Bound to the land by tradition, ghillies are unique to Scotland and have helped shape the nation’s rural identity.

On Scotland’s formidably wild Isle of Skye, there were hoof trails everywhere at first light. Trails in the mud, trails curving across the moorland, trails on the far side of the burn where they vanished into the murk of the pine forest. To the east, the land swooped uphill onto the ruggedly beautiful shoulder of Sgùrr a' Mhadaidh Ruaidh, with a vantage point over the Trotternish peninsula. West, and downhill from where Mitchell Partridge was standing, the loose contours of Glenhinnisdal valley dropped to Loch Snizort and the Isle of Skye’s coastline. There was a feeling of waiting for the stag rut to begin.

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