WHITE OUT AND RED DEER
The weather in the Scottish highland is known to be tough and constantly changing. During autumn and winter days it can be very wet and windy. Nevertheless, no rules without exceptions!
As Härkila Pro Team member Brian Lisborg takes the first step into today’s highland adventure, he is sure this day will be different than most. The past days constant snowfall has covered the terrain, his feet go deep into the white powder. Brian is well equipped for the struggle, testing new gear and clothes for the Härkila design team.
The purpose of today’s hunt is cull of red deer. To keep the numbers at a reasonable and well-balanced range, the estate has to take quite a number of deer out every year.
The deep snow normally makes the deer move down hills to take cover in the high-leveled forest, where the possibility to feed is better and the environment less challenging. The hunters know where to go.
The sun is raised a few degrees over the horizon as Brian and his stalker enters the forest. Light is broken by the tops of the spruce and throw a glimpse of gold across the rocks in a shimmering creek.
Brian and his stalker are on the track of a herd, which has crossed the river. The hunters must follow!
Slowly, step by step, they track through the forest. An indication of red in the shadows, an instant movement. The climax of the hunt is near, senses are sharpened!
The stalker slowly rises his head above a snowy hill, at a perfect range he notices a female red deer with a calf, the calf is perfect for culling, which is pointed out to Brian. Slowly he stands up, takes cover behind and finds rest for his rifle, locks the crosshair on the animal, bends his finger and feels the recoil in his shoulder.
The smoke from burning powder fills the nostrils before drifting of in the wind. Brian focuses in the direction of the animal – where is it? He has a feeling the shot was great, but the calf is out of sight, nowhere to be seen. A few minutes passes by – feels like an eternity… They approach the scene to take up the tracking. The signs are without doubt good; blood on the snow, lots of it. These facts make Brian smile – what a day!
He did it. He bends over the calf, brushes the snow of the fur – proud of a job well done. Today, as many times before, he took a life in the service of game management.
Brian is not only a skilled hunter, he is indeed an incredible cook - dinner is served!
Text and photo: Thomas Lindy Nissen
Inverness, January 2016