Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Taking the Plunge
It's a sair fecht!
The light covering of snow is making heavy weather of the stalking. There are no short-cuts when you stick out like a sore thumb. Furthermore, the long detours (to keep you out of sight of the deer) force you higher up the hills and into snow up to your f..f..f..fetlocks.
Generally speaking, the deer are still in great nick. This becomes very apparent if you make the slightest mistake.
Take yesterday, for example. I had a regular guest- John- out. The deer were low down on one side of the glen. So we took a long, slow plod over the hill above them. And as we did so, the deer casually crossed the glen.....
So John and I had a long belly crawl down a (mostly) frozen burn to cross the floor of the glen without them seeing us.(See pic!) As we did so I noisily broke through some ice. Brrr! 500 yards away one or two hinds got to their feet.....
By the time we were able to move freely again, most of the 400-strong herd were on the move. By the time we got to our shooting point there was 1 scrawny hind and her scrawnier calf left- and they had their bags packed and their passports stamped. John managed to nail the calf.
It was a massive amount of effort for 15kg of venison but it's typical of what this season has been like.
Today, for the first time in ages, I managed to come home with a decent bag. But it required a long walk, two long stalks and nearly all the daylight that was available.
I love my stalking but I have doubts as to what is going to come first- the end of the season or the end of my tether.