Deer hunting is one of the most exciting hunting activities for ungulates, even more intense if you are on the trail of a roaring deer.
In the liquid light of the Scottish sunrise a mighty red deer is loudly proclaiming his superiority. It is a beautiful male: the head backwards, the dark ruff caressed by the wind, with his dewy cry filling the valley.
Seeing the twelve points – many seem at least – Mike, the gamekeeper, says: “That’s your deer.” So, we begin the approach through the thick and steep woods behind the hill.
The noble deer (Cervus elaphus), also known as red deer or European deer, belongs to the Cervid family and is widespread in almost all areas of Europe.
Practicable as a deer hunt from high seat or stalking hunt, the red deer represents the desire of many hunters, who decide to travel for kilometers and kilometers to challenge this wonderful piece of wild.
The calibers to be used are .30 and 7 mm, the first with balls between 165 and 180 grains and the second with balls from 150 to 165 grains.
All we have to do is start the stalking, in the still uncertain light of a sun that will remain pale all day.
In the large cut northwest of the estate, we see among tall grasses a herd of deer, apparently only females, at about 500 meters.
We begin a cautious approach sheltered by an embankment and take ourselves to the distance of shooting.
We look eagerly with binoculars, but we see no male on the horizon; the females burn calmly, without showing any sign of having seen us.
Suddenly, behind a small hill, I seem to see a branch moving near a black stump. Now there are two branches and they are coming in our direction.
Near the bump they are shown for what they are: the antlers of a six-pointed. We move with caution and get to about 200 meters, well sheltered by the embankment.
My Horizon Wood in .300 Win Mag is in position and I enjoy following the movements of the male in the telescope.
In deer hunting it is advisable to use very bright scopes with variable magnification. Shots are usually made at dawn and dusk at distances ranging from 100 to 250 meters.
A Steiner Ranger 3-18 x 56 may be ideal.
Our first day of roaring deer hunting in Scotland comes to an end with excitement and expectation for what lies ahead.
Appointment at the next sunrise near the golf course. The air vibrates with a new music: the chorus of dozens of roars.
Suddenly the old males have awakened and it is an infinite pleasure to listen to absorb the new atmosphere that is perceived.
It is at this point that we see the male on the hill. After making the decision to pull him over, I feel that Mike is right: that is “my” deer.
We climb a steep coast through a dense and dark forest. The ground is sprinkled with cut branches, covered by a moss so dense as to conceal countless traps, to the point that more than once both me and the gamekeeper find ourselves on the ground or with a leg wedged between the wet branches of a pine tree.
To address the different types of terrain, it is advisable to be equipped with technical clothing that in this case should consist of waterproof clothing, rubber boots or boots with gaiters. All in high-quality materials and above all “silent”.
We are however driven by the roar, which at regular intervals continues to be heard, gradually closer.
We are almost at the top, the forest should soon open and we should see the deer on the top covered with heather of the hill; but for a few minutes we have not heard anything
After a short time to comfort us comes yet another roar, more subdued than the previous ones, which indicates his presence.
We finally get out there, but you can’t see anything. As we crawl forward, we reach the end of the hill. As soon as we face each other, four females start down to our right.
I prepare the bolt action rifle now, but I don’t see anything; let’s move on, and, finally, here it is! He’s on a bump, elevated compared to six other females who are with him.
Just enough time to admire his beauty while she’s watching us. We’re about 210 meters away. It happens in an instant.
Mike’s pat on the back tells me it’s all over. The wild game is a magnificent royal stag, which I still remember today with deep respect.
The sun-drenched heather hills are the crown of the bay that can be seen below, while in the sea the trail of a fishing boat is lost far away.