Thursday, 22 October 2009

Devil Take the Hind Mist

The stag season finished two days ago- and with it went the 'settled' weather that was making life so difficult for us all. It's been replaced by wind, lashing rain and thick mist. Hey ho.

In hindsight (!) our stag season was a strange one. New fences, lots of West winds and a late rut all made for a leaner season than usual for 4 of the 5 stalking beats. Strangely, the 5th beat that lies in the NW of the estate was chocca with stags right from the word 'go'.

What this has meant is that, instead of putting the brakes on toward the end of the season to avoid exceeding our self imposed ceiling of 120 animals, we ended up with only 100. Not that this is a problem. Basically, we feel that if that is all we can get, we're not needing to shoot any more.

On a more personal level, I feel as if I've had a very successful season. All the blank days I had at the start were a frustration, but you can't shoot them if they're not there. But it was a huge relief when the rut eventually started and the stags arrived on the ground. Thereafter, I came home with 1 or 2 stags for each and every stalking day. More importantly, nothing got away wounded and I am contented with my choices of beasts for culling. Furthermore, I would like to think that my guests all enjoyed their days on the hill.

But this is all now water under the bridge. As is that which is in todays photo. Our first day of the hind season was cancelled due to the appalling weather and although we did go out today (still with guests from the lodge) the weather deteriorated once again and rain stopped play.

We did manage to get a hind before the mist blotted everything out but I'm looking to take at least another 149 off my beat before Feb 15th. Something tells me it's going to be a long season.

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