Melissa Volpi discovers first hand the excitement of driven game shooting in one of the striking parts of Scotland.
An image of an osprey which misjudged the size of the trout it was hunting – so much so that the trout fought back and managed to pull the osprey under the water – sets the scene for the truly beautiful Kinpurnie castle in Angus. At first glance it is serene, surrounded by trees dappled with early autumn hues of red and yellow and overlooking a mirror-perfect loch full of rainbow trout. At this time in the morning it is perfectly quiet until the water erupts into action. I can only imagine the potential and excitement the driven shoot ahead of me holds.
It has just gone 6:30am. Craig and Alana Downie (dressed in a kilt and tweeds respectively) pull on their wellies, hurriedly gulp their tea and head out to the kennels. At the call of their names, ‘Ruby’, a black Lab and ‘Teal’, a Cocker Spaniel come bounding to the door. The couple head to their vehicles with the dogs – Craig to his 4×4 pickup and Alana to her Polaris Ranger. They head up the farm track, stopping at the sight of Land Rover headlights up front. John Wellington, the estate under keeper, hops out and greets them in a whisper.