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Thread: Mission impossible? cwd and muntjac

  1. #1

    Mission impossible? cwd and muntjac

    First of all apologies for the lack of paragraphs my computer is misbehaving! Due to a clients ill health I had a cancellation a couple of months ago due to ill health, it was booked for 3 days for 1 client,1 buck cwd and one buck muntjac. I posted as such on sd and a prospective client contacted me with a view to booking but for 3 people for a buck of each and only two days, i explained this was a tall order but we will try our best as always. Our last 22 stalks on foot have yielded 19 deer so there is a chance. The clients arrived early yesterday so this was a bonus as we could get out straight away, the day was glorious with no wind and the hint of spring was in the air with the blackthorn showing signs of imminent life. The plan was to skirt the thick hedgerow boundaries before dropping into the woodland and then if unsuccessful drawing out again into the grassland at the woodland edge . As we edged down the outside spinney in the shade of the overhanging hazels the deer started to emerge from the hedges and woodland that could be seen from our slightly elevated position,11 in total. Most were unstalkable as we would be spotted long before a shot would present itself but one particularly good buck was approachable by going out wide into the field and using a hedge as cover we should get within range. We left the other two stalkers at the vantage point and approached the hedge , I quietly as possible slipped down into the ditch trying not to disturb last years nettle stumps and pulled myself up the other side, rifle in hand ready for the stalker to follow. I tentatively peered into the field, no buck!! We returned to the other two stalkers who had watched the whole episode, the buck had not seen us but the pigeons which had seen us had unsettled him and he had returned to the woodland just prior to me entering the ditch. Unperturbed we pushed on into the woodland, immediately on entering the woodland two deer flushed from the low cover another barked continuously safely hidden by the dense black thorn. we continued but the pigeons which had now come into roost continued to clatter from the spindly ashes after our every step. we decided to push on as light was beginning to fade, muntjac continued to flush as we gathered pace. As we approached the grassland we spied two muntjac one buck,, one doe grazing at about 60 yards another 10 yards we would of had a clear shot. To our advantage a line of plastic hay bales was between us and them everything looked perfect until an unsighted deer in the woodland gave its alarm call. The buck wary of the barking ambled off out of sight whilst the doe stood motionless but alert. We continued along the grassland and another muntjac was spotted with its white tail disappearing back into the thicket however under a small spruce another could be seen silhouetted, I slowly raised the binoculars, I could see it was a good buck and my client using me as cover got the sticks up and was in position. Broad side the deer dropped instantly to reveal a lovely silver medal buck with good brow times and a matching set of unchipped teeth. With handshakes all round we returned to the vehicle with darkness now upon us, one down five to go! I picked up the clients this morning, they were not looking as fresh as yesterday perhaps something to do with the fact that the village b and b is next to the local hostelry! We drove back to my farmhouse one mile away and stalked along woodland edges we spotted six deer in 20 minutes but all muntjac within range were does however as we rounded one corner two deer were spied at approximately 500 yards, one was ten yards out into the wheat field the other on a rushy ditch line 200 yards from the nearest cover. Getting within range of the first deer, it was a nice cull buck we crawled the last ten yards to get a clear shot, number two in the bag. At this point the buck on the rushy ditch made the fatal mistake of coming back in our direction, I called up stalker number two as quickly as possible as the deer trotted back towards safety. With the client unsure of his prone position and the distance of the shot (140 yards) I lay crossways so that he could use my back as a more stable rest as we did have the advantage of a bipod on his rifle. The shot was perfect and revealed to be a buck just under bronze medal, three down three to go! Sometimes, in fact all the time in stalking, especially on foot you need the luck and certainly this morning we had it, one hour into stalking and two in five minutes. Bring on the Chinese!! pictures to follow and the write up on the cwd
    Last edited by muntjacstalker; 14-03-2015 at 13:36.

  2. #2
    Nice J. Hope to get down there again before the end of your season. Did I leave my fleece in your vehicle on Thursday?

  3. #3
    Hi h,yes I have your fleece,just got in from stalking,will give a full write up tom when I have some time,j

  4. #4
    Can't wait for the next wright up!

  5. #5
    Well done Jase . Always a pleasure to stalk with you . All the best Kev

  6. #6
    When things are going so well things can only get worse!!! So on Saturday we travelled to one of our 5 cwd areas,on the plus side one of the clients had stated that his ambition in stalking was to get a muntjac,having got the silver medal he wished his friends to have priority on the cwd,so for him a cwd was not a must.As we arrived the wind was building and rain threatened,however this is a sheltered spot where cwd come for refuge from the fields and is a mixture of mature oak woodland,shelter belts and young plantations of young saplings,it comprises of about 100 acres but is usually a banker.The current british record cwd was shot in here and always has produced good bucks consistently, in here last week after cull animals we had seen 3 really good bucks.As we 1st entered the plantations a cwd appeared which I did not spot but my client did but it had also spotted us and disappeared into the saplings.The wind swirled and we struggled to keep it to our advantage but within 10 mins we had a really good buck on a ride lass than 40yds away,however giving the close proximity we waited until it hopefully moved to a better position,this was not to be as although unaware of our presence it retuned back into the dense vegetation.In the next hour we saw another 16 deer incuding 2 muntjac but either they were juveniles or does or we were spotted 1st,each deer consumed much of our time as we stalked in and then checked for visible teeth.The plan had been to try here and then go to a adjoining 500 acres of open farmland which is best stalked at dusk but time was now against us and I decided to back track where we had been previously.At this point I will add that the following part of my account I could of omitted but these things happen and I have always given honest articles and although it crossed my mind of course, my integrity will not allow me to omit the true facts.So as we rounded a corner to view 2 rides split down the middle by a gapy thorn and bramble hedge ,one cwd our side another on the other,we concentrated on the more visible but with its head down it seemed a age before it raised its head but facing the wrong way,my client at this point shuffled to my position sticks at the ready and offered to view with his x25 scope as my arms were aching holding up the binos as I dare not move,eventually it manoeuvred to a position in the ride where we both agreed no teeth were evident.We now had a dilemma in that if we disturbed this one ,the other would surely bolt as it was only 10yds the other side of the hedge but fortunately for us the 1st cwd went through the hedge and joined the other.We crept through the shallow ditch and hedge to view the 2nd deer,i instructed the client to concentrate on the left hand one as the right hand one had been viewed thoroughly,i could see no teeth but with light fading it was difficult even though they were less than 50yds away.Then the unexpected happened,a shot rang out and the deer jumped and leapt into the cover,my client apparently thought at some point I had said shoot,the consequent conversation was a embarrassing one for us both as he was deeply apologetic and having spent the last 24hrs with him I knew that he was a genuine guy with genuine remorse,maybe it was a language issue I don't think we will ever know but it hasn't happened before ,the shot was 100% safe so looking back now its just one of those things that I don't wish to happen again.Things got worse,the deer could not be found and despite 3 of us searching for over 2 hours and on hands and knees following a blood trail which petered out after 60yds eventually we had to concede that we would return in daylight to resume the search.We were all confident it would be dead but it still weighed heavy on my mind as I drove homeward.The following morning at 5am we drove out again,my client from the previous evening insisted that he and his friend would be dropped off to search for the deer whilst I continued on with the other stalker to another piece of ground we have of approx 800 acres of undulating farmland interspersed with coppices and gamecover. As we arrived in the cattleyard I commented that often the deer entered the farmyard as often there are slots although I had never seen the deer there.As we pulled up in the gloom to our usual parking spot a cwd stood in our headlights briefly before running back into the rolling wheatfields.We waited for about ten minutes until the night gave way to semi daylight,after 30yds from the vehicle we could see 2 cwd approx 400 yards away but the space between us and them was too open,another could be seen grazing in front of us against a hedge but to reach this one would mean going in the opposite direction and then crossing the oilseed rape to the hedge and then following it up downwind of the deer.We set off at a strong pace ,eyes alert at all times trying not to make that fatal mistake of missing others as we rush to get to our intended target.As we reached the hedge we spied another on the same hedge towards the direction we were headed anyway,the hedge was thick and we struggled to see through as we got towards being level to where we had last seen it ,but a good gap was less than 10yds away so if it hadn't already seen us , then we should be within range.As we neared the gap so did the deer as our eyes met as it came through,instantly it span around and was gone.We continued up the hedge to a huge pile of dung ,my client commented it was the tallest pile of s**t he had ever seen.But it was a great vantage point and I clambered up alone and sure enough the deer was still there but had started to meander off but steadily.Descending rapidly back to the client we crossed 20yds to a intersecting hedge and dropped to our bellies and crawled the last 10yds.The deer was in front of us ,teeth were seen but the opportunity was fading as it continued to walk away from us but as it reached another hedge at approx 100yds it turned to present the shot,The client had a ideal rest on a elder bush as I hung back with the spotting scope trained on the buck,the shot seemed good but the deer ran through the hedge,i scrambled up as fast as I could and with the memory of the previous evening fresh in my mind I ran as fast as I could to the point of impact.My haste was unneeded as the buck lay motionless just 5yds away,a nice bronze medal and a very happy client. The day had started well but a text revealed the other two were still searching.We drove back to pick them up,they were already standing by the road and they had found the deer,what a relief.We must of missed it by yards last night unfortunately something else had found it too as the pictures he showed me confirmed that not a lot could be salvaged but the important thing was that it was dead and not suffering.We didn't lose any deer last season and I wanted that to get through this one the same.I dropped the clients back for breakfast at the b and b ,went straight to play football and scored the opening goal,won 4-0,met mother for a mothers day walk and then returned to the clients.The day was looking much better now!! We set off to another piece of ground of ours,this is approx 700 acres again with rolling fields with spinneys.My client this time was the same as last nights as his main target for the trip was a medal cwd and without one last night he was keen to return home with one.The first field had 2 cwd the second 3,the third 2(one very large buck but laying down unapproachable),the 4th one.the 5th 1 plus we disturbed two as we past a small woodland.All the spotting for teeth had taken time and once again we were running out of daylight,i wanted to get to the rape fields before to long as I reckoned on about 30mins of stalking time was left,i had seen 3 bucks there last week.We didn't make the rape fields as on our way we passed a large boggy area where a jack snipe and a woodcock lifted as we passed.A fox strolled out too but was soon unsighted amongst the bulrushes,then a juvenile or doe appeared but she kept looking over her shoulder back into the rushes .Another deer appeared from the dark mass of cover and a spotting scope was not needed,teeth were evident and quite a large set.Sticks up,we waited until it passed a thin willow and a shot could present itself but it was heading for another patch of rushes so I chanced a shout.It seemed a age from the shout to the boom but the strike was good and a fantastic gold medal was grassed.What a weekend,great company,great stalking and all happy despite the incident! My apologies for any spelling mistakes and for thankyou for taking the time to read.Wishing you all the best,jason@ muntjacstalker.Pics will follow as I have to remember how to upload them and my phone had a long day on sunday and ran out so I am awaiting the pictures from the client of the gold cwd Photos now on my gallery.
    Last edited by muntjacstalker; 17-03-2015 at 10:49.

  7. #7

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Hi Guys,

    I have just come back from 4 stalks with Jason for cull does & what a fantastict trip we had. If anyone wants to go for muntjac stalking then this is the man. Great ground, hospitality, knowledge & loads of deer. We must have seen 20-30 deer on each stalk. The first deer we saw was a gold medal buck. We ended up with 4 does for 4 stalks which was fantastic. I have already booked to go back again next year for cull does & a cull buck this time.

    Thanks again Jason.

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