Went up to Ayrshire recently for last day of stags ,first day of hinds .
First morning i met the young stalker at the allotted time and off we set in the estate landrover for the peaks surrounding the forestry .Parked on one of the tracks and headed up a ride to the hill.Jacob my stalker had his strong looking lab with him and we didnt get far when he air scented deer ahead so with a slower approach we creeped around the wood edge and sure enough there was a stag about 150 metres from the mouth of the ride and feeding along a grassing bank amongst the heather.Jacob crawled out to my shooting point and took the rifle ,ushering me beside him .That done i steadied on the tussock grass and waited for the perfect broadside shot .Took him perfectly ,he signalled and off he went up over the rise .Made our way to the site and the dog tracked him up around a knowle to find him dead just above the shot site .Well happy , hand shakes over and Jacob gralloched my stag .The drag down was relatively easy but we both sweated proper before reaching the truck .The day had warmed up by now too .
A real battler by the broken tines .
Back to the larder to get him on the hook and he went 78 kg clean .
After a late breakfast ,a long chat with the head stalker and it was back out on the hill .I was under no illusion to get another but how wrong can you be .Glassed the woodland edge for ages from atop a ledge and we spotted several hinds make their way out onto the hill about 6 oclock and about 3/4 of a mile away id say .Continued watching and a decent stag joined them from the forestry to run up the hill ahead of the hinds .The rut here was all but over they told me and he paid the hinds no attention .Jacob said if we stood any chance of getting a shot before dark we were to get a busy on now and close the gap beore loosing shootable light .Hurrying across the tussock grass was a mare considering i struggled to keep up just at a stalking pace but stamina is something i dont lack and we arrived at a point sweaty but in a good position for a crawl in .I made the mistake of rolling into a peat hole much to Jacobs amusement but on we went along a fence line with Jacob taking charge of the rifle in front .We eventually arrived at a spot that he deemed suitable for a shot and i rested the rifle on his pack on a boulder to wait for the broadside shot .The hinds were getting a bit skittish i could see but the stag was behind a rock .The shot came soon enough and i took him high on the shoulder as instructed as the light was going and the tree line all to close for a stag to plough into at this hour .He signalled ,fell backwards and rolled down a banking out of sight .Two stags in one day ,it dosnt get much better .
This stag had a better head with no broken tines ,i was proper made up .After the gralloch by phone light it was agreed it was too dodgy to attempt a retrieve in the dark so he was left for the next day .
The following day was the first of the hind,doe season and i was to stalk with the head stalker Colin .After a drive about first light i shot a roe doe in a plantation but it was a hind i wanted to complete my quest of all species ,both sexes .A hind was seen but she soon went back into the forestry as the dawn arrived .The afternoon brought a chill to the air with a watery sun and fog on the hill tops but up we went none the less .
Up a ride as before with me spotting another stag in a side ride feeding on pine tips .He melted into the timber without being disturbed .On the hill we again hugged the tree line with me infront this time and it wasnt long before i spotted another stag grazing away from the wood edge and about 150 m away .We watched as he was joined by a single hind .Getting myself prone and steady wasnt easy in the tussuck grass but i eventuyally found a spot to my liking and waited for the hind to present broadside .The shot was bang on the money and she only made 30 m before sliding to a holt .First ever red hind and a cracking end to the trip .