Thursday, 15 January 2015

West Ardnamurchan's Stags

We consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to be able to wander out across the hills of Ardnamurchan and, if we are lucky, encounter some magnificent red deer stags.  I'm told that Ardnamurchan Estate's red deer are particularly fine: although they are wild, they have been carefully managed over the years, with new blood brought in, something which continues today.

As a result, sportsmen and women come from all over the world to stalk Ardnamurchan's stags.  Some people object to the idea of these animals being bred to die at the end of a rifle, but I don't see them as any different from cattle or sheep - except that they have the good fortune to spend their lives roaming wild.

And wild they are.  While we've never been threatened, we're very aware that, in certain, thankfully unusual circumstances, a stag will attack a human.  So, if we do approach them, we do so with caution.

Usually we're happy if the stag notices us before we approach him but sometimes we come across one before he becomes aware of us.  This one was on the slopes of Beinn na h-Urchrach, and he was far more interested in the hinds in the bowl of land beyond.

Local company Wild Highland Tours offers a range of wildlife-watching packages

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