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#5968093 - 10/08/15 05:13 PM Scotland - Red stag
Creekrunner Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7152
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
I hunted red stag at the Glenmuick Estate in Ballater, Scotland September 28th and 29th. I also observed a driven grouse shoot a couple of days later at Invercauld Estate, next to Balmoral and supposedly the Prince of Wales (good ol' Charles) in involved in leasing some of that estate for his shoots. 'Guess he needs a little more room to roam.

Here's a couple of "mood" pictures:

'Saw this family crest later in our trip, but it has a concise motto that sums up the Scottish spirit:






The way these "hill stag" hunts work (as opposed to a "trophy stag" behind high fence that costs) is you go with a gillie (guide) in a land rover towing an Argo (the second day it was a Polaris)on a trailer. You glass from vantage points, then you hike around hills to a point where the gillie leaves you for a bit while he goes on (usually crawling in the heather) and puts together a final plan. He comes back and you follow him, crawling, while he drags the rifle in its slip (case) until he sets up the rifle, including putting one in the chamber, tells you to slowly crawl up beside him, and he tells you when to shoot. Both times we crawled for at least 300 yards, downhill. As you can see in the pictures, there is zero cover, kinda like Pronghorn, except with no bear grass. You shoot the animal the gillie determines is on the decline. You might see a bigger stag, but they leave the ones in their prime for breeding. Now I know some of you independent types don't want anyone carrying your rifle and telling you when and what to shoot, but, if you want to hunt stag in Scotland, these are the traditions and the rules you follow. It's not particularly an easy hunt, there is plenty of cardio getting down and back up these hills, but granted, they handle everything, especially retrieving the game animal.

The first stag on the first day is 9 points. He was lazy and wouldn't get up, lazily "roaring". My gillie "roared" several times to get him up. When he finally go up, he started trotting to the left, at about 180 yards. After flying all the way over there, anticipating this hunt for months, crawling like I've never crawled and seeing him start to trot out of sight, I got excited and pulled the shot. Right height, but heard that horrible "thump" of a gut. Thankfully he laid right down. I'd had an opportunity to put another one in him and asked the gillie, but he said "no" and explained later that if he hadn't gone right down after a second shot, chances were good he'd run for miles. Again, their game and their rules, so he politely told me he'd go finish him. I watched him take 1/2 an hour to cover about 140 of those 180 yards, the whole time me praying as hard as I could that the animal would expire; he put his head down many times during that time. But, it wasn't meant to be and the gillie dispatched him with a shot to the base of the skull.

Gillie's dog anxiously waiting him to return with the plan"







The second day was very warm. A different gillie (David) took me this day. At the base of the hill, before we started up, he said "it's aboot to get wah-rum", and it did. Felt like a usual opening day of Texas whitetail season. Same routine - hiking, him going ahead, then crawling like crazy. This guy too wouldn't get up, so I sat over the scope, terrified he'd get up when I wasn't looking and not be able to pick him back up in the scope, for about 1 hour. Finally he got up, I shot while he was tearing up the ground with his antlers, and he dove into the ground and never got back up. This one felt like it had all come together well.




Tikka .243:


It was a tremendous experience, even if I did only pick up about every third word the guys said. I would go again in a heartbeat. They sell almost every bit of the stags. I just get the skull and antlers. I of course, could have done a shoulder mount, but didn't want to spend any more expense and it's a bigger hassle getting that shipped and finished. They even sell the private parts to, you guessed it, Asia.

The driven grouse hunt was interesting. It's a community wide event with beaters, dogs, vintage English shotguns, and American men dressing in funny clothes (ok, I know my hat was funny, but I had to. My dad wore one a lot.)


[img]http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/pics/usergals/2015/10/full-40213-44784-grouse.jpg[/img]
[img]http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/pics/usergals/2015/10/full-40213-44786-argo.jpg[/img]
[img]http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/pics/usergals/2015/10/full-40213-44788-handler_and_dogs.jpg[/img]
[img]http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/pics/usergals/2015/10/full-40213-44790-dogs.jpg[/img]
[img]http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/pics/usergals/2015/10/full-40213-44791-larder.jpg[/img]





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#5968127 - 10/08/15 05:32 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
tlk Offline
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Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1964
Great story and great experience - when in Rome do as they Romans do - that is a lifetime memory. Awesome pics! Congrats
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#5968149 - 10/08/15 05:44 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
rexmitchell Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/11/13
Posts: 1703
Cool hunt, it is pretty neat to do it in a different way by another person's traditions. I have a red stag my grandfather shot in Scotland in 1969. It is hanging up in my entry way.


Edited by rexmitchell (10/08/15 05:45 PM)
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#5968155 - 10/08/15 05:48 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10760
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Looks like a beautiful place. Congrats on your success and experience. cheers
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#5968168 - 10/08/15 05:55 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
tex70 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/13/14
Posts: 755
Loc: Georgetown
Very cool up

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#5968283 - 10/08/15 06:56 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
FWBanger Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 467
Loc: DFW
Really cool story and great pics. Scotland is the only place outside of the U.S. that I hope to visit one day, the "motherland."
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#5968299 - 10/08/15 07:05 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
leswad Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Miserableplex
Braveheart!! Congrats!

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#5968358 - 10/08/15 07:38 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Sneaky Online   content
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 15874
Loc: Winters
That looks amazing. Quite an experience, I'm sure.
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#5968405 - 10/08/15 08:02 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Stub Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 12375
Man Creekrunner what a cool trip that had to be! Congratulations on a great hunt and adventure cheers Neat pics to boot up


Edited by Stub (10/09/15 05:41 AM)
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#5968418 - 10/08/15 08:08 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Theringworm Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 321
Great story and amazing pics. Something good to be proud of for sure. Sounds like you are already in shape for Colorado next year. peep

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#5968451 - 10/08/15 08:26 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Theringworm]
Creekrunner Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7152
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
Originally Posted By: Theringworm
Sounds like you are already in shape for Colorado next year. peep


I know I've posted it on here before, but this is one of my all-time favorite John Candy scenes. I resembled him in this scene when I was hiking up the hill...





A little cardio exercise can make a hunt so much more enjoyable, or so I hear. Haven't seriously tried it yet.
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#5968462 - 10/08/15 08:31 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Michael W. Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 2680
Loc: Central Texas / Comal County
Congrats. That looks like beautiful country.
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#5968486 - 10/08/15 08:43 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
Barcelona Rick Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 1899
Loc: East Texas
up

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#5968519 - 10/08/15 08:58 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
TEXASLEFTY Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/26/07
Posts: 6398
Loc: The Island Cres
Thanks for posting! Pretty cool hunt!
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#5968521 - 10/08/15 08:59 PM Re: Scotland - Red stag [Re: Creekrunner]
NMGW Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 1388
Loc: New Mexico
rifle Good story,,
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