Having renewed an old trap line last week, it was satisfying to find that I had brought a large dog stoat to book this afternoon in the teeth of a raging southerly wind. He had the first white hairs of ermine starting to show up on his head and around his eyes, and the smell was quite something as I lifted him out of the trap. There are some good spots on this trap line, and one side of a track where the heather grows down over a bare step of peat always tends to yield results.
The stoat was so smelly that I had to leave him on the dyke as I went further off up the hill, but I made sure that I remembered to take him home. A taxidermist contact is always keen to take spare stoats, weasels and rats, and if nothing else there is always a market for stoat tails. I missed my chance at a sea trout this summer, but when I finally catch a monster in 2014, it will be on a silver stoat’s tail made from one of my own stoats.