About Red Stags

Red Stags are Scotland’s largest and iconic wild land animal. They are now mostly confined to highland areas of open heather hill and as they are fenced out of forests and seen as a pest in lowland situations.

Expectations vary according to the two distinct parts of our hunting season, and this is determined by The Rut, the period of the year where the beasts are looking for a mate.

Pre-Rut

Pre-rut is the most unpredictable time starting in mid September and running up to early October.
A typical pre-rut hunt has an expectation of one stag over three days hunting.

The Rut

Starting from the first week of October and finishing on the 20th, the Rut is short but well worth it.  During this season the deer are brilliantly active and the hills are alight with the deep roars of animals chanting across the landscape.  It is at this time of year when we have to maximise our chances and expectations increase dramatically with an expectation of 3 – 4 stags over a three day hunt. Experiencing the rut in the Scottish highlands is the pinnacle of big game hunting.

Itinerary

Our Red Deer stalking experiences are planned to give you three days on the hill, Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Saturday.

Arrival day

You will arrive to Woodmill anytime from 3pm. We will promptly begin our introduction to cover firearms handling, target practice and kit check.

Hunting days 1, 2 and 3

To make the most of the day we will typically start at 7.30am and travel to the estate in our vehicles. Guests can choose to stay at Woodmill or choose their own accommodation. We stalk in a traditional way on foot which requires a degree of fitness with a normal day lasting 6 – 8 hours. We stop frequently to spy for or listen out for the sounds of roaring stags as we plan our approach in the hope of locating a mature specimen. If the day is successful the animals are brought back to our larder at Woodmill where they are chilled in readiness for processing as they enter our food supply business Woodmill Game.  If it is of interest, we invite guests to butcher if they so wish. 

If you are staying in Woodmill House your evening will start with a 2 course meal by an open log fire in the comfort of our drawing room. If you are staying in the self-catered Woodmill Arches, you will be able to relax in pure comfort and take the evening at your own pace.

Departure day

On the day of departure you will leave Woodmill at 10am.

Season / Dates

1st July – 20th October

Estates

We have two highland estates, Straloch and Lick.

Trophies

Our approach is a very simple one, we try to select mature stags of 6 – 7 years. These animals will vary in the size & shape from 6 – 14 points, but age is the determining factor. Every year we observe several 12 point animals known as ‘Royals’ during the rut, preferring to leave them to breed for the good of the population.

At the end of every trip we offer a trophy prep service where heads are cleaned & bleached then dried before shipping. This is an optional service available on request.