Looking back on 2017 – January, February & March

In the spirit of originality, I thought I’d do a wee review and look back over the best bits of 2017 in the days leading up to the New Year…

It’s been a interesting, varied, and challenging year. It’s cliche to say it, but I really have learned a lot and am looking forward to the future, I know it will bring new adventures and challenges.

So…

January

I started 2017 by travelling to Hungary with friends, and then onward alone to Austria, to stay with friends who hunt with us in Scotland. I’m a real sucker for mountains and alpine scenery…I hope to go back again in summer before too long. I’ve been invited to go hunting chamois, which would be interesting indeed…

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February

February 15th saw the end of the 2016-17 hind season. Learning to stalk deer in the Flow Country provided some real learning experiences, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a landscape like no other, a test of endurance, skill, and how waterproof your jacket is (answer: not very). The scene below is of deer management on our peatland restoration area, which in the past had been inappropriately planted with lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). For the ground to recover, we require low densities of deer in the area, but due to the nutrients entering the soil from the mulched trees, it’s become their equivalent to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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March

The main excitement in March was helping SNH with the helicopter count of our Deer Management Group area. I wrote about it here. Alongside this, other jobs on the estate involved managing deer in new native woodland plantations, and planning heather burning for the season, once a weather window opened.

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Tomorrow – April, May and June…

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