Friday night, it has been a superb week but tomorrow is, according to the BBC another story. The weather which has been so good is about to break. I am going off, Calum, Irene and two visitors are ‘supposed’ to be coming on. Fingers crossed.
Today it started a bit damp after rain overnight but sun shone and it was incredibly warm.
All this week it has been like mid summer, very strange, if it was not for the trees changing colour, I’d think it was still July.
Calum and Irene called in en route to Portree on Wednesday, yet another blue sky day. We went through winter projects then later in the afternoon they took off for an overnight at Fladda then Thursday Portree.
I’d been getting on with tidying up and found out my trailer hitch had reached the end of its days.
With the constant bumping on the road it is only a surprise it lasted so long. But with the weight on the rear of the trailer it was found out. So a quick look on ebay and another is on its way. The ground was drying nicely so Thursday I got on with some roadworks putting the refurb’ trailer into action. As long as it is a dry period you have to act.
In fact it was so warm to-day I decided to give the hens a clean out and prepare them for the coming winter/wet weather. New bed, clean hut and fresh food, we should get some happy eggs tomorrow!!
Back To The Stalking Week:
Wallace and John came over a week last Saturday, Wallace Head Stalker and Ghillie John. The plan was to cull Eric and two possibly three others. Sadly Eric had to go, he had been here for 13 years and to stop interbreeding it was felt that his time had come. It was a pretty remorseful stalk and shot but that is deer management and we were only doing a bit of good for the herd. In fact last year he had been pretty much beat off by the new master stag. As the week progressed and the weather improved from sleet and rain the stags got more vocal and plentiful. We culled two more mature stags and one for the freezer.
We had a trip up North in the boat and were not disappointed when we saw several stags rutting with hinds up there but the wind was poor so we decided to do a circumnavigation of Rona, the first this year. The East side of Rona was light on deer but we did see Derick, Eric’s son for sure and the confusion confirmed that there was in fact another stag that looked like Eric. He was sitting right at the South end and I guess he is on Raasay now. I could have had a picture earlier in the week but we stalked him and got into a position where we could not move and when we did he took off. Not to worry, he’ll be back!!
It is not all play though, Wallace was working in the larder on Eric’s head, so I pressed John into cleaning the shed, no rest here.
After that we did a bit of butchering.
It was a busy week and as soon as my back was turned three yachts came in and promptly anchored on top of the mooring buoy. I did not get a chance to shout at them to move as it is always a problem when their stern is right on top of the mooring. Next day, sure enough, the mooring had disappeared. The gale that got up overnight maybe contributed to it but the buoy on the mooring had been cut, probably by a propeller knife!! I know who they are though and will be having a word. On cue the kayakers arrived, now if I was heading off to a remote wild place I would be looking for a remote wild camping experience but no. Not once but twice last week I found kayakers camped in the holiday cottages garden. Quite unbelievable, especially as the sign is there but unfortunately the kayaker had put his life jacket over the sign and did not see it. But hey, the outdoor access code says ‘do not camp around properties, be unobtrusive’. the bit I don’t like is when they crap around the holiday cottages in the morning!!!!!! And these guys had been kayaking for 50 years, some hope for peace and privacy for those that live here. Anyway that is my rant for the week.
Back to the stalking: The week went very well and all too soon it was time to go, Wallace and John left with the three stags and Hannahlore and Norbert my German friends arrived.
Norbert has been shooting with me now for 25 years but now prefers to mess around and doesn’t stalk in Scotland anymore, but, he does not mind working on a head or two and I pressed him into service cleaning the antlers from the week.
The weather was kind and they enjoyed two days of clear skies, warm and positively summer weather.
Saturday came and all too soon they went away back to their holiday chalet in Contin. Dode, Bruce, Lorna and Dougie arrived and another couple of days entertaining got underway. I was sitting with Bruce Sunday morning and all of a sudden a racket came from the lounge. We could not figure out what it was and half an hour later with more noise we spotted this Snipe in amongst the stuffed birds. I’m happy to report that it flew away apparently unharmed. Maybe too much of a mouthful for ‘George’.
All in all the best stalking week I’ve ever had and good company throughout. Although social media is taking over the world!!!!!