Skip to main content

Scotland: Commoners and Count Chocula

Scotland: Commoners and Count Chocula
I forgot to pack a kilt for the trip, but luckily they placed one in the room for me to use. Unfortunately it kept falling off. Stupid kilts.

Scotland is my 25th country, maybe 26th. It's nice to see a new one. I'm here with Editor Mike Schoby and CZ USA's awesome boss, Alice Poluchova. Would I do this hunt if I had $20K to drop on a set of Scottish horns? You bet. It's a real hunt, with some real challenges. Mike McCrave our outfitter is a "great bloke", fully competent and hilarious when he gets warmed up. The challenges are mainly the lack of cover, lots of eyeballs in the large groups and the tough terrain. But aspects of the culture that comes with it are a huge bonus.

I'll give you a heads up on the culture now in case you're on your way over here. These people like to laugh. You hear the term, "It's just not done mate." as an answer to all kinds of questions, but if you just keep having fun, you'll all be laughing together inside 36 hours of arrival. The social structure and related behavioral expectations are firmly fixed like a feudal hangover, but as an American you get a pass.

All my visits to foreign countries make me happier to be an American, some more than others. Countries with royalty tend to get on my nerves the most, but countries that take their royalty seriously really get on my nerves. Sweden, you barely notice. Spain maybe it's a little more in your face. But right now, we are hunting in Scotland on an estate adjacent to Balmoral Castle, the Queen's hunting estate and she is currently in residence. We hear about it every ten or twelve minutes. The queen this, the queen that. So anyhow, she's next door. I just have an aversion to royalty, it feels like all the grown ups are playing "dress up" in Mr. Roger's "Land of Make Believe".



Mike Schoby and Alice Poluchova are here to attempt the McNab. This effort involves taking a stag, a brace of grouse and catching an Atlantic salmon all in one day. This is a tough challenge. Stalking (which is the proper term here for hunting stag) on the peat and heather is pretty tough. There's not much cover, you must use the terrain, creeks and water and muck holes punctuate the land like a muskeg and it is steep, steep, steep. The heather is a killer on the knees.

The red grouse weren't too tough, they're everywhere. But, the Atlantic Salmon are finicky. Schoby had a top Gillie guiding him on the River Dee,It is incredibly beautiful and great to just hang out while the fishing takes place. Salmon surfaced all around every few minutes.  The guys threw everything they had at them. Schoby fished seven hours, until I pulled him off at 10:00 PM. The salmon river we're fishing is called the River Dee.

I looked up the hunting area, Genmuick Estate before we came, so I was pretty fired up to stay here. Upon arrival it turns out our budget put us in the old stable/kennel behind the big house. Whatever. I've been to the haunted mansion at Disneyland. From the looks of things, it's the same building.


Did you know that Jim Shockey is a Lord? We found out you can buy a title here and apparently Shockey's wife bought him the title of Lord for a birthday gift. Sooooo Canadian. I found a coupon for mine, I bought the title "Count Chocula". Recognize.

So, Thursday night a trustee of the estate (code for high-roller) invited we commoners to the "big house" from the stables for a drink. Being a big dumb American, I didn't think  much of it. I did wonder why our local man, the illustorious Mike McCrave was so nervous about it. It turns out inviting commoners down to the big house is great sport for the elite.


Here's how it goes. Commoners get cleaned up and walk down to the big house, awkwardly ring the door bell and then are greeted with a stiff combination of irritation and disdain. Commoners then get whisked off to a safe room, in this case the game room, where we can be insulted by a drunk (shocker) family member. Commoners get warm drinks in peasant approved glassware. Don't bother looking for a seat, you won't be there long. Then the games begin, the elite serve up a volley of snide and condescending comments about shit they know nothing of. In this case, the McNab Hunt, cougar hunting in the USA, hunting in Africa. Finally, (28 minutes later) high roller coughs uncomfortably signaling we commoners to hit the bricks. The game ends with us shuffling up the driveway shaking our heads, and I guess the high-rollers feeling better about themselves somehow.

This is the moment, I'm very proud to be an American. If a high-roller American invites me into his or her home, it's because they want me there and I'll be treated in a friendly and respectful manner. If we're all hunters then it's even more this way. As we left Mr. McCrave indicated that this scenario was exactly what he expected, so I decided I needed a better title for the rest of my time here in the U.K. I'm now not so officially signing my name and introducing myself as "Count Chocula."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled venison loin in this recipe.Grilled Venison Loin with Caper-Mustard Sauce Recipe Recipes

Grilled Venison Loin with Caper-Mustard Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled...

These trail cameras feature the latest wireless technology.The Best Cellular Trail Cameras for 2020 Optics

The Best Cellular Trail Cameras for 2020

Tony J. Peterson - July 09, 2020

These trail cameras feature the latest wireless technology.

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the new, feature-packed Model 2020 Waypoint bolt-action rifle.New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See Guns

New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See

Petersen's Hunting Staff - September 29, 2020

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the...

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this tick-transmitted problem.Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat News

Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

For your redneck brother who is about to make the biggest mistake of his life is blessed enough toRedneck Bachelor Party is a Blast Stories

Redneck Bachelor Party is a Blast

Awesome Rednecks - September 23, 2013

For your redneck brother who is about to make the biggest mistake of his life is blessed...

What is the biggest driver of anti-hunting propaganda in recent years? HSUS? PETA? WWF? All goodProtecting Our Image in the Digital Age Stories

Protecting Our Image in the Digital Age

Mike Schoby - July 01, 2016

What is the biggest driver of anti-hunting propaganda in recent years? HSUS? PETA? WWF? All...

No longbeards, but entertainment aplenty with forming Texas tornado!Texas Turkey Hunting With a Spring "Twist" Stories

Texas Turkey Hunting With a Spring "Twist"

Lynn Burkhead - April 27, 2020

No longbeards, but entertainment aplenty with forming Texas tornado!

If there's anything we rednecks love more than our women, beer and country music, it's gotta be ourThe Redneck Mini-Pickup-Van Stories

The Redneck Mini-Pickup-Van

Awesome Rednecks - September 09, 2013

If there's anything we rednecks love more than our women, beer and country music, it's gotta...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now