Monday, 20 September 2010

Softly, softly...

Well, the forecasters weren't kidding. Last Friday we saw our first snow. Granted it was on hills 20 miles distant but snow it was. And you'll hear no complaints from me, neither. I'd rather have "blin' drift" than heat and midges.

So we finished our grouse season on a high (and I'm not talking altitude here) and ended up with our best numbers since 1999. And so onto the stag stalking....

Today was my first day and there was a lot to think about. Regular stalkers with me will be familiar with my little pre-flight checklist mantra. It goes:- riflebulletsbinocularstelescoperadiobackupdragropestagropesdogstickguest. However on top of that I had to make sure that I had all the ancillary gear in the right places.

Fergus (freshly shod) taken down to his paddock on the beat. Saddle (with correct length of girths) and head collar in the land rover. Horse feed at the farm (ok, so I forgot this. It's grass on tonights menu- sorry Fergus!). Radio batteries all charged. Rover filled with diesel. Etc, etc etc.

As it turned out, all this preparation was to no avail. We saw pleeenty of deer but only 2 mature stags that might have met our requirements. And when we stalked in we ended up with 100 hinds and a small but rather solid looking ridge twixt us and our intended. Stalemate.

Still it was nice to be moving quietly and carefully about the place rather than marching all over creation as we have been in recent times......

1 comment:

  1. There all on Invercauld Andy, had around 60 today on a hill in Gleann Carnach -- none bellowing yet though! The keeper must be slacking we saw a dog fox in daylight, fairly close I'm sure we disturbed it. Three whopers also, so winter is arriving!! Really enjoy your blog, the Scots mag article was also very good and your to be on radio four this week -- a bid for Wayne Rooneys house for you next !! Keep up the good work. Ron