Sunday, 14 September 2014

The deer hunter of Aultguish

Oh it was all so exciting! 

As my friends might already be aware, I am an aspiring but to date unsuccessful deer hunter.

We have a lot of red deer in Scotland. Often times, on walks through the pine woods and over the heathered uplands, the prey instinct has kicked in at the glimpse in the distance of a fast-moving antler, but sadly so far all I have had to show for my efforts has been a series of severe tellings off from Gail.

Many large shooting estates operate in the north of Scotland and 'deer stalking', a traditional pursuit of the British upper classes, is big business.

Last Thursday evening, Gail and I found ourselves in a remote Highland hostelry, the Aultguish Inn (waiting for the A832 to Torridon to reopen following a crash involving a stolen police car several hours earlier).

Standing at the bar in this lonely spot were a cluster of  tweed clad humans  who would not have looked out of place at an Edwardian country  house party. 

Now Gail and I are both guilty, from time to time, of eavesdropping. On this occasion it was a bit of a challenge for me to make out what was being said as the conversation was being conducted in the distinctive 'born to rule' accents of those educated at certain English public (i.e. private) schools, a manner of speaking we rarely hear in Aberdeen but guaranteed to raise the hackles of any self-respecting Scottish Nationalist. 

So far so unremarkable, but my flappy little ears pricked up when it was mentioned, in congratulatory tones, that the chap on the left had "brought one down this afternoon", meaning that he had shot dead a stag.

Well when I heard this I was all for bouncing  over to shake paws, and to ask for hunting tips.

As you know, Gail can be quite the spoilsport. She told me firmly to calm down and concentrate on enjoying my chicken flavoured chew while she finished her haddock and chips and then we would be on our way.

For some reason, she seemed to think it unlikely that the successful marksman  would have any relevant knowledge to impart to an eager-to-learn wire haired fox terrier with an unsatisfied hunting urge.....

And so I had to content myself with gazing in awe upon my new hero.


  1. while the story is quite interesting I admit I was overwhelmed by the gorgeousness of those tweeds! It looked like a scene out of Miss Marple

    retro rover

  2. You keep gathering all those tips and maybe one day your dream will come true!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. Hari OM
    Crikey Bertie, who knew?! Am glad you have Gail on hand as advisor; I am sure that on reflection you will come to appreciate her steadying hand!

    ...but wait...action at Aultguish??? Fast cars and broken buildings??? Is there a FFHT story in there somewhere??? Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. Bertie you could come HERE and go off to HUNT fur Deer with Ol' Sure Shot... He isn't ALWAYS successful, butt he could get you CLOSE to your prey.
    We think that Gail was right to steer you off those folks.. as we are Pawsitive that they would NOT understand the Chewing and GNAWING of the Prized Antlers.... that YOU would have wanted to do... LET ALONE sharing ANY of the meats with you. Peeps are so ... Foolish.

  5. We would also like to hunt deer. We see them many mornings but lady says no.

  6. We don't think we'd like to kill a deer, but chase.....YES!

    We have a relative, by marriage, who fed a deer all year and then went out and shot it and was so proud of 'getting her deer.' We were not impressed.

  7. Is that a knife hanging out of that guys pocket? Maybe find a little less tweedy bunch for advice Bertie. They look like an unreliable bunch to me ....

  8. The thing with deer, Bertie, is that we can chase them, but we will never, ever catch them. That's the beauty of deer. We have 'white tailed' ones here.


  9. Oh, now we understand....we have not been getting properly dressed to hunt the deer. We shall seek out better tweed to get the job done.Thanks for the tip, Bertie :)
    Wyatt and Stanzie

  10. Keep on listening my dear Bertie. You will be a fabulous hunter someday, I just know it!!


  11. OMD Bertie no worries one day my fine friend you'll get one. No need for tips from the toff. He probably didn't even shoot it. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  12. Are you sure you want to get one, Bertie? Sure, sure? Because my Truffle told me stories about the time he got one, and it was no fun at all. The chase was fun. It's all in the process, right? But the goal reached? No fun, said Truff.

    And that pub! Cracked Mom up.

    We're sorry we've been absent, my dear god-dog. Mom's hurt her shoulder something terrible. More to come.

    Lots of wags,

  13. Well Dang dare Gail keep you from standing with the tweed clan group to discuss their must recent
    hunt. There are so many things you could have learned.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  14. AND PS they would have been in awe of meeting The one and only Bouncing Bertie who is know all over the world!!
    Hugs madi your biggest fan

  15. I think you can join the crew on that bar, you are a hunting breed and an expert (theoretically, but expert is expert, right?). This man really tricked out two police guys and thieved their car? That's bold. I feel sorry for the woman in the Santa Fe, hope she feels better soon and this guy will land in jail.

  16. Bertie you always step up an have something to say. Why oh why did you not ask them to invite you on the next hunt.
    Why on my walk last Friday I saw two deer. But I saw something better. I saw a true kill yes I did but not a deer. I will have it in a future post so stay tuned.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  17. Bertie - You'd have fitted right in .

  18. There can be a certain amount of danger connected with deer hunting. Like the big rifles folks use and they might not be able to tell the difference between you and the deer.
    Keep that in mind!

  19. One day, you'll be a very successful deer hunter, I'm sure.

  20. Bertie, you have been in our thoughts and the A team, Eric, Miss Enid, Just Harry and Angel Jakie, Asta, Jake (of Jake and Fergie) and his new bro Oliver are arriving in Scotland tonight. We have paws crossed, my dear. Oh, and as for those deer, we had a crazed mother doe come into our yard this past June and well attack us. It was a huge fight...she flipped Stan on his back...Mumsie was screaming and chasing her...went on for ten minutes...a very long ten minutes. But we won and off she ran. Mumsie has serious gray hair now!!

    1. Guys, it's great to hear from you again. Paws crossed here too. Gail and I have just been to the polling station, and while she went in to vote, I was fed biscuits outside by a nice lady with 'No Thanks' stickers on her waterproof jacket. Gail says the 'Better Together' campaign must be better organised than she thought, if they arranged for dog carers at all the voting places!