Guest Blog – Macnab Challenge with Links House Dornoch

Jon Tainton booked his Macnab Challenge through Links House hotel in Dornoch. He was accompanied by his wife Rebecca throughout the 3-night stay.

The package included a full day of training the day before the actual Macnab – fly fishing on the Upper Brora river system in the morning and an afternoon of rifle and clay pigeon shooting at the Highland Shooting Centre.

The conditions for the Macnab on Saturday 26 September were good, with the exception of very low water levels. The Langwell Estate in Caithness provided the venue for this iconic country sports challenge – a superb sporting estate with highly professional staff. Estate Manager Anson guided Jon on the river and a salmon was hooked and netted by 9am.

The entourage then headed off for the deer stalking and grouse phases with Head Keeper James and his son John, with Pointer (Dan) and Black Labrador (Rocky). After just 90 minutes of stalking, a faint shot was heard. Rebecca and myself, along with Jon in the argocat were called up the hill. There lying in the heather was a fine-looking 14 pointer stag. Not bad for a first deer!

After a brief lunch break, we headed off for the final phase, which was anticipated to be the most difficult. After two hours of walking with Dan the pointer in the lead, a lone bird was shot. A further 90 minutes later, three birds rose. Jon used both barrels on the bird to the right. It flew on, towered and then fell from the sky. We all watched from 300 yards, as Rocky found the bird.


Jon had done it – having never before pursued any of these 3 species. It was an amazing culmination to a very exciting day.

Alastair Kennedy – Links House Hotel

Links House
Golf Road
IV25 3LN
Tel: 01862 810279
Email: info@linkshousedornoch.com

Comments on this post

Got something to say? Leave a comment