We are lucky to have both a healthy number of resident hinds and stags (many of which just visit for the rut), and wonderful terrain for stalking. There were three factors that made this a tough season. Firstly, the rut throughout Scotland was later than average again this year, due to the mild autumn. Secondly, it has been noticed that there has been a slight reduction in hinds across the area due to a mandate from Scottish Natural Heritage to shoot more deer to reduce grazing pressure. And third the unfortunate illness of our second stalker George McDonald. However, thanks to the hard work of the guests, Hamish, and replacement stalkers John Mackay, Terry Cooper, and Jimmy Johnston who quickly learnt the lay of the land, and we achieved target of 43 stags. The weights averaged 13.10, down a few pounds on last year but in line with the five year average, with the heaviest being 18 stone 3 pounds (a fine size). There were lots of “firsts” achieved including 4 in a day for the Wolstenholme family on the last day of the season, 15 in total (including hinds) that week! Hind stalking is ongoing. A new rifle has been purchased and will be fine tuned in time for next season. We will keep the stag expectations unchanged for next year, but guests may have the chance of an extra stag or two if the conditions are more favourable.
We have also published annual reviews for fishing and grouse shooting.