All About Stag Hunts In Scotland


Published: February - 2001

Many hunters dream of stalking red deer in the Scottish Highlands. Having fulfilled that dream myself, I can say that it is truly one of the great traditional hunting experiences. But if you are planning to go after a "beast," as the Scots call their deer, there are several things you should know before embarking on this adventure.

Let's begin with some real positives for this trip. Firstly, US hunters often don't realize how accessible Scotland is, particularly for travelers from the East Coast of the US. Travel time to a hunting lodge in Scotland is far shorter than to one in Argentina or New Zealand. In fact, you can leave your home and be in the field actually hunting Scottish game in possibly less time than it would take for you to get on the ground and hunting out West for elk.

Secondly, a hunting trip for red deer in Scotland also offers non-hunters, such as spouses and children, a wonderful cultural experience. Any Scottish stag hunt can, and should, be combined with a tour. Shopping opportunities are exceptional as well, offering everything from salmon and woolens to antiques or whiskey.

The actual hunting conditions are another thing to consider. In parts of western Scotland, it is so rocky that ponies may be the only means of transportation for hunters, other than walking. In most of the Highlands, however, all-terrain-vehicles usually carry hunters to the tops of the hills from where they begin their hunt. But even with ATVs, stalking can be very demanding, especially when you find yourself crawling for hundreds of yards through thick heather in the pouring rain.

Probably the most important consideration for this hunt is the kind of stag you are looking for. Scottish red deer definitely are not all created equal, and what you classify as a trophy deer will have a good deal of influence on the kind of hunt you will experience. Since probably well back into the 19th century, red deer in the Highlands have been classified as either "hill"........(continued)

 
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