This story takes place up on the Kinnaird Estate towards the end of last years stag season. We’d heard reports of a stag inside a fenced, forest creation plantation which Graeme had located and shot. But the animal was in a tricky place for extraction.
Recovering it on the ATV was a two man operation, with the numerous deep gullies and tricky maneuvering. Job done and with the stag safely back to the larder, we decided to make the most of the sunny afternoon and have a stalk.
A gate in the deer fence allowed access up a hill from where we could spy into a lovely glen which, on an afternoon like this, generally has parcels of hinds and attendant stags laying on the sunny slopes.
Remarkably, not a deer was seen. We suspected the pleasant afternoon had brought numerous hill walkers out to enjoy the scenery, much as we were but with differing intentions.
The following morning we set out early, well before first light. We had damage occurring down on some arable fields below he hill and a significant number of red deer were moving down late under the cover of darkness and feeding in areas of broadleaf woodland and the farmers crops.
The intention was to get into a position to intercept them as they came back up to the hill at sun-up. All worked well and with rutting activity all around us we waited for a group coming up the valley who had clearly been grazing in the fields overnight.
We spied a nice 10 point stag, which to be honest we would rather have left but as he was about to walk across our wind and likely take the whole group away he ended up in the larder.
This time an easy recovery with the ATV across some low lying heather made gathering the stag up a simple procedure.