Chris Dalton, South Ayrshire Stalking
Contact: 07710 871190, www.ayrstalk.co.uk
This year we had a fantastic spring and summer at Garryloop. South Ayrshire was bathed in sunshine from late March and the temperatures in summer were much higher than normal, consequently we saw rutting activity very early. Initial and sporadic chasing occurred very early in July, but this was mostly the younger bucks getting giddy, and the bigger boys were humouring them at this stage.
However, from the middle of the month things started proper. I called the first buck in strong on 23 July, and we had very good success right through to the end of the month both here in Ayrshire, and on ground I manage in the Angus Glens. I would have to say these were classic rutting weather conditions, and the deer did not disappoint. The weather turned a bit wet and colder in early August, typically as I was trying to film the rut for The Shooting Show in what I can only describe as hurricane conditions days after basking in almost 90 degrees sunshine, but that’s Scotland! It warmed up again around the 10th of the month and we had good activity for a further week and then a sudden stop.
We had good response to the faithful old buttolo call, but the star of the show was the Nordic roe and we had some notable and spectacular success with it. Tony called the buck in picture to within 20 feet of Simon as he took his first buck. Condition and body weight were excellent, though we did not shoot many medals this year: not because we did not have them, but they did not fit the plan. However, we took some very good representatives animals with clients and removed a lot of yearlings during this period.