En sammanfattning av jaktåret 2014!

Mitt andra jaktår med bloggen. År 2014 har varit speciellt med många nya jaktminnen.

I början av året, rättare sagt i Februari var en Englandsresa inplanerad med några norska jaktprofiler, dessvärre fick resan ställas in i sista minuten. Sen så var schemat späckat med så mycket annat att resan inte kunde flyttas till senare under året. Så drömmen om att få se och jaga muntjac och chinese waterdeer fortsätter vidare år 2015.

I början av mars var det dags för årets första mufflonjakt, två fina baggar för bogmontage. En bagge som höll guld med 206,6 poäng och en bagge som höll silver med 195,7 poäng.Två nöjda norrmännen med vackra troféer och kul sätt att inleda årets jaktguidningar!

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I mars fick jag också ett trevligt besök av Brent Norbury ifrån Skottland. En jaktbloggare ifrån Skottland som jag hade haft kontakt med i ca ett år via sociala medier. Första gången som vi träffades i verkligheten och det var riktigt roligt. Det är fantastiskt att man kan få bra kontakt med andra jaktintresserade via sociala medier som instagram och facebook runt om i hela världen. Han är en riktigt god vän och vi jagade en del på hemmaplan, det var inte hans första Sverige besök utan han har bodde bott och jagat i Sverige innan. Hemma hos mig sköt han bland annat sitt första mufflonfår, en mufflonbagge samt sin första svenska kråka! Han hann också bevittna en skyddsjakt på grävling under vår ladugård i vilthägnet, vår äldsta wachteltik Korall har många grävlingar samt rävar på sitt samvete. Det blev en spännande weekend för min skotska vän och han kommer vi nog se mer utav i Sverige!

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Månaderna flöt på i bra takt med jakten. Under april-juni så blev det ett flertal mufflonguidningar och det fälldes bland annat tre mufflonbaggar i bronsklass samt även några under medalj, runt ca 60-65 cm. Mycket rolig period och mufflonjakten var som bäst i slutet av maj till början av juni när gräset var som grönast! Härlig period för mufflonjakt!

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I maj bokades en juni resa till Skottland och ett besök hos min vän och gästbloggare Brent Norbury, närmare bestämt Galloway området. Första gången till Storbritannien, jag var taggad, speciellt då det inte hade blivit någon resa tidigare under året! Jag reste dit i juni och stannade där i ca 10 dagar och under den tiden hann jag fälla två stycken råbockar samt ett gäng vildkaniner, bland det finaste landskap som jag har smygjagat i förutom Afrika, oändligt med böljande gröna kullar. Många nya jakt- och naturupplevelser rikare! Skottland är ett fantastiskt vackert och prisvärt jaktland med varierande natur. Jag hoppas på mer Skottland resor i framtiden, höglandet lockar definitivt! Kanske man får revansch på en större Skottlands bock nästa gång måntro?  Om du vill ta chansen att jaga med Brent som guide ska du kika in på http://www.strahannastalking.com

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Samma dag som jag kom hem ifrån Skottland så var jag nyfiken att se aktivitet på vildsvinsfronten på hemmaplan. Det hade varit en del aktivitet dagarna innan så efter ca 1,5h efter hemkomst blev det en promenad för att kolla läget. Jag och pappa skojade lite om att ta med bössan och tillsist blev det så, det visade sig vara ett smartdrag! För när vi kom till åteln så stod det två rödgrisar där. En stund senare så blev en av dem blev kvar på stället. En perfekt matgris på ca 20 kg i slaktvikt. Brent bara skratta när jag skickade en bild till honom… Jaktlyckan höll i sig till hemmaplan.

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Under juli månad observerade jag en fin råbock i samband med vildsvinsvak. I början av augusti så var suget att testa på att locka råbock så stor att jag och pappa beväpnade oss med en nikon kamera ,kikare, camoställ samt clausen roedeer call och klassikern buttalo. Jag började efter ett par minuter att locka med clausen roedeer call. Lockläte med lite ångestläte i intervaller med ett par minuters mellanrum. Efter 15 min så får jag plötsligt en knuff i sidan. Pappa hörde rassel bland träden inte alltför långt bort. Ett ångestljud på det och en bock rusar ut ibland träden 50 meter ifrån oss. Stora ögon och öron så börja han springa emot oss, vinden hade lagt sig aningen fel och bocken måste ha lite av vår doft i näsan. Han kommer som närmast 15 meter ifrån oss och hoppar med höga hopp in i skogen igen. Några minuter senare kommer han i en glänta, vi lyckas locka fast honom i ett par minuter och få med honom på film!

Den 16e augusti så väntade en revansch på råbocken. Andra gången gillt på lock? Jag var ute tidigt på morgonen, trotsade regnet och vinden var inte optimal. Jag hoppades ändå få chansen att få fram råbocken. Efter 5 mins lockande fastnade hjärtat i halsgropen när jag hörde knak och brak bakom tornet, plötsligt bland träden visar sig en nyfiken svart dovhind. Pulsen gick ner. Timmarna gick och regnet varvades av åskoväder. Jag var envis och fortsatte mitt lockande då och då under timmarna. När jag strax innan kl 08:00 på morgonen tänkte bryta för morgonpasset och bege mig hemåt får jag se något brunrött som rör sig ca 50 meter ifrån tornet ibland sly. Jag smyger upp kikaren och det är BOCKEN! Han har kommit ut precis när regnet har gett sig. Jag får upp min browning x-bolt försiktigt. Han ser aningen oroad ut och rör sig långsamt ifrån mig. Jag får till ett lockläte och han stannar upp, lyssnar och börjar beta slytoppar igen. Han vrider långsamt upp ena sidan precis bakom bogen och jag ser min chans. Han faller på stället i ett aningen högt skott som går ut igenom ena bogen.

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Den 11 augusti så började jag en jaktutbildning. En yrkesutbildning på Forshagaakademin i Värmland, strax utanför Karlstad. Det första sju veckorna var intensiva med alla möjliga olika skolutflykter, se tidigare inlägg på bloggen. Så utbildningen har tagit mycket jakttid. September var därför inte så mycket på jaktfronten.

Den 3 oktober begav jag och pappa oss iväg på en resa till Ungern via Jakt i Ungern. Vi hade bokat jaktpaket “Ungern special” och våra förväntningar var på topp. Efter ca 1,5 – 2h bilfärd ifrån Budapest så var vi på plats vid det statliga reviret, Vertezi där vi skulle jaga med varsin guide. Jag fick en engelsktalande och pappa en som mest kunde tyska och få ord engelska, guiderna var far & son och hade jobbat på reviret länge. Där skulle vi främst jaga varsin kronhjort 4-6 kg trofévikt samt hondjur. Redan första kvällen hann vi ut på jakt och det dröjde inte länge innan jaktlyckan hade drabbat pappa, när jag och min guide kom tillbaka till jaktstugan möttes vi av en kronhjortstrofé i trädgården, en fin hjort på ca 4,5 kg och en ålder över 7 år. En perfekt avskjutningshjort för området. Jag drabbades av jaktglädje kväll nummer tre ute på jakt. Både jag och pappa hade turen med oss på resan, vi såg massor av vilt. Kronvilt, vildsvin och vilda mufflonfår som fick mitt hjärta på högvarv. Jag hade glädjen att fälla en hjort på 6,51 kg i trofévikt som efter den obligatoriska mätningen i Ungern höll en bronsmedalj, mitt första kronvilt! Jag fällde också en kronkalv samt ett ungt vildsvin. Pappa lyckades fälla två kronhjortskalvar utöver sin hjort.

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Perfekt avslut på sista morgonen ute på jakt. Efter några timmars smyg/vaktjakt så överraskade vi en grupp med “rödgrisar” som var på jakt efter ekollon i skogspartiet som syns i bakgrunden av bilden. När vi promenerar runt så ger guiden mig en knuff i sidan och viskar “wildboars”, ser då att närmsta vildsvinet är fullt upptagen att böka efter ekollon ca 5 meter ifrån oss. Jag ser hur en annan jämnstor gris kommer fram ibland några fällda ekar ca 10 meter bort, guiden ställer upp skjutstödet. Precis när jag får upp bössan så ställer grisen upp sig med perfekt bredsida med huvudet fokuserat i backen i jakt på godsaker. Jag kramar skottet och den faller på stället. De andra vildsvinen grymtar till och det far ekollon åt alla håll när resten av gänget försvinner iväg i samlad trupp in i ett buskage. Ifrån buskaget hörs sedan ett missnöjt grymtande, snarlikt ett morrande. UPPRÖRD sugga! Det bryter tjutet i mina öron, då jag i all hast glömde att ta på mig hörselskydden som komiskt nog satt fastklistrade på huvudet. Svårt att komma ihåg allt i stundens hetta. Jag var glad ändå, där på plats ligger en fin liten rödgris. Mitt första ungerska vildsvin.

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Oktober-november bjöd på en del jakter med skolan. Bland annat en hundjakt efter rådjur, där jag var med som jaktledare och jag satt med då min pojkvän testade på att jaga. Vi är enbart två kvar nu på jaktinriktningen på yrkesutbildningen men det är många som går fiske, ca 22 stycken, varav min pojkvän som också har börjat bli intresserad av jakt. Denna jaktdag med klassen bjöd däremot inte på någon jaktlycka, men det var en del fina rådjursdrev och det var flera ur klassen som såg vilt. I november höll vi två på jaktdelen också i en älgjakt med löshund vid Hasselfors för gymnasieelever ifrån Forshagaakademin, det var älg i pass, men oturligt nog olovlig älg! Kul att testa på rollen som jaktledare och det var ett par givande dagar i skogen.

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Vi på YH fick också hänga med gymnasieeleverna ännu en gång till Hasselfors, men då som passkyttar vi också. Den dagen så fälldes en älgkalv av en av eleverna, hans första älg! Annars så var det lugnt hos övriga skyttar. En fin dag i skogen med Forshagaakademin.

I december däremot så hade jag äntligen fixat klart allt till min Mauser M12 Extreme som jag vann i Allt om Jakt & Vapens läsareberättelse tävling. Jag hade fixat ljuddämpare, en stalon whisper magnum med vakfront samt ett kikarsikte, Leupold VX.R 4-12x50mm. Super tack till hjälpen går till Jaktia Örebro som fixade gängning och montering av ljuddämparen. Efter inskjutning med 4 stycken skott så blev jaktsuget stort. Jag och pojkvännen begav oss ut i några nätter på vildsvinsvak. De två första nätterna var det lugnt, inga vildsvin i sikte när vi var ute. 3:e natten gillt så dök det upp ett gäng med årsgrisar efter ett par timmars vakande, en av dem, en liten gylta sprang 4 meter innan hon låg efter en träff som vid skottplatsen vittnade om ett perfekt lungskott. Fin invigning av mitt nya jaktvapen!

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Året slutade inte där. Juldagen så var det en händelse utöver det vanliga. Runt kl 21:00 på kvällen hör jag hur mamma ropar efter mig. När jag pratar med henne så säger hon att hon mötte en räv i trädgården, en räv som kom oskyggt rakt emot henne där hon stod på trappen in till huset. Väl inne i köket så ser hon hur räven helt oblygt tassar upp på trappen och sätter sig på hundarnas favoritplats i lyktskenet. Jag och pappa beväpnar oss, pappa tar vakt i ett fönster som är på övervåningen ovanför ytterdörren. Jag smyger och knackar på fönster och dörrar för att få iväg den ifrån vår trapp tillslut försvinner den ut i trädgården. Jag ser den smyga runt men det smäller inte, springer upp när jag ser den fortsätter strosa i trädgården. Viskar vid lekstugan till pappa. Plötsligt stannar den och stirrar nyfiket mot oss mitt på gräsmattan. Två snabba hagelsvärmar och den ligger bara några meter ifrån skottplatsen.

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Vi kollar räven och ser inga synliga tecken på rävskabb. Underligt beteende! Mamma menade däremot att den rörde sig annorlunda, kutigt med ryggen, men det hann jag aldrig se. Slutet gott och en räv mindre kring vår trädgård och hägnet. Räven visade inga tecken på skabb, men det sköts en hårt angripen skabbräv veckan innan.

Det var avslutningen på året 2014. Ingen mer jakt innan det nya året kickades igång! Önskar er ett år med jaktglädje och att ni får uppfylla någon jaktdröm, det blir inte bättre än så. Skitjakt på er!

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My hobby as a wildlife artist – Brent Norbury

Hunting is my life and passion but a hobby of mine is to draw. I have never shown off my drawings before and I hadn’t thought about taking it seriously but in the last few months I have been showing drawings that I have done on my Facebook page and on Instagram. For a bit of fun I had a competition to win a drawing of a roe buck on my Facebook page which I got a lot of good feedback from and I also gained a couple commissions. After showing some of my work a lot people seem to be surprised it’s something I do and that also got a lot of attention. I then decided, maybe this is something I should carry on doing and really push myself as an artist.

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Roe buck portrait that was in my competition

So how did this all begin? I have been drawing for most of my life except for the last 4 years which I do regret because I was focused more on hunting. Drawing to me was always something I felt good at and always enjoyed doing. In my teenage years I was an active drawer and at that time of deciding what to do with my life I thought about being an artist but hunting was more important and I wanted to keep drawing as a hobby. I had studied art but this didn’t last for long. I was only interested in drawing wildlife and anything do with hunting but my teachers didn’t like that I stayed with the same subject and wanted me to draw/paint other things so I left. I am close friends with renowned wildlife artist Elizabeth Halstead who helped me and also she was the first person to take me out deer stalking when I was 14 years old. Elizabeth is well known for her oil paintings of deer and has worked with The British Deer Society. Drawing for me was just for fun and something to do when it was raining.

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A sketch I did when I was bored in class

When I moved to Scotland I stopped drawing completely as I was more focused on deer stalking but that all changed one day whilst at work last year. After a day of stalking I was sitting at the table and there was a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a shooting magazine in front of me so I started looking through the magazine and then I put pencil to paper. I draw’d sketches of deer, foxes and birds and that’s how it kicked off again. I hadn’t drawn for over 4 years and I was surprised I could still do it. It took a while for me to get back into it but I got my confidence back when I did my first original of a fox and a roe fawn.


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My first original drawing of a fox creeping up on a roe fawn

Now I have done quite a few commissions and my drawings seem to be getting more popular which is great! At the moment I have been doing mainly portraits which I really enjoy. I like to capture life in my drawings and to be eye catching to pull you in. I wouldn’t say that they are fine detailed drawings but I wanted the feeling that you know you are looking at a drawing and don’t have to wonder if it is a photograph.

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If you are interested having a commission made by myself I will do anything from wildlife/dog portraits and wildlife/hunting scenes. All the details are on my website www.brentnorburyhunting.co.uk/artwork. Here you can also buy prints of the roe buck and fallow buck (above) and a red stag.

My first moose – Gästbloggare Brent Norbury

In March, 2012  I entered a competition run by the Swedish Nordik Predator Game Calls which I saw when I was buying a new call from their website. The competition comprised of using one of the Nordik Predator calls to lure in specific game. This could be anything from Roe bucks to Moose. Then you had to take a photo of the kill with the call that was used. Also you were asked to write a short story about what you were calling, what happened, what call you used, what calibre of rifle you were using and the location it was shot.Nordikhomepage_logo copyThe story I wrote, was about when I called two adult foxes in the middle of the day with their Nordik Crying Bird Call from 350yds. I was able to shot one of them, but the other fox wouldn’t stop running. I thought it was a decent story so I entered the competition a bit late and I didn’t think I had much of a chance of winning. There were 24 prizes ranging from dvds to hunting trips abroad, so I thought I’d give it a try anyway.

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Later that year in August, I was called out to a farm because a fox that had taken some chickens. I spent the morning stalking around and doing a bit of calling but no fox. I decided to sit in a highseat for an hour near the farm and only saw Roe deer. Whilst sitting there I checked my phone and noticed I had an email titled ‘Locka Vilt’ (Game Calling). To my amazement I had not only just won a prize, I had won the first prize! I couldn’t believe it. I got to go to Northern Sweden to hunt a bull moose for 2 days all paid for, and if lucky I would get the trophy shipped home. I was asked to go over in the last week of September to go calling for a bull moose, but I was going to be too busy as I was working as a Ghillie in the highlands for the stag season. So, we agreed I could go the first week of September. This was the start of the moose hunting season. The method of hunting would be with a moose dog known as a Jämthund as it was too early in the season to call a bull. When the season starts you can shoot bulls, cows and calves. If it’s a cow and a calf the calf has to be shot first. I was going to be hunting in the north of Sweden in Robertsfors in the Västerbotten county. The trip over to Sweden was a bit hectic. I had to get 3 flights in one day from Edinburgh to Copenhagen to Stockholm and then to Umeå Airport, so their was a lot of running around airports to catch flights. When I arrived at Umeå I was picked up by the hosts assistant and drove to where I was staying. On the the way we saw a couple moose. I have seen moose before when I worked in the south of Sweden on an estate but the moose in the north were much bigger. I met P-A Åhlén the owner of Nordik Predator and his wife Emma at their home. We had a bite to eat and talked about the plans for the next few days. Then off to bed as we were getting up at 3.30. I had to do a moose hunting test so I had to go to a shooting range to shoot at a moose target free standing at 80m and also do it with a running target . I have never shot at a running target before but really enjoyed it.

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The first morning I was out with Robert who also owned Nordik Predator and he designed the calls. The dog would work by tracking a scent, then baying at the moose by barking so the hunter can sneak in to take the shot. You have to make sure that the dog is away from the moose before taking the shot. It didn’t long before the dog was on a scent and soon it was barking. This really got me excited. The dog had a GPS collar on so we could see where he was, the dog was 800m in front of us. We got within 150m but we were not able to get a shot as there were too many trees. I got glimpse of it, it was a big bull moose 10-12 pointer. We tried to get closer to him but the wind turned and the bull got are scent and ran off, the dog went after it again but gave it up. P-A was out hunting the same morning by himself and shot a cow and a yearling bull together. I went with him to help drag them out with the 6 wheeler. For the first time I got to see what a moose looked like close up. I couldn’t believe how big they were!

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By the afternoon the weather was wonderful but too hot for the dogs so we decided to try for capercaillie or black grouse. First we had to get the moose to the larder and get them cleaned out and skinned. After that P-A and I went out with his German wirehaired Pointer. However, we had no luck but I did see some though the trees in the distance which was very exciting. Next morning I was out with P-A , it was a frosty start and slightly cold. The dog got on a track early and followed a moose for some distance, but wasn’t able to bay it so we never got a chance to see it. We did hear it at one point running through the trees very close but couldn’t see it as it was so dense. The afternoon was my last chance to get a moose. The weather was perfect, the sun was out, but it was nice and cool for walking. We only walked half a mile before the dog was on a scent of a moose, we could see on the GPS that the dog was 600m in front of us. Ten minutes later we could hear the dog barking and both of us had a big smile on our faces. We stalked into the area where the dog was and got within 100m. We couldn’t see the dog or the moose, a few minutes went by and I saw the dog running then I saw a bull moose! I quickly got ready and leaned against a tree. It was very difficult to get a shot as there were so many trees in the way. Eventually I could see the chest so I squeezed the trigger and fired a shot… it just stood there! I could the see the blood pumping out of its chest. At this point I wanted to get it down as quickly as possible, the dog was still baying it so it wasn’t going anywhere. The bull started to move forward and I could see a large gap through the trees, I thought when I see its neck in the gap I’m going to take the shot. It walked forward into the gap but I had to wait to take the shot because the dog was running in front of the moose. As soon as the dog moved out the way I took the shot and it dropped on the spot with a loud thud. I had shot my first moose! A 9 pointer bull moose! I couldn’t believe it. The size of the animal was overwhelming. We used the 6 wheeler to get it out of the forest but nearly got it stuck on the way! That night we had a bit of a celebration. What an amazing experience! A dream come true.

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Next morning I got a tour around the Nordik Predator warehouse where they made the calls. I found this very interesting to see how they were made. I was really pleased to be given a number of animal calls to try once home. Around the warehouse there were a few trophies on the walls. One that really caught my eye was a bronze medal moose. I was also shown round their Game Enclosure which had Bison, mouflon, fallow and red deer.They had a very impressive 22 pointer red stag.

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After this I said my thank you’s and goodbyes to everyone, I felt like I couldn’t say it enough! I didn’t want to leave Sweden! So eventually I got back to Scotland and carried on with the stag season in the highlands. When I finished at the end of October I went back home and within a week a huge parcel arrived which nordik predators stickers all over it! I opened it and there was my moose! He looked amazing. They had done an excellent job and now it looks great on my wall!

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Before going to Sweden I contacted a few sporting magazine to see if they would be interested in an article as I thought this would be something a little different that we don’t see in the UK. The only magazine to get back in touch with me was The Shooting Times which I was really happy because it was the main one I wanted to work with. So in december that year my article was published! My first article and I was very proud of it. I have never considered myself a writer of any kind, usually it takes me sometime to write because I always have to proof read and I make mistakes but to see my writing in full print in a leading sporting magazine really put a smile on my face!

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I would like to say a huge big thank you to everyone at Nordik Predator again for giving me a chance of a lifetime; P-A, Emma, Robert and Markus! It was truly an amazing experience and something I will never forget! This hunting experience was life changing.

Best Regards 

Brent Norbury 

http://www.brentnorburyhunting.co.uk/blog/

Elusive red deer – Brent Norbury

This is an introduction all about red deer and a few stories from experiences I have had over the years. The red deer (Cervus elaphus) are the UK’s largest land – mammal. Hunters travel from all over world to hunt these magnificent animals and most of them come to the wilds of Scotland. In southern Scotland the red deer’s habitat is largely forest and woodland but in the highlands they are roaming the open hills and moor ground. Woodland red deer hinds (females) can breed at 16 months old. Smaller hill deer may not reach sexual maturity until they are 2 – 3 years old. Red deer are herding deer. Herd sizes vary according to sex, habitat type/quality, deer density, degree of disturbance, animals gathering on a food source or hard weather. The sexes are usually segregated for most of the year, stags move into hind areas as the rut approaches. The mating season, known as the rut, begins in mid September and continues to late October. The stag then tries to round up as many hinds as possible. It is a desperately busy time for him. When he is not engaged in collecting his hinds or fighting off rival males, he will be busy bringing hinds back to his group. In between he has to find time – and strength – to serve them and to snatch a few mouthfuls to eat. It is then that the stag finds his voice, roaring his challenge to all comers. Hinds normally give birth to single calves from late May to June. Twins are sometimes born, but they are rare. Red deer are herbivores and graze a wide variety of plants from grasses and heather to shrubs and trees. In summer the adult deer have a distinctive reddish-brown coat which becomes darker brown or grey in the winter. Their weight is variable depending upon the food available and, in the Highlands, stags average between 90-140 kg and hinds 65-70 kg. The stag is famous for its proud bearing and magnificent antlers. A twelve pointer is called a ‘Royal’ and its points are described as ‘Brow, bay, trez and three on top. The brow tine branches out at the base of the antler, the bay and trez further up, and the top may branch out into three or more separate spikes. The definition of a point is simple. If a wedding ring can stay on a spike it’s a point. They shed, or cast their antlers every year, usually in March or April. The new antlers start to grow at once and reach maturity about the end of July.

A woodland stag know as a ‘Spiker’

Red hind with its calf

Stag with his hinds in the rut

I have been working with red deer for the last 5 years in the forests and hills of Scotland. Of all the deer in the UK they are definitely my favourite to hunt. They can be very challenging to stalk so I’ve always liked to call them the ‘unpredictable’ deer because you can never guarantee what’s going to happen when stalking into these beasts. I first got introduced to red deer when started working for ‘Strahanna Stalking’ in 2009 and where I still work today. After taking clients out for stags and hinds I had never shot a red deer myself until the next year in the stag rut. I was lucky enough to have the evening off and my boss said I could go to a small piece of forest and try for a stag. On the start of the stalk I could of shot a fox but decided not too (which is not like me but I’m glad now I didn’t shot it!). Sneaking around the forest edge slowly I turned a corner, I looked under a group of larch trees which was quite open and I could see the body of a red deer only 90m. It was hard to tell what it was but I was sure it was stag. I stalked closer to get a better look and got into position and waited. It was a stag but couldn’t see the antlers. It was covered by a fallen tree and he was only 60m away from me. I remember saying to myself “it doesn’t matter how big or small you are I’m going to take you”. The stag moved forward, saw the antlers and then the chest so I took the shot! It ran and crashed through the trees and I just could see it fall over 30m away. I slowly walked up to it and it was stone dead. It was an young 8 pointer! I was so happy! My first red deer and it was a stag! Next I had a problem… How I am going to get this out of here? So I got an idea and had the farmer I do fox control on bring his Argo cat. That made it easier than dragging and I thanked him a lot and my boss! Whiskey flowed that evening!

In the forest with my stag

Shot with my Tikka t3 6.5 x 55

After working with red deer in the forests of Galloway I decided I would like to try a new adventure in the highlands. I got a job as a Ghillie for the stag season working on the deer stalking estate Corrour. This was when I got to see a different type of stalking that I was not use to. Open hill ground with no trees to hide behind and plenty of walking. One of the highlights I experienced was too see the red stags rutting. I hadn’t witnessed it in the south because they usually rut inside the forests, you only hear them roaring now and again and never see them fighting. But that all changed when I was in the highlands. Sitting on the hill tops listening to the glens echoing of the roar of stags, watching them fight each other and trying to control their herds from other competition was spectacular! I was lucky enough to get the chance to shoot a very nice stag at the end of the rut which was a surprised gift from the stalkers! The stalker I had been working with through the season took me out and I was told to bring my rifle but I didn’t know why. We saw a stag on the hillside far away in the distance and when I was told I was allowed to shoot him I couldn’t believe it! He was holding around 40-50 hinds by himself. The wind was going straight towards them from us so we had to do a long walk round over the hills which nearly took 2 hours and we got caught in a snow blizzard as well. We stalked into them from above and we were getting close but then a hind had spotted us so they got spooked and ran a little around the hill but settled down again for my luck! Got within 300m and then I had to crawl the rest on my own until I was in a suitable range to shoot. Eventually I got 220m from him and realised I couldn’t go any further or I would be spotted. I laid down by a rock and put the rifle on the bipod. The stag was directly in front of me and standing broadside. I didn’t hesitate and tried not to get stag fever. I aimed a few inches high for the shot and squeezed the trigger. He jumped and ran for 50m heading across the hill. I saw him stumble over and disappear behind a bank. I had a good feeling he was down, I was happy with my shot. I started to walk towards where I last saw him and by this time stag fever had kicked in! Anxious to see him, I looked over the bank and there he was. This was first time I had properly looked at his antlers and he was much bigger than I thought! A beautiful 13 pointer! I was overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness! A dream come true. Whiskey flowed that night too!

Red stag roaring on the hill

Myself with my trophy

After the stag season I stayed at Corrour and helped with the winter cull. This was another great experience to be part of. I learnt a lot more about red deer and methods of stalking them in these periods. When I finished at Corrour I went back to Strahanna for the spring, summer stalking and later returned to Corrour to do another season with the stags. After that I was back at Strahanna and I have stayed there as their deer stalker. I have shot quite a few red deer in this time and have taken plenty of clients out stalking but what I like most about red deer is I always seem to be learning new things about them and everytime I’m stalking the situation is never the same. This to me is what makes them so exciting to hunt!

Brent Norbury

www.brentnorburyhunting.co.uk

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