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Old 10-10-2018, 03:43 PM   #1
ItsLeo
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Default Back from Scotland!

I just can't believe how much God blessed me on this trip! I am so thankful I don't feel I can be thankful enough!

I have been to Canada, out west and Africa. Scotland hasn't been a bucket list thing for me but I found out it should have been all along. In short I had an opportunity to hunt with a couple good friends over there and took it.

I went there with the plan to hunt Roe Buck, Red Stag and Sika Stag. My friend Gary asked what I wanted the most and I told him the Roe Buck. I could find an opportunity to hunt red stag and sika stags closer to home but this was gonna be my only chance for a Roe Buck. So that's where we started in southern Scotland.

The first afternoon of hunting after lots of walking I finally saw my first roe deer. We glassed her about 600 yards away down near a stream. No buck showed but it was encouraging and exciting to see one the first time out.

Next morning we hit a couple more spots. Mostly sheep farms and pastures. These are all totally free range deer we were hunting. We saw nine that morning and one very good buck but there wasn't a good way with the wind against us and tough terrain to close the distance for a shot. We got about half way to him but pulled out because it was obvious we weren't going to make it. Rather than push him we opted to let him sit the day and try and wait for him to come out of the woodlot in the evening. We tried one more spot right before lunch. It was a steep walk to the top of the hill but before we made it to the top Gary stopped me and said he would glass the other side. I was gassed and thankfully waited. The short rest helped me a lot. Gary came back a short time later with nothing to report. We made it around the peak to glass another pasture. We jumped a roe doe and she began barking at us. Just when I thought we were totally busted Gary said, "There looking right at us by the fallen tree." I could just see the top of the shoulder and put a bullet right in it! Gary couldn't believe it. "You just shot a real cracker of a roe buck." When I walked up on him I was stunned. I knew he was really big. He is being entered in CIC for UK records they believe he will make Silver Medal status after the 30 day drying period.



We had lunch and went after Sika deer. This area was very steep and thankfully we concentrated our efforts on the river bottom. This was still challenging to get to. I stepped in a hole on the way down the hill and pounded the side of my foot on a large rock in the bottom of the hole. Ouch! I kept going but the bruise bothered me for most of the trip thereafter.

We extensively glassed the area but spotted only sheep and one roe deer. No sika to be seen.

The next morning we packed up and headed for northern Scotland. The trip was breathtaking. As we drove north it just got wilder and wilder.



As we neared our destination we started seeing red stags. The whole time I'm thinking, "How are we gonna get to them?" And that's hill stag hunting in a nutshell. It's all about finding a way to close the distance without them spotting you or winding you. You will see lots of stags but getting close enough for a rifle shot is another story entirely.

The better shape you are in the better you will do. That's not me. Honestly, I barely made it. My friends were carrying rifle and gear and I was literally crawling on my hands and knees to get up these hills. Then I would slide back down on my rear end. Blown stalks where stags saw us, winded us or just left before we made it to them was the rule. We made it to one finally and I had a shot. 80yards bedded down behind a boulder with only head and neck visible. Light was fading, it started to rain and I was tired. I tried to get the stag in view. The scope was fogged. Steve had tissues in his pocket we cleaned the scope. I aimed for the necked and bounced the bullet off the rock between his antlers. I blew it

Next morning we closed the distance to 180 meters on two stags. I was just settling the gun on the pack for a prone shot and the wind hit the back of my neck. And that opportunity evaporated. We watched them climb climb climb away for 15 minutes. They were totally out of reach. Glassed a bunch more hills and took a break for a sandwich.

That afternoon I took my first ride in the hills on a Scot Track. We went about 3/4 of the way up and then started walking and glassing. Lots of sign on the hills and then we heard one ROAR! Steve spotted him with 12 hinds (his harem). There was no way to get to him where we were so we just watched him. Steve and Gary decided to leave me to watch him while they glassed other hills. I definitely needed the rest! As I watched they begin to move to a more accessible area. I started getting excited. Steve and Gary showed back up and reported finding nothing. I told them they had moved and Steve came up with a plan. We made it to 220yards from them the wind this time in our favor. He was bedded down roaring while his hinds milled around. Steve would not let me shoot until he stood. So we waited, waited and waited. Finally the stag rose and I was given the green light to take the gun off safety and shoot. I didn't notice the muzzle was in the grass and had slid off the secure spot on the pack. Bullet went through the grass and the gun slipped when I pulled the trigger! I whiffed again! RELOAD! The deer had no idea where the shot came from and were just milling around confused. After what seemed to take forever I finally found him in the scope again and this time at 230yds the bullet struck home.

I was one happy hunter!


The next morning it was back down south to chase Sika again. That afternoon again we glassed nothing. The next morning we saw three roe deer. A doe her "kid" and further away a lone buck. We thought we heard a sika call and Gary decided not to push it and we'd come back in the evening.

After lunch we took a nap and headed back out to stake out the area we heard the call until nightfall. We set up and waited out the last few hours of the night. Just as we were about to quit a deer steps out on the other side of the river. Gary said, "Shoot him!" And I did. I just got the deer I fully expected to not get on the trip. I said to Gary, "What did I just do?" He said, "Here! Have a sika!"



I spent the next couple days in England cleaning skulls and catching up on a lot of rest. I will have to wait for drying, scoring and inspection before I get them back. What memories they will bring with them!

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Old 10-10-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
BlackHogDown
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Heck of a trip and write-up! congrats! Sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

Do your friends guide for a living or just avid outdoorsman?
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
rjtkdplus
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What a cool hunt! Congrats!
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
low_tec
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Wow, Congratuations
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:16 PM   #5
ItsLeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackHogDown View Post
Heck of a trip and write-up! congrats! Sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

Do your friends guide for a living or just avid outdoorsman?
They do guide but not exclusively and are very selective about clients.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #6
The Crippler
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Too cool, congrats!
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:39 PM   #7
kruppa24
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Awesome, congrats
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:48 PM   #8
ItsLeo
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A hearty Scottish breakfast. Clockwise from 12 o'clock. Haggis, Black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, English sausage, beans and two eggs in the center. Served with toast and coffee. It's good! You don't have to have all that but I did!

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Old 10-10-2018, 07:01 PM   #9
kdenhead
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Where did you hunt in Southern Scotland?

My family name originates near Galashiels (Scottish Borders). It's about 45 minutes SW of Edinburgh.

We toured that area this past summer. Beautiful country and great people!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:12 PM   #10
ItsLeo
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Originally Posted by kdenhead View Post
Where did you hunt in Southern Scotland?

My family name originates near Galashiels (Scottish Borders). It's about 45 minutes SW of Edinburgh.

We toured that area this past summer. Beautiful country and great people!
Slightly southwest of there. I agree, beautiful country and great people!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:15 PM   #11
lab man
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Awesome trip and animals. Congrats.

Breakfast looks good but I would have to pass on the haggis and black pudding.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:17 PM   #12
Danimal14
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That is nice ...


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Old 10-10-2018, 09:29 PM   #13
gatt40
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Bet that was a great hunt.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:45 PM   #14
Radar
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Heck of a hunt bud, congrats. You did good.

I aint never did see maters, pork n beans, belly sausage, blood pudding, runny eggs and mushrooms on a plate together. I spect a tortilla and some serranos would have made it digestible

Just kidding man, I am jealous of your hunting trip.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:46 PM   #15
bluelund79
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Congrats Sir! Excellent write up, and the photos were amazing.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:18 PM   #16
DuckDogTrainer
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Sounds awesome. Throw in a little golf at the old course and it would be the ultimate lifetime trip I've dreamed of!
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:36 PM   #17
ostey22
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Awesome! Like the Roe Buck!
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:30 AM   #18
Uncle Saggy
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Congrats. What an awesome trip


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Old 10-11-2018, 06:34 AM   #19
bps3040
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Nice! Congrats


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Old 10-11-2018, 06:34 AM   #20
deerwatcher51
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Congrats, very neat trip. Scotland is not often a place that comes to mind when we think about hunting.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:50 AM   #21
roberts
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Congrats.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:52 AM   #22
WCB
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WOW!!

Awesome hunt and write-up. Congrats on some fine animals.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:52 AM   #23
bowhunt3
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Congrats
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:53 AM   #24
Etxbuckman
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Awesome! All animals I would like to hunt some place like that one day.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:13 AM   #25
IowaHunter
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Great hunting! I love the traditional breakfast. My family makes haggis every Burns Day.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #26
ItsLeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deerwatcher51 View Post
Congrats, very neat trip. Scotland is not often a place that comes to mind when we think about hunting.
I agree not usually the place that comes to mind. But it should. There are six free range species of deer to hunt in Scotland and England. They are: Red deer, Roe deer, Sika deer, fallow deer, Chinese water deer and Muntjac. All of these species have large established populations.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:02 PM   #27
ren087
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Awesome
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:21 PM   #28
Slew
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Awesome hunt! Thanks for the recap! You can have my Haggis and Black pudding though! Just give me a chirizo taquito!
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:14 PM   #29
mfarmer
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What a great hunt.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:33 AM   #30
sasqy
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That is a monster Roe !!
Congrats on all of them
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:36 AM   #31
Chad C
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It's on the bucket list. Still have family in Lanarkshire.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:24 PM   #32
NotJose
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Great trip!! Congrats!! Thanks for sharing


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Old 10-12-2018, 01:47 PM   #33
cabo390
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Great write up. Thanks! I really need to get out of the grasslands.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:18 PM   #34
J Sweet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsLeo View Post
A hearty Scottish breakfast. Clockwise from 12 o'clock. Haggis, Black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, English sausage, beans and two eggs in the center. Served with toast and coffee. It's good! You don't have to have all that but I did!





Grew up in the UK. 4 years in Aberdeen and that breakfast looks amazing. Just need toast points and soft boiled eggs to dip em in. Yummmmmmmm


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Old 10-12-2018, 06:23 PM   #35
Pin Oak DXT
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I lived in Aberdeen a few years myself. I loved the bacon rolls!

Great hunt and thanks for sharing. Itís beautiful country for sure.


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Old 10-14-2018, 04:28 PM   #36
Scotsman 1
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J sweet. You mean egg and soldiers!!!

Leo - so glad you enjoyed your trip and our Haggis. Roe bucks truly are a magnificent animal. They appear out of no where. Born and bred in Aberdeen. Been here in the States for 10 years. I can totally relate to you going up and down the Glen's. Which estate and where did you hunt up North. Thourally enjoyed your write up.

Steven.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:32 PM   #37
Landrover
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Now I am liking this!!! Leo, that Roe deer is absolutely beautiful. Yep, guess I better add this one to the list that never ends...….thanks for sharing sir!!!
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:29 PM   #38
ItsLeo
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Thanks all
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