Looking Back on 2017 – July, August, and September

Quite frankly a bit amazed that you’re still following to this point…


This was a busy month! More roebuck stalking in July, more nest checks and camera trapping. Our areas’ Deer Management Group partnered up with SNH to run a Herbivore Impact Assessment training day for group members. From my point of view, this was a really useful day for a host of reasons; as well as further building relations with SNH staff (who cannot have been more helpful in my experience), I think it was a confidence booster for land managers in that it de-mystified a lot of the survey process. Empowerment through education. Never let it be said you can over-teach anyone, or that you ever stop learning.


I had a pretty fantastic day out stalking with a couple of friends, where we sat and watched a hen merlin feeding her two chicks. We stayed there for nearly half an hour…all thoughts of deer forgotten (for a change!), it really was quite marvelous.


What else happened…? I dragged my brother out to help with HIA’s; I saw my first slow worm (which was amazing!!); and we went out with a researcher from Forestry Commission Scotland who wanted to sample the aspen trees on the estate, this was really interesting and will hopefully help us profile the genetics of trees in the region.


On a recommendation from a friend, I started reading David Petersen‘s ‘Heartsblood: Hunting, Spirituality, and Wildness in America‘. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Petersen manages to articulate in so many ways the various aspects of hunting, and I enjoyed his writing style, which is almost conversational. I’ve since been lent another book of his, but this consists of a collection of essays from various authors.


The rest of August involved helping deer management group members carry out HIA’s on their estates, the start of clients arriving for the 2017 stag season, and a visit to a new native woodland with a Forestry Commission Scotland policy officer I met at the Integrated Land Use Conference.


The stag season was really getting underway by this point, with clients 6 days a week, and cleaning and preparing trophies on my day off! Busy as it was though, there was always time to find new things and appreciate the surrounding wildlife – while out stalking I came across my second slow worm, who I’ve been informed was probably full of eggs, judging by her size and condition…which was pretty exciting!


Final post tomorrow…stay tuned…or something.

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