Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Needing new knees
Here in Scotland we call the estate manager a 'factor'. Among other things.
Yesterday I had our factor out for a days stalking. And for the 3rd stalking day in a row, weather conditions were adverse. Or 'cac' as we call it in Scotland. Among other things.
On the plus side the snow that had fallen in the night, and the driving sleet that was continuing to fall, had pushed the deer onto lower, more accessible ground. On the minus side, many of them were in full sight of where we started our day. We donned our whites and crawled...and crawled...and crawled...
When our knees were reaching the opposite of meltdown, the wind swirled and the group of deer we were after ran away. Nyarghh!
Fortunately the dreich weather covered their rapid departure, leaving another larger group less than a km away. So we crawled...and crawled...
For our mornings work, we ended up with 3 hinds. In the afternoon the weather turned clearer and colder. We ended up trying to stalk a herd of about 150 deer on a terribly rounded slope. They were highly spooky and kept shifting. Every time they moved, we had to locate them again. And every time we located them, all we could see were ears.
After much faffing about, the deer eventually moved off the slope and into our sights. By this time we could hardly see for our watering eyes and a pair of chimps would have had more dexterity. We were happy enough to get the hind that we did.
Just as a by-the-way, I was stalking out the floor of the glen today. The deer weren't far away but kept grazing away from me all the time. I crawled...and crawled...and crawled.....