As I mentioned in another post, the Danish roe buck season started yesterday, so myself and two other members of our consortium were out yesterday morning bright and early. Unfortunately we didn't see any bucks, we did see few does though, which at least got the blood pumping until they were positively identified. I heard five shots within the first hour of sunrise though, so a few people were definitely lucky!
I was up again this morning at the ungodly hour of 02:45. Our lease isn't too far away, but I had to get the dogs fed and walked before I left. I arrived at the farm at 04:15, and was just getting my boots on when Jimmy arrived, the other lad couldn't make it today, so we could pretty much please ourselves as to which beats we took. I decided to sit in one of our high seats which is placed in a wide dividing strip between two fields, as I hadn't yet tried it out.
To get there I decided to walk along the road and cut throough the edge of the rape field rather going cross country all the way, as I wanted to disturb the deer as little as possible. Just as I was getting close to the rape field a roe doe walked out and stopped at the edge of the road. I got my camera out and tried to get a photo, but before I could get any closer a scooter drove past which scared the doe into running across the road. Positive I thought, as it showed that there definitely were deer in the area.
Sunrise found me sittting there getting rather windswept, as I tried my best to keep an eye on both the field in front and the one behind me too. Two hours later I was still windswept, but now I was getting bored, and was really starting to regret not wearing more layers. So I decided to get out of the high seat and try stalking the rape field, just on the off chance.
At first I tried stalking along the tractor tracks to some of the bare patches in the field where I thought the roe might be sunning themselves, but had to give it up as a bad job, as the rape had grown over the tracks, and I was making far too much noise. 'Instead I went out to the edge of the field and slowly walked down with the wind in my face, and my binos up constantly. On a sweep over the bottom of the field where there is a large bare squarish patch, I saw what I thought was a roe head just at the edge of the rape. Yep, definitely. Couldn't see if it was a buck or a doe though.
I half crouched, to lower my head below the height of the rape, and continued slowly on for another 30-40 metres. A quick peep over the top, and yes the roe was still there, and what was that? Was there one more just inside the rape?
I high crawled the next 20 metres, before the height of the crops necessitated that I low crawled instead. Another quick peep, and yes there were definitely two deer. I still couldn't see if any of them were bucks though. As I bellied along between the rows of rape I heard a distinctive noise. Bugger I've dropped my knife! Never mind, I won't need it till after the shot anyway. I crawled on getting closer to the edge of the bare patch. I remembered that I had a face veil in my pocket and put it on to hide my face. Then my binos were in the way. I'll just leave them, by the time I get to the edge of the crops I'll be close enough to see without them. WRONG!
Almost at the edge and sliding along, slowly keeping my eye on the deer. They were still lying down, one at the edge and one just behind the first row of rape, but was that antlers I could see? Bugger! Where were my binoculars?
Nothing else for it, but to use my riflescope (I know it's a DSC1 failure...). Hmmm... I still wasn't sure. Perhaps I'd get a better look when they stood up. The waiting seemed to go quite quickly, but I think it was over half an hour. First one, then the other stood up and started to graze.
As they'd moved they were in the wrong position for a shot, and I could risk a stray shot going over the boundary. Nothing else for it, but to crawl into the open area, and hope that A it really was a buck, and B that a safe shot presented itself. I crawled forward at a snail's pace, stopping every time it seemed like they lifted their heads. Finally 15 metres from the edge, I looked again. This time there was no mistaking the antlers, and he was presenting for the perfect broadside shot. Where were my earplugs? Probably somewhere behind me on my bizarre hunting paper chase. My heart started pounding like a bass drum as buck fever took hold. I sank the rifle and rested my head on the ground till I'd controlled my excitement. A few seconds passed and I looked up again. He'd moved, and I'd missed the chance, at least for now. A few moments passed and he turned again. I raised the rifle sighted on the engine room and squeezed the trigger.
He jumped once, ran two metres, fell on his back and kicked his legs.
Phew! I waited a few minutes and walked forward to where I thought the shot site was. Nothing. I went left, I went right. Still nothing. A sinking feeling was starting to take hold, and I tried to remember if I'd coded the schweisshundfører (deer dog handler)'s number into my phone.
I turned away, and there was the buck! Down and definitely out. The exit wound was clearly visible, and it was obvious that the heart had been hit.
So my first for the season, and number four in total. I'm really quite pleased even though it's not the world's biggest buck, it was my first proper stalk, and also my first deer with the Krico, so all in all it's been a day I won't forget in a hurry! Oh, and just to make things even better, shortly after I'd finished the gralloch I got an email telling me I'd won in the lottery! Only £4.50, but it'll pay for a pint!
My trophy wall is going to start looking pretty good (or at least a lot better than when I only had one!).