Saturday, 26 February 2011

Making a Splash

OK! So that is us finished with our hind cull. And not a moment too soon.

The closing stages were particularly difficult with lots of mist, rain and broken spying. If you've ever tried looking for deer when the ground is a mosaic of black ground and snow, you'll know what I mean. I reckon it would be easier looking for Lord Lucan.

My last day of stalking was a humdinger. There was a huge amount of meltwater coming down the river. So much so that it redefined the term 'footbridge'. Mine (the only one in my whole wee side-glen) was a foot under water.

I had a friend with me helping me out for the day. He suggested that we forget crossing the river and just work the ground on our side. I didn't need much persuading.

So we worked our way out the North side of the glen- and never saw a venison sausage! Then, in a moment of weakness I spied the other side of the glen- and saw a crippled hind high up in the rocks opposite.

This poor beast had managed to give me the slip twice before. I was determined that we should go for her.

After a lot of walking up and down we found the only point on the river that a crossing was remotely practical. It was where there was an island mid-river. I jumped onto the island and was hugely releived to be able to glimpse the bottom in the farther part of the second channel. I jumped for all I was worth and ended up splashing to shore through water up past my knees.

Ken made the jump to the island ok but his attempt on the second jump was a little less Johnathon Edwards and a little more Tom Daley. Just to make sure of doing a proper job, he fell over, plunging both arms in up to the armpits.

And I didn't have my camera!!!!

We went on and managed to get our hind. We dragged her down to the waterside and Eric pulled her across the torrent using drag ropes tied together. Then Ken and I had to get back across.

I resigned myself to cross just where we were and got away with being soaked to mid-thigh. Ken thought better of it and went to look for a better crossing place.

It was as I helped Eric load the hind onto Fergus (the pony) that I caught a sudden movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up just in time to see a huge splash. Ken surfaced a fraction of a second later and scrambled out onto the bank with astounding speed. He was soaked.

When we joined him he had his jacket off and was pouring the water out of his pockets. I looked into his very pink countenance and, somehow, managed to keep a straight face.

I reckon I should make it onto the New Years Honours List for that.

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