The Shooting Show – Last of the Stag hunts in the Kinnaird Estate

In this week’s show, I’m at the Kinnaird Estate towards the end of the stag season and this feature covers both an afternoon and morning foray.

Earlier that day, following a report of a stag inside a fenced, forest creation plantation, Graeme had located and shot this stag in a tricky place for extraction. We had therefore gone out to recover this by bike, which for safety is a two-man operation as there were a number of deep gullies, which made manoeuvring the ATV across these quite tricky.

Having achieved that and safely got our stag back to the larder, and as it was a lovely sunny afternoon with a few hours before dark, I had decided to stalk in the same area. A gate in the deer fence allowed access up a hill from where I can spy into a lovely Glen which on an afternoon like this will generally have parcels of hinds and attendant stags laying on the sunny slopes. Remarkably not a deer was seen, however, there are 2 hill footpaths crossing the Glen and I suspect the nice afternoon had brought numerous hill walkers out enjoying the scenery, much as we were but with differing intentions.

The following morning we were 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. My intention was to get into a position to intercept them as they came back up to the hill at sunup.

All worked well, and with rutting activity all around us, I waited for a group coming up the valley who had clearly been grazing in the fields overnight. A nice 10 point stag, which to be honest I would rather have left, but as he was about to walk across my 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.

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