Frost on the ground (so no size 17 feet), not a cloud in the sky, and a stunning sunrise as nature woke up in Suffolk this morning.
I took the dog for a walk with the gun over my shoulder, in search of a Roe Doe to help finish off the cull plan for the year. Half an hour later I caught site of a couple of white backsides disappearing through a hedge about 500 yards away. I snuck up to the field entrance, sat the dog up and crawled forward.
In front of me, in the middle of the field at about 150 yds were 10 Roe. One big buck, two smaller bucks, three button bucks, two does and a couple of doe followers. I had quite some time to sit and watch as the wind was right and they had no idea I was there.
There was an obvious pairing of a Doe and doe follower so I decided they were the objectives. Follower first, Doe if I get the opportunity. First shot taken, they all pranced round in circles for a minute or so not having worked out what had happened - she dropped after a 10 yard flight rather than running very far - and then my Doe stopped. Two down.
Dog was a bit disappointed he didn't have any real work to do, but he got his treat anyway.
It is a real privilege to be able to do what we do, see the sights that we see and experience this country at it's best (without all the people about). I know you professionals probably have a slightly different view when you have to go to the hill in the pissing rain to achieve a number that someone sitting behind a desk has set you, but for us raving amateurs it is always a very special experience.