Scotland has a rich hunting heritage and is one of the most sought after sporting destinations, attracting hunters, shooters and anglers from around the world looking for a Scottish sporting adventure. The dramatic glens, ancient forests, flowing rivers and lochs are the habitats for a vast range of species, and the setting for some of the most spectacular sport to challenge the boldest of hunters. The country is relatively small; it is only 274 miles from North to South and makes shooting and stalking very accessible. With more than 30,000 freshwater lochs and 6,600 river systems, anglers have a vast choice.
Each county is richly woven with centuries-old history, and many of the landscapes are strewn with castles and ancient ruins. The sporting traditions such as blessing the river with a whisky filled quaich, dragging red deer down from the hill with a garron or acknowledging the ‘Glorious Twelfth’, are all unmistakably Scottish and recognised the world over.
Hunting lodges have been part of the Scottish landscape for centuries, one of the oldest dates back to 1107 when royal hunting parties hunted wild cat, wolves, deer, wild boar and bears. Wealthy Edwardians and Victorians made Scotland their sporting playground. Many of those who flocked to Scotland were influenced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who bought Balmoral Castle and embraced the shooting, deer stalking and fishing.
Today, country sports tourism boosts the Scottish economy by £155m and is expected to reach £185 million by 2020. There is an estimated 4,400 working full time in the industry; 2,600 employed in shooting and stalking and 1,800 engaged in fishing. Continue reading →
Hunting, shooting and fishing contribute billions to the global economy. There are thousands of worldwide locations to visit, and a vast range of fur, feather and fin species to choose from. There are also many agents, outfitters, guides, consultants, operators and estates selling tailored packages to suit all budgets. If you are looking for a new destination for your next hunting, shooting or fishing adventure there is no escaping from the fact you will have to do lots of legwork. Whether it is a trip of a lifetime, working your way through a bucket list, or you fancy going further afield, you will likely spend countless hours trawling through a multitude of websites before you are able to collate your results and compare.
The Eagle Review is an international review and rating platform for thousands of worldwide shooting and fishing destinations. On the Eagle Review website, you can choose what you want to do and where you want to go. You can compare the destinations and read reviews to find out what other people have said about their experiences before you make your booking.
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Releasing a salmon back into the River Tay
Scotland has always been acknowledged as one of the top salmon fishing destinations and non fishing visitors identify the salmon as one of the iconic symbols of Scotland. Thousands of anglers travel to big salmon rivers like the Tay and the Tweed in the hope of landing the highly prized gleaming bar of silver. However, salmon numbers are continuing to decline, some suggest the decrease started more than 30 years ago. The days of catching 40lb leviathans are a rarity and anglers look for alternative fishing destinations outside the UK.
According to the Salmon and Trout Association (Scotland), marine survival of the salmon used to be 24% – 30%. Currently it is single figures. Fish will spend one, two or more years at sea before making their way back to their river of origin. The association has identified an ‘inexorably downward’ trend in fish numbers starting in the early 1970s with data showing a ‘severe fall’ from the late 1980s.
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Lady Angler Claire Mercer Nairne of Meikleour
In 1922, Miss Georgina Ballantine was fishing at Caputh on the Tay with her father, a ghillie, when she hooked a 64lb Salmon. She landed the largest Salmon ever caught with a rod and her record still stands to this day. Fishing was once viewed as a male dominated pastime however, over the years women have embraced the sport and put their stamp on it.
One of them is lady angler Claire Mercer Nairne who is a mother of 3 young children, a farmer’s wife and runs Meikleour Fishings in Perthshire. Claire and her husband, Sam, own the Meikleour estate. It was first established as a family business in 1362. Nowadays, the estate is around 4000 acres, 2000 of which are farmed directly and the remaining being forestry and tenancies. Carrots, potatoes and cereals are their main crops. In 2014, they took ownership of the Upper Islamouth and Meikleour stretch of the Tay.
Claire said: “I have a particular love for the river Tay, this is the first thing I see in the morning when I open my window, and a fascination for its iconic salmon.”
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