Thursday, 15 October 2009

Stalk still

It's Thursday and,so far, it has been a most unusual week for weather. A high pressure has been sitting over the country and this has brought- in BBC parlance- 'settled' weather.

What this has meant for us is that there has hardly been a breath of wind for 4 days. Each morning we have been cricking our necks looking for cloud carry or waving wetted fingers about in the vain hope of discovering which direction the wind was coming from. Each morning we've set off none the wiser and taken pot luck in the hope of a pot-shot.

Once out on the hill it has been so quiet we'd have been better exchanging our boots for slippers. And,as always, our guest have worn their best rustly nylon gaiters with dogged determination. It's like Chinese Water Torture for your ears.

But, despite the difficult conditions, we're having a great week. Although we're being as selective as ever (only shooting mature stags with inferior 'heads'-sets of antlers- and leaving the best ones as breeding stock) the 5 beats have still had 20+ for our week so far.

Speaking for myself, I've gone from famine to feast. I now have so many animals on my ground that it's difficult to get to my chosen stag for all the too good or too young beasts in the way. It's a great problem to have.

But now I have to hit the hay. Tomorrow is another busy day, starting with a 7.30am kick-off at the larder. (We have to remove the heads from the previous days stags; put the carcasses in the chiller unit; remove the antlers for selling and the jaws for ageing/record keeping; wash everything down and remove the waste for burial.) Then we pick up our guests from the lodge and the days work really starts.

And the forecast for tomorrow? Settled.

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