Sabs stay away in droves as hunters bag a bundle
IT IS feared that Selkirk branch of the Save The Haggis Association has been hit by a critical bout of apathy, following yet another saboteur free year.
Of course, another possible explanation is that they just don’t like the cold.
In any case, while they sat around the fire on Sunday, 170 hardy hunters braved the elements on Selkirk Hill, much to the horror of the local haggi population.
It was the annual Great Selkirk Haggis Hunt – and stalkers young and old, equipped with baggie nets, dogs and homemade weaponry, prepared for the annual cull ahead of the upcoming Burns Night celebrations.
It was a great turnout, one which impressed chief haggis hunter Jimmy Linton.
He told The Wee Paper: “I was thrilled at the turnout, given the weather. It just keeps getting better and better.
“It is all about the kids, of course, but some adults asked for badges and certificates for their children, when I know they don’t have any.”
The tartan-clad foragers warmed up with a tot of whisky in the town’s Market Place, before trudging through the snow, bolstered by the sound of the pipes and a makeshift bin drum.
When the crowd came in sight of the hill at the Argus Centre, the obligatory Haggis Polka was danced to the delightful tune from Riddell Fiddles. As tradition states, the rather awkward, haphazard moves in the dance are carefully choreographed to lull the haggi into a false sense of security.
Stewards were on hand to aid those with less than the required amount of grip in their boots gain some traction as the steeper parts of the hill made climbing tough. But haggis hunters are a sturdy bunch, and before too long, they were in position to begin the hunt. By now, their numbers had been bolstered to more than 240.
As the hill was covered in snow, tracking the beasts proved fairly easy, with paw-prints showing the way to where they were cowering in trees and bushes.
More than 20 were bagged, as well as a few ready meals and a couple of vegetarian options. Some eagle-eyed foragers even managed to unearth some tatties and neeps.
Then it was back to the hut, as the cermonial haggis was piped round three times, borne by Mr Linton, before it was addressed superbly by The Wee Paper’s deputy editor Bob Burgess.
The hard-working hunters then got a taste of the catch, along with another tot of the golden stuff, compliments of the Town Arms pub, where the party continued into the afternoon.
Due to hefty environmentally friendly capping legislation, there were a good few relieved haggi left on the hill, but as the popularity of the hunt increases, it may only be a temporary reprieve.
Mr Linton added: “I’d like to thank Lindsay Grieve the butcher for dispatching the beasts and the Town Arms for all their help, and everyone who came along to make it such a special day.”
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Weather for Selkirk
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east