Wild birds in wild places
Author: Tom Sykes
Scotland is an alluring place for the wildfowler, says Tom Sykes as he offers his advice on how to make the most of a trip to the foreshore in pursuit a truly exhilarating quarry.
Wildfowling is a truly magical sport that is so often underrated and eschewed in favour of other types of shooting. Indeed, it has a bad reputation for being cold and wet, and with limited chances of a shot. However, I believe this makes the rewards so much greater. Bagging a wild goose or duck on the muddy estuary is special. Over the years, I have dedicated a lot of my time to wildfowling at my home club, in north-west England, picking up valuable knowledge of the sport along the way. I...
The ethical carnivore
Author: Louise Gray
Louise Gray spent over a year only eating animals she killed herself. She describes how learning to fish and shoot taught her to appreciate meat, and how a red stag turned out to be her most ethical meal of all.
The stag was lying down, his face turned towards me, his chin almost resting on the ground, having a wee midday snooze. “Go for his neck,” whispered the stalker... No one forgets their first stag, no matter how old they are or how varied their life experience. For many of us it is the first time we look our dinner in the eyes. We are all used to consuming as much meat as we like, to ordering a steak off the menu, grabbing a chicken sandwich for lunch or picking up a packet of bacon at the...
Hummel in the Highlands
Author: Selena Barr
Reflecting on a truly special occasion, Selena Barr tells the story of her first successful hummel stalk – a family affair for which she was joined by her young daughter, Ptarmigan.
There’s very little that can beat the classic sporting holiday in Scotland, with long days spent on the hill or by a river after fur, feather and fin – and friends and family there to celebrate or commiserate sporting success, depending on the outcome of your outings. Last October, just as the rut was starting, we took a week at Auch and Invermearan Estate, together with a small party of friends. A few attempts at a Macnab were planned, but as any seasoned sportsman will know, you can never...
Go get lost
Author: Charlie Keyser
Pure sporting paradise awaits in the middle of a remote Highland loch.
Unlike the gin-clear waters of southern chalkstreams, where trout are visible and access is easy, Scotland’s wilderness offers endless mystery that remains untouched. The Highlands and Islands hold thousands of lochs and rivers that few of us have ever fished. A plethora of fish-themed films and articles entice anglers to jet off to faraway lands, however we often forget what is in our own backyard. Although we may not match the leviathans of New Zealand, Iceland and Jurassic Lake,...
End of the road
Author: Patrick Tillard
A wee bothy, a boat, and just 4,000 acres; deep in Glen Cannich, a special stalking experience awaits, as Patrick Tillard discovers.
Photographer / JOHN MACTAVISH There are memories that tattoo themselves on one’s mind; a freeze-frame in time when you know you will treasure that moment forever. The peculiarity of jumping from a two-carriage train amidst strikingly bleak and rugged seclusion at Helmsdale due to a short platform. Sipping a frosty Tusker around a campfire in the Serengeti, a halcyon star-studded sky percolating the inky darkness, the whooping of hyenas resonating across the plains. My first salmon,...
The art of perfection
Author: Leopold Amory
The pinnacle of skill and beauty, grouse hawking is far more than just hunting, says Leopold Amory.
With his falcon waiting on at some 300 yards above his head, and his dog on point in the heather, the falconer looks rather relaxed as he walks across the moor, his hands joined behind his back. The English pointer is keeping a covey of grouse to their hiding place, and by now, even they know what is about to happen. They have spotted the little dot flying in circles high in the sky. They have encountered wild peregrines before, and experience has taught them to stay put until the threat goes....