By October the stag season was in full swing. It was thoroughly enjoyable, despite the weather, which as decidedly dreich (despite the sunny photo below!). Stalking in Storm Ophelia was kind of exciting…
At the end of the season, I went on a pilgrimage of sorts to see The Monarch of the Glen, by Edwin Landseer, when it visited Inverness on its tour around Scotland. It is a wonderful painting, and much bigger than I had imagined. Well worth seeing if you get the chance!
This was a busy month. The torrential rain continued as we made a start on the hind cull. I attended the British Deer Society Highland Branch meeting, where a talk was given by my colleague (@Clynelishmuir); on the past, present and potential futures of deer stalking and management. I took part in the Field To Fork competition, run in collaboration between BASC Scotland and SNH. As a final perk, I got to take one of my closest friends out hunting for his first deer – we had a great day and came back successful!
This last month really has flown… More hinds, more storms, more snow, more rain. Lots of hot chocolate. I shot a hind earlier in the month, with an interesting health issue, which you can read about it here, and I also shot a calf with a broken leg that I wrote, what proved to be, a very popular Twitter thread about – I’ll try and write a blog post about it too. For the non-tweeters!
I also went hunting with a lady who has been an email acquaintance for several months, we had a fantastic couple of days and parted as firm friends – it was wonderful to meet someone who thinks on my wavelength! I’ll be deer stalking with her again and several other women in the New Year. I am delighted more and more are getting into hunting – watch this space for 2018…
Finally, one of my definite highlights of the month, and the maybe year, was visiting the Scottish Deer Centre. Being someone who usually sees deer through binoculars or a rifle scope, and only close up once they hit the deck, I cannot describe the joy it gave me to see red, fallow, and sika deer up close and personal. I really am a bit of an ungulate geek, but honestly, I think I was more excited about this than I was about Christmas!
And that’s that! 2017 in four rambling posts. It’s been action-packed at times, and I am incredibly grateful and privileged to have done the things I’ve done. Not sure what my resolutions are for next year, all I know is that there are interesting, deer-filled, times ahead.