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Revealing the wonders of the Scottish hunting tradition – Donald Bisset’s love for his homeland

May 20 2019

#Partner #Hunting #Hunting experience #Travel experience

Revealing the wonders of the Scottish hunting tradition – Donald Bisset’s love for his homeland

Hunting in Scotland promises to hold experiences like no other for advanced hunters. After spending a day stalking with Donald Bisset, Head Stalker at the Benmore Estate on the Isle of Mull, we enjoyed a splendid dinner, during which Donald let us into the secrets of the Scottish hunting tradition.

Why is Scotland such a great place for hunting?

DONALD BISSET: I think it is a combination of the traditions and the location. The image of a highland estate stalker dressed in full tweeds and on some estates the use of a Garron to bring the deer in is something that makes hunting in Scotland special. The location is one of our best assets. We have dramatic, rugged, and wild hills and glens


What are the challenges involved: physical, logistical, or other?

DONALD BISSET: Scotland is very challenging for its hunting because of weather conditions, along with the ever-changing landscape throughout the year. All four seasons can arrive in five minutes while out hunting. Both visually stunning in their own way but also physically challenging for the hunter, adding to the sense of achievement on a successful hunt. On the other side, in terms of the logistics of hunting in Scotland, things are usually not too difficult with some planning, and most of Scotland is no more than a few hours from international airports.


Which time of the year is best for a hunting trip to Scotland?

DONALD BISSET: I have two favorite times of year for hunting red deer. Our rut is from the end of September to the end of the stag season on October 20th. I always enjoy the spectacle of the rut and taking guests out to witness it. I have many memories from this time of year, whether it is stags running over the hill and right up to our position or even just the intimidating and yet exciting feeling of stalking very close to a large roaring stag. The other time of year that I enjoy is winter, for hind stalking. I try to select a calm, frosty winter’s day as the weather over the winter can be quite inhospitable, and enjoy the peace and beauty of the hills.


What game do you find in Scotland?

DONALD BISSET: We have red, roe, and fallow deer as well as some other species. We also have Red Grouse and other game birds as well as salmon and sea trout. On the Isle of Mull, deer were introduced in the late 1800s, early 1900s. At Benmore Estate, we predominantly offer our guests red deer stalking as well as salmon and sea trout fishing.


Do you have any special tips for hunters who are planning to travel to Scotland?

DONALD BISSET: It will probably rain during your stay and even if it does not, we often crawl over wet ground on our final approach. So modern, waterproof, breathable clothing is always advised, as are a good pair of walking boots. If you are planning to bring your own rifle to hunt with then allow plenty of time for the paperwork. The police require at least six weeks but longer is better in case of any delays.

Thank you so much, Donald, for your time and for sharing your insights with us.


Read more about our hunting adventure in Scotland or watch the video capturing the highlights of this amazing hunting trip to Scotland:


About the interviewee: Donald Bisset
The 38-year-old Donald Bisset was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the Scottish Borders. When he left school, Donald and his family moved to the Isle of Mull near the Benmore Estate, with which he has had close ties ever since. He went away to study but later returned to the Estate, and has lived and worked there since 2005.

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