In a world of constant change, Richard MacGregor’s long service in the Scottish countryside deserves a mention. Richard, 52, has worked for Benalder Estates for 25 years. He left Benmore, Assynt Estates, Sutherland, and joined Benalder in June 1995. For the first five years he worked on Benalder before he moved to Corrievarkie in 2000. Richard has been a single-handed Deer Stalker on the remote Corrievarkie Estate by Loch Ericht for 20 years. His ground mostly holds stags with small herds of hinds. Richard has been serving the Scottish countryside since he left school.
Traditional Stalking over the decades
For this photograph, Richard thought it apt to keep the traditional stalking look often seen on the hill many decades ago. If you are a deer stalker, ghillie or gamekeeper serving the Scottish countryside you may recognise the hill shoes. He hunted out his 30-year-old, hill shoes from Hoggs of Fife. He dusted them down, polished them up and gave them an airing for the photo-shoot.
Old Leather hill shoes for the Scottish Corries
Over 30+ years ago, these hill shoes were the footwear of choice for estate deer stalkers. The shoe design involved a sprung sole, and the upper part of the shoe was made from tough, thick, inflexible leather. Deer stalkers liked the shoe as it was comfortable when going to the hill. Unlike the modern stalking footwear, these shoes did not protect the stalker’s ankle, so they developed naturally strong ankles. The shoe was light and offered good grip on the hill via the commando sole. Although the shoes were an idea choice for hill footwear they were not perfect. Today’s modern stalking boots offer the deer stalker overall protection. The old hill shoes did not protect the stalker’s lower legs. After stalking deer over the tough heather, socks had to be plucked clean of buds
The Sako rifle is empty and safe.