An Dàmhair, the roaring month.
October is a most magical time when out on the hill. Low light, golden colours and the corries echo with the sound ancient warriors doing battle which is the Red deer rut.
The rut coincides with school holidays, so what better time to get my two middle girls out on the hill. Its important to me that my children experience the landscape they call home and the land I help manage.
The morning was quiet, no beasts calling and very little hind numbers on our part of the hill. With lunch on our minds we were about to settle and take in the view, then as slow as the morning was it suddenly kicked up a gear.
Hearing a distance roar we glassed the ridge behind us. We spied a stag heading over the beallach and down the ridge to the area we were in. Studying him as he strode through the rocky outcrops we could see he was a suitable stag for the cull.
Moving to a small knoll we wondered where his intentions lay. We couldn’t believe our luck when this old boy started to make his way toward the knoll we were on.
Sliding the Haenel Jager 10 through the heather we waited and watched. The stag kept coming and moving closure to our position.
When at 20 yards I decided he was close enough, giving him a quiet grunt he stopped in his tracks, giving me enough time to do what we had set out to do that morning.
The girls were amazed at just how close he came and the mile he covered so quickly. A kind of remorse sets in whenever you take the life of such a magnificent beast, but these thoughts pass when you look at the larger picture, you know your work will ensure these iconic animals will remain on those hills for years to come for future generations to appreciate.