How to arrange a last minute hunting vacation in Scotland

Are you considering a last minute hunting vacation in Scotland? Under normal circumstances this is not something we would recommend as most hunting has to be booked many months in advance (sometimes years!), these however are not normal circumstances!

If you are hoping to book a last minute hunting vacation then the best thing to do is get in touch with River & Green. Like most people at the moment, our entire summer has been turned upside down by the Coronavirus with many of our international clients unable to travel.

Our hope is that this situation will have at least partially resolved itself (enough to once again allow international travel) by the beginning of the hunting season which will mean will have a lot of last minute hunting opportunities to offer.

Last minute hunting – month by month

July

Red deer stags – The stag season starts on 01st July although most hunting does not start until the middle of / late August as the stags are all still in velvet until then. We do not focus on trophy hunting so, for us, stags being in velvet is no impediment to a hunt taking place. The estate cull plan still requires stags to be culled for the health of the herd in July so stalking still takes place. The scenery is still as stunning and the hunting experience is still as memorable.

last minute hunting vacation in Scotland

August

Red deer stags 

Grouse – To be able to book a last minute hunting trip that includes grouse is normally absolutely impossible, this year however we may be able to offer exactly that. The season begins on “The Glorious 12th” and runs into early October. Grouse hunting is one of the most sought after hunting experiences in Scotland and as such commands a fairly considerable price tag, the experience is worth it however. Nothing is more Scottish than a day in the purple heather hills hunting grouse. For experienced and physically fit hunters only.

Roe buck – The roe buck season actually starts on 01st April (right int he middle of the COVID-19 outbreak) but the best hunting is during the rut in early – mid August. A lowland / woodland deer, roe buck are easily spooked and so required a deal of skill from the hunter which makes for a challenge for even the most experienced hunter.

Wood pigeon – Wood pigeon technically have no season but there are times of year that offer better hunting than others. Late August into September is an excellent time for wood pigeon as it coincides with the harvest which concentrates large numbers of birds in specific areas making for great shooting! As wood pigeon hunting only requires 1 guide to 4 guests it’s a great option if you are planning a very last minute hunting trip.

last minute hunting grouse

September

Red deer stags

Grouse

Roe buck

Wood pigeon

Partridge – Partridge hunting is fabulous sport and we can offer last minute hunting of both the walked up and driven variety. Partridge live on relatively high ground and share some of their habitat with grouse so can occasionally be combined with a grouse hunting day. Partridge are small and fly very fast so are very challenging and great fun. Like grouse, a good deal of fitness is required for a walked up day. Driven days are open to all fitness levels but are in high very demand and are more complicated to arrange, this is reflected in the higher price tag.

Duck & goose – duck and goose hunting is available in September, but only as an addition to a walked up / driven partridge day as the numbers are not reliable enough to make a whole day out of it. Given good conditions, a duck and goose flight at the end of a partridge day is the best way to round off an exquisite days’ shooting

last minute hunting partridge

October

Red deer stags – The rut takes place mid-October and so is the most sought after hunting of the year. Usually it would require booking 1 year in advance to secure a hunt during the rut, this year however we will have availability for clients looking for a last minute hunting trip over this prime time.

Grouse – The tail end of the season and very weather dependent. Shooting ends after the 1st couple of weeks as the grouse become too old and wily for anyone to get close enough to get an effective shot in.

Roe buck

Partridge 

Duck & goose – duck and goose hunting is available under the same conditions as in September

Pheasant – For many this is the beginning of the main event of the hunting season. Pheasant hunting (usually combined with partridge) is one of the most traditional hunts in Scotland and a full driven day provides the visiting hunter with a truly unique and British hunting experience. We can offer last minute hunting for walked up pheasant for 1 – 10 hunters.

Driven hunting needs a little bit more notice due to the numbers of keepers and beaters required, a month or so under the circumstances (normally 6 months) and we can offer this for groups of 6 or or more. We can arrange driven hunting for 1 – 5 hunters but they would need to join a pre-arranged hunt with other clients which narrows down the options to a specific and very limited set of dates.

last minute hunting pheasant

November

Red deer hinds – Red deer hind stalking is an excellent option for hunters looking for a deer hunt in November. Hind hunting is much less expensive than stag hunting and there is usually more than 1 opportunity to pull the trigger per day (unlike stag stalking) as there is usually no limit on the number of hinds that can be shot per outing (subject to the cull plan of the estate of course). Hind stalking is an enjoyable past time but it has the additional benefit of being essential for the health of the deer population as a whole.

Roe Doe – Similar to red deer hind stalking vs stag stalking, roe doe is a more affordable alternative to roe buck stalking. There is also less demand for roe doe stalking making it an excellent option for a last minute hunting trip.

Partridge 

Duck & goose – duck and goose hunting is available under the same conditions as in September / October

Pheasant

Woodcock – We can offer woodcock shooting after the 1st full moon in November and shooting gets better as the season goes on (ending 31st January). We have availability in the Kingdom of Fife, The Isle of Skye and in the Scottish Borders. Woodcock are a real challenge even for the very best shots and woodcock days are in very high demand with limited supply, so woodcock are perhaps not the best quarry for a last minute hunting vacation.

last minute hunting red deer hinds

December

Red deer hinds 

Roe Doe 

Partridge 

Duck & goose – duck and goose hunting is available under the same conditions as in September / October / November

Pheasant

Woodcock 

January

Red deer hinds 

Roe Doe 

Partridge 

Duck & goose – duck and goose hunting is available as a main quarry (rather than as the end to a pheasant / partridge day) from 03rd of January until the end of the season (31st January). Duck and goose “flighting”, as it is know takes place as the sun rises and sets and makes for exiting a challenging sport in the half darkness. With the days being so short in Scotland in January there is a short break in shooting during the middle of the day but only for a few hours.

Pheasant

Woodcock 

See more details on the hunting seasons here

duck and goose hunting seasons Scotland

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