As some of you may recall Monkey Spanker auctioned an afternoon stalking which was kindly donated by Henry Skeffington of Real Big 5 - All proceeds went to BLESMA. A further generous offer by MS to stalk some of his ground in Suffolk was also on the cards once I had been with Henry (write up to follow after this). After speaking to both MS and Henry a day was organised. I turned up at Wretton Hall on 28th February where Henry lives at 2 in the afternoon to be greeted by Henry for what could be hoped to be a good afternoon. We were after a Roe Doe which was part of his cull plan. We left the house on search for a deer. Henry explained to me that it was possible to shoot 3 specie of deer on his land, red, roe and muntjac - there had also been a potential siting of CWD on the border of his land. As we drove through the estate it was evident there were plenty of deer about with 5 being spotted in the first field. Henry was after a two particular animals if we got the chance - a mature doe and a yearling which weren't in very good condition. Henry had a rough idea where these two could be. After glassing the fields Henry had spotted the mature Roe which we were after. It was perfectly situated in a dip in the land where we hoped to stalk up the slight hill and then have a safe shot down into the dip. Unfortunately not all went to plan, by the time we had stalked up the rise in the land the deer had moved out of the dip next to a conifer plantation and some scrub. Although the distance of the shot was in range, unfortunately this was prevented by the scrubby bushes and plants. Henry thought the best plan was to lay prone on the mound in the hope that the deer would come out of the scrub and offer the shot. Time ticked by and darkness was closing in, with little light left Henry gave me the option to either wait for longer or to stalk closer into the animals, I chose the latter. We traced back our footsteps and went around the mound in the attempt to catch them off guard at a different angle, unfortunately our presence was noted and they were off in a flash.
With even less time available now Henry thought the best plan was to go around the plantation and down the farm track to see if we could intercept the yearling which he had been watching the last couple of days - it had been in a similar area. Off we went spotting more and more deer but unfortunately our yearling had not appeared. Henry said that at the end of the track on the left hand side was a bank with scrub, often roe were seen here. The end of the track was nearing with my heart rate beating faster by the minute. Henry lead the way, at the end of the track Henry glassed the bank and spotted the yearling. Game on. I got myself into a shootable position and opened up the quad sticks (purchased from Limulus on the SD). The adrenaline was pumping and I was shaking like a leaf, I positioned the 243 on the sticks and slowly squeezed the trigger. The yearling dropped, I was ecstatic, my first roe doe and my first off the sticks (all shot prior to this had been taken from a high seat) - The range finder measured the deer at 114 yards. It was a brilliant afternoon with a great finale.
A thank you to MS for auctioning the stalk on SD, a worthy charity as well as offering me a stalk (as I said, write up to follow soon). A further big thank you to Henry for donating the stalk, a hugely knowledgable guy with a cracking bit of ground and with plenty of deer present - would certainly recommend. Thanks again.