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Winter Newsletter - December 2019
Yes, it is that time in the year again - newsletter time!!

2019 has been an incredibly busy year for us in almost every respect and finding time to put a newsletter together has been challenging.

During spring & summer each year we try to improve access for carcass extraction into some of the more difficult areas - this year Winston acquired his "digger ticket" which now makes our adventures with the digger, more acceptable to the forestry companies!! Access is proving more and more important - the red deer population continues to increase on Cowal and to give us a chance to hold on to this, we must have better access! To think that 35 years ago, there were very few red deer in the private sector woodlands - they have colonised and established everywhere - man created the perfect habitat and they have responded!!!
We had a very modest roebuck season - roe densities are low and nothing like they were during the early years of the young plantations (1980s & 1990s).

However, quite a different picture with the stags! Our best season ever!!

The roaring started during late September and continued through to the end of the season and beyond - quite amazing!! In round figures we took 100 antlered stags (plus a few yearlings) during September and October and some very big stags amongst them, one 15 pointer, one 14 pointer, one 13 pointer and a good collection of 12 pointers!!

Now we are into the winter cull and have already taken well over 100 female and young - the weather has been very helpful so far - no doubt that will change but we look forward to continued success - the challenge is skinning and butchering at the same pace as the stalkers!! Anyway, we are building a good stock of very good venison for Christmas and beyond!
The festival season was generally good with only one festival destroyed by the weather - that was Bute Fest again - the second year running - maybe there is a message there?! Fynefest also suffered wet weather but the good food and beer kept most folk there and it went reasonably well. Due to the world cup, we have no autumn tests at Murrayfield but we had summer internationals instead, a Liverpool football game + a Spice Girls concert - all went extremely well. September was a busy month as we had Burghley Horse Trials, The Solheim Cup and The Royal Berkshire show over consecutive weekends - all went well with some great feedback on our venison. These three events overlapped the early part of the stag season so everyone at full stretch and to say the logistics were challenging is an understatement!
This is the time to thank everyone who supports us - either as venison customers, stalking guests or last but not least the home team who keep everything running in such a professional way!! Our team stays the same:

Stalking: Paul, Alastair & Angus full time; with the support of David, Richie, Stuart, Todd & Anton on a part time basis.
Larder: Danii & Jake full time; with Barlow part time.
Admin: Anne & Sue
'General Dogs-body': WINSTON
With Christmas just around the corner, please remember our gift boxes as a Christmas present to a loved one --- if you have any special requirements, please send an email and we will do our very best to put it together for you.

Last orders for delivery before Christmas should be placed by the 17th December - last despatch on the 19th!

In light of concerns regarding methane gas emitted by ruminants, we would like to make it clear that our meat comes from wild deer that live naturally in our forests. We cull/harvest our deer on an annual basis which in turn maintains any methane to a natural and minimal level – as nature intended!