    On Thursday after stalking 50 yards up the ride, PCal returns with caution...

    The reason why - If you take a 26+lbs rifle all day stalking for a week, this will inevitably happen at some point!

    There is life! The rides were like deer motorways in places, with plenty of rutting stands and wallows around.

    Thursday afternoon looking over the top edges of the forestry, with the cloud coming down...

    Fifteen minutes later covering the clear fell edges as the cloud descended, forcing us off the heather hill tops:

    Fifteen minutes later again, time to call it a day at 15.30...The days are very short, making it hard work to get in on the deer in the time available.

    Enjoying the view Friday morning:

    PCal's youngster taken at 11am on the final Friday morning, with Bob's dog posing rather well...Thus we missed the 13.50 ferry, so caught the following 16.40 back - meaning neither of us have yet to see mainland Scotland in daylight! We reached Cornwall at 06.30 Saturday - A very long 'day' for PCal who was driving.

    During the week nine deer were culled, with five falling to PCal's modern English stalking rifle...

    Savouring the views, before packing up for the final time.

    When we returned to the car (parked in the dark) just over the edge was this - a brilliant way to finish the week.

    Last edited by Tiff; 09-12-2014 at 00:57.

  2. #2
    Great write up, makes me want to be there!

  3. #3
    Great way to spend a week! Jealous!

  4. #4
    great photos, I guest by the photos you were on or near the "cloud base" beat?
    it can be heavy going in places, you did well to bag that many beasts, well done, especially for your first visit.

  5. #5
    Great write up
    Makes me a wee bit jealous

  6. #6
    Great pictures and write up.
    Some amount of effort you put in there.
    I'm sure you would pass "selection" should you go for it.
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  7. #7
    Having reread the post, what rangefinder is that?? Also what have you got attached to the rifle to make it weigh 26 lbs!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    Having reread the post, what rangefinder is that?? Also what have you got attached to the rifle to make it weigh 26 lbs!!
    My guess it's the magazine full of .338 lapua magnum rounds
    "If you can't see it, you can't shoot it"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by scotch_egg View Post
    My guess it's the magazine full of .338 lapua magnum rounds
    Aha, you'd think so, but, tiff loads them too long for the mag and single loads them.

    Lrf is a vectronix plrf 15c I believe.
    Sako TRG-42 folder .338LM🔫 Sako TRG-22 .308/.260🔫 Tikka 595 .222(NV'd up) 🔫 AR15 .223/300BLK 🔫Franchi 12g 520 9shot🔫Baikal .410 stealth🔫Ruger #1.243

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  10. #10
    Established Poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    The Tidal River Tamar
    Thank you for the kind words, it was a really enjoyable trip and hopefully some of that has come across in the photographs. Equally thank you very much to everyone who helped with information before the trip and sorry to those I didn't call back, or seemingly hung up half way through - phantom mobile signal on Arran was rather problematic at times!

    It was indeed the Glenashdale Falls / Cloud Base beat - ironically we never actually saw the main falls, as we were always out stalking higher ground in daylight. A reason to return next year...

    As mentioned above, it's a Vectronix PLRF15C and while currently the rounds are single loaded, I'm working up a magazine length suitable alternative to help with quick second shots. The weight is simply down to the all round larger scale of the rifle - i.e. a 33.5" barrel finishing at over an inch at the muzzle, scope with a 40mm tube, cheekpiece filled with lead for balance etc. Now I know the ground reasonably well, I hope to use it to good effect on future trips.
    Last edited by Tiff; 09-12-2014 at 11:01.

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