Red Deer Stalking
The seasons for Scottish red deer are:
Red Stags: 1st July – 20th October
Red Hinds: 21st October – 15th February
Scotland offers some of the most unique stalking opportunities for red deer in the world.
The chance to observe several herds of deer at once across heather clad hills is a real treat. It gives you and your stalker the chance to spend time looking for the appropriate animal to try for and assess the terrain with a view to planning the approach. This approach is all important as the red deer has some of the most acute eyesight and hearing of all deer species. It is most unusual to get closer than 100 metres, with most shots taken at 175 – 200 metres on the open hill.
The harsh climate and lack of shelter impact on the hill red deer by producing trophies a lot smaller than those in Europe or from any forest areas. However, the drama and adrenaline rush of stalking in amongst deer on your hands and knees with stags roaring all around you cannot be matched. Trophies of 6 to 10 points are the norm with an outstanding ‘royal’ occasionally seen but normally spared for breeding purposes.
Stalking on the hill is an all day affair normally starting at 9 to 9.30 am, finishing when either there has been a successful shot or when sufficient daylight remains to walk back to your transport. If you are to enjoy this form of stalking to its optimum then a higher degree of fitness is required than for any other deer species pursued. Preparation, clothing and footwear are the criteria most important prior to embarking on this type of stalking holiday.
Stalking is at its best during the rut which on the open hill lends itself to a gladiatorial spectacle that evokes the most deep rooted of human feelings. To enjoy this then come between 25th September and the end of the season 20th October.