Scotland advice?

Adam f

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A mate and myself are heading to Scotland end of October for our first bash a guided stalking on red stags.

Im afraid I'm scant on details at present, suffice to say we will be based in Dunoon.

As first timers any advice you can give on places to stay, kit and clothing to take etc?




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I have never stalked Dorset or dunnoon, so cannot compare, but it will probably be high and steep, so have good boots. There may be ticks, so have gaitors. Midges, they may have finished, but have repellent, it is not expensive, consider a midge net/hat. Have a hat and comfortable clothes, consider waterproofs. I always take a stick, it helps with the walking. Binnys are vital, so you can enjoy all the wildlife and of course your stags.
Best advice is however from the estate.
Basic advice but hope it helps


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Start getting in your miles every day from now on. Even just walking the streets, in the nicest possible way, will do. Get the hours in and like somebody else said make sure your boots are very well worn in. Don't think about buying nice new boots the week before. If it's hill stalking I'd suggest a stiffer boot than you might think, but if you have boots you are happy with - wear them. Not wellies! If your feet are ok you're well on the way. Take plenty of changes of clothing, so that, if necessary, you can go out the next day in completely dry gear. Binoculars, camera, gloves, scarf or neck gaiter, gaiters for your legs, plenty midge repellent, plenty enthusiasm, plenty fitness.
Good hunting.


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Take whatever you would normally take stalking

and maybe some food , drink and good clothing as it might be nice in s carpark but it can be mighty cold / miserable up a mountain / on the hill


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Seal skin socks are a must.
And as said, midge repellent in case the little buggers are still on the go.

Oh, and if taking a wee dram with you in a hip flask to celebrate a stag, then proper Whisky is spelled as such and not Whiskey.
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Think layers , and a bag to carry a drink & a choccy bar, mainly for somewhere to put layers your not using when getting a hike on , then when sitting waiting can get cold so layer back up .

A hat / beanie etc not heavy but just incase gets cold or weather comes in .

Oh and get fit now



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If on the open hill good boots are a must, never wellies breeks are more comfortable on the hill than trousers if you have them, a pair of gaiters will also keep all the crap out of your boots.

Natural fibres are better than synthetic when you get wet or sweat and you will more than likely get both if you are on the hill for a week, a hat with a brim shields your eyes from the sun also stops your face reflecting the sun which is often what the deer see.

A stick not stalking sticks they are next to useless on the hill as shots are taken prone, but a walking stick does what it says on the tin, its an aid to walking and makes a huge difference on the hill.

If the estate uses an Argo or similar vehicle take as much gear as you like but leave most of it there, a spare set of clothes is not a bad thing to have to change into at the end of the day before making the long journey back to the larder,
same with a flask nice to have a cuppa when you get back to the Argo, but a pain in the a@@@ to carry on the hill, take no more than you absolutely think you will need on the hill, stick something in your pocket that you can eat on the go
sandwiches tend to get squashed when crawling and I have seen some unidentifiable messes produced from pockets
Mars or Snicker bars are good for energy as are some of the energy bars now produced,my usual was a pork pie and a couple of energy bars,pork pies seem to fair pretty well if a little misshapen at times.
Drinks was always a little amused when clients carried bottles of water, water from a good flowing hill burn is safe to drink, I would not be so keen to drink from a lowland stream.
Think about it where do the stalkers,keepers and shepherds get their water from, no mains water to their isolated abodes, but piped to their cottages from those same hill burns.


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Stalked that area 3 times now and will there on the rut this October. I can not emphasise fitness it is bloody steep but very rewarding. Layers of clothes definatly 2 lots of water proof to change. (one to wear and one drying) very good supportive boots. Don't over do kit but take water and a dram you will enjoy that if you are successful . Who are you stalking with, is it Winston?
I love that area to stalk stags, we will try to leave some for you:D


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Are you stalking together or separately? If together, and there's only the one stalker, then you might want to take a fleece and/or thin waterproof shell to change into if you're left waiting with the kit whilst the stalker and the rifle stalk in to the stag. This can take 5 minutes, or can take a couple of hours. If it's sunny and warm you can lie back and have a snooze, but if it's cold and the rain is horizontal you will get very cold, very quickly. If you get wet, you may find yourself willing the day to end well before you get onto the second stag.

I've never found SealSkins socks necessary, but then most years I stalk on the Hill in Harkila waterproof trousers, Kammo gaiters and Lundhag boots! As others have already said, worn-in, comfortable boots are a necessity, as is a good thumb stick. I'd rather go stalking on the Hill without my binoculars than I would my stick!

I haven't bothered with midge repellant, but last year would have paid handsomely for it - that's the first time I'm 20 years though.

Sorry to disappoint you bogtrotter, but I'm one of those who takes a plastic bottle (or bladder) of water and normally a small carton or two of apple juice. It's amazing the lift it can give you, particularly if you're on the long walk back to the lodge.

These days I don't take a large "piece" - normally just a sausage sandwich made on toast, an apple, some nuts and raisins and maybe a small bar of Dairy Milk. A few glucose tablets can be welcome if it's going to be cold.

I'm surprised no-ones mentioned taking a few sheets of toilet paper. Apart from the obvious, it is very useful tucked into a pocket or the rim of your hat and used for wiping any rain or other moisture off the scope lenses. Many a stags been lost because the scope was fogged up when the shot came to be taken.

I'd also take a small compact camera (I don't bother with a phone) and a GPS - simply because I've logged all the stags shot over the last 20 years.

Make sure you have sufficient ammo, and the rifle in a slip, and you should be in good shape.

Adam f

Well-Known Member
Thank you everyone for your advice and input. Some great stuff in the advice which we will be sure to take. I'll let you know how we get on!


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Take your heaviest rifle. Add some weight to the slip - bricks in the pockets work well.

On arrival give it to the stalker to carry.

That will help take the edge off his pace.


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Try Richard Addis at The Anchorage, Sandbank - excellent B&B, happy with stalkers, has a drying room. Other than that, take good bug juice, spare sets of all clothing, and your very best boots! It's a great area to stalk, and the whisky's good too!