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Thread: first ever roe buck, and a second with a cherry on top

  1. #1

    first ever roe buck, and a second with a cherry on top

    After recently passing my dsc1 I was a bit apprehensive for my first proper stalk. I磎 sure we all have the same little nagging thoughts in the back of our mind as you go out for the first time. Would there be deer at all? Will I get a proper shot at it before it runs of? Please let it drop nicely and peacefully, just imagine having to track your first deer down due to a less than ideal shot! Must not forget to flick the switch to safety 创off创 before EASING into trigger. Will I suffer from the bambi syndrome? Will the anti磗 booby trap my high seat and make it fall over? I know some are perhaps a little bit more farfetched and ridiculous than others...

    But finally the long awaited weekend was there!
    I had decided to book a nice long weekend with a few different stalks, both to optimize my chances and to get the most out of the trip to Scotland. Going for a stalking guide with years of experience I hoped to ensure I would be able to get plenty of expertise and soak up as much inside tips hints and tricks as possible! (something I can thoroughly recommend everyone as stalking is as much art as science). Plus if in any doubt you have an instant reliable second opinion if need be, local knowledge of the ground and safe backdrops of course is also paramount.

    Weather wise it was quite warm, twenty plus so after cooking in the car for 7 hours I was glad to arrive at the local hotel, a quick phone call to the stalker to confirm the alarm clock time (3:30, that would hurt) a quick shower and asking the reception to NOT lock the front door and of to bed. After NOT sleeping for 4 hours the alarm finally went and it was time to sneak out and try and outwit some little deer! I had already seen some nice ground to stalk over (I磎 sure we all get that odd subconscious 创tick创 that you cannot look at a nice woodland without thinking I bet there is some nice stalking there!) and was happily surprised by our first stop. A couple of 100 acres of rough fields adjoining woodlands with no one in sight. The air was still crisp and cool and as quiet as it can be that early in the morning. Apart from the occasional owl the world still seemed very much asleep and blissfully unaware, the grass softly crunched under my boots as we made our way along a low stone wall to sneakily peek over the top occasionally. In the far field there was a nice hare munching on some grass and the sheep and cows in a nearby field were laying dotted about. Straining my eyes through the binoculars I did not really see anything but my guide pointed out that what I initially thought was a rock was actually a roe laying down in the heather about 180 yards out. A bit over my ideal first shot to be honest but after it stood up it turned out to be a young doe anyway (closed season). We watched it for about 15 minutes as we were hoping a buck would show up as doe磗 were seldom left unattended at that time of year my guide reminded me. Unfortunately she disappeared into the woods alone. Time to move and try our luck elsewhere! next stop was a really nice half open half wooded area with broom bushes dotted about and some nice sapling beech trees here and there. Basically there could be a deer behind every little corner! Making our way slowly across the field we got to the local high seat and climbed up for a quick view along the rest of the field. At first it seemed nothing was moving but the view was quite nice. Something however moved in the far end of the field (typical that you look at a spot for half an hour and the second you look away a deer appears!) my guide was instantly on it and identified it as a little buck! unfortunately it moved along a gate away from the open area so we quickly got out of the high seat (nice little metal noises as the metal ladder moved under our weight) we slowly moved through a boggy bit and made our way towards would be deer and positioned us along its suspected path about 100 yards out. my guide could see the little buck first but unfortunately it was still obscured from my view by a little tree, slowly moving over one step...and another I put the rifle on the sticks and yes... there was angry barking from our right side by the doe we never even noticed. she must have gotten a bit of wind from us and was fairly outspoken in her malcontent of our presence. Needless to say our little buck instantly followed suit and that buggered our chances. As we overplayed our hand we decided to try another little spot. On the way there we spotted another deer in a field and pulled over to try and get a bit closer. We saw it going into the undergrowth and I was fairly certain I had seen an anal tush but wasn磘 certain so we crept a bit closer in. The deer had decided to have a nice snooze and chew down under a high seat (talking about the perfect hiding place...) we got within about 35 yards but when she put her head up to look at us it turned out to be a little doe, she quickly bolted of and again no buck to be seen anywhere. long story short, good stalking practice as we saw 7 deer that day but all doe磗 apart from the little buck in the morning. unusual for the time of year we did not see any bucks following them. Day 2 was an unusual day as we did not see any deer even on the planes or higher up, apparently that was the case for multiple spots in Scotland that day, but had a few nice walks and let's just say the midges did have a successful stalk!

    As all good things must come to an end the final evening was there, and it was a proper downpour unfortunately! not really fancying getting utterly soaking wet and probably not seeing any deer about anyway we decided to 创hide high and dry创 in the high seat we had seen the initial buck from. Not really expecting much we climbed in. Although it was my last outing I was not really disappointed as we had seen plenty of deer and let's be honest if it was that easy there would be no sport or challenge in it anyway. While I was enjoying a few little anecdotes I suddenly saw a roe buck coming out of the growth on the forests edge. I quickly got it in my sights but it did not present nicely broadside. It clearly was not in a rush as it decided to chew a bit of brambles, fray the broom bush a bit and literally shook its ass at me a bit in defiance (ok I probably imagined that but it seemed like that). After a few minutes it did turn to present a shot but before I could take a shot there SUDDENLY was an uncontrollable itch on its side that needed to be scratched/ bitten. Having no shot I took a new breath in and out and abided my time for now. After a few good scratches apparently the itch was successfully dealth with, he took a few more steps and stopped long enough to inspect a tasty morsel....and for me to build the pressure on the trigger. And then shot was there...I was pretty sure it went down instantly but quickly reloaded before checking. My guide had seen it go down and there was no movement to be seen. We gave it a little time and I went down to find the little buck had fallen on the spot. And so the first roe buck was in the bag!

    We quickly did the gralloch and fairly chuffed I got back up in the high seat. Not really expecting to see anything else we just enjoyed the view but in the corner a fox came running in (smelling the gralloch?) but before I could zero it in it passed our walk line and decided that perhaps a midnight snack might be safer in the end and disappeared again. Would have been a nice bonus but well the day had already been good. Another couple of minutes passed and suddenly out of almost the same spot where the first roe had come from a second buck appeared! It moved a bit faster just behind a little beech sapling and munched a bit on the greens, I could see a nice broadside shot as it was exposed between head and legs but as I had to shoot between two beech branches I decided to wait a bit (pretty sure I would hit the mark at 60 meters but in case I was going to miss a god awful ricochet was not worth the risk). The deer munched for another 10 minutes and then moved behind the little tree and that was it! It could move on from there without us seeing it but I was hoping it would reappear soon. But it didn磘, I was just about to concede defeat after 30 minutes when it reappeared again on the other side of the tree. It probably had just hunched down out of the weather happily chewing. one step and the head and neck were clear, another and the front leg was there, another 2 steps and it was in full view. It looked around and when looking towards us the bullet left the barrel. It however did not drop on the spot but shot forward 2 steps behind a few other brushes. Fairly happy distance and placement wise I will admit that there was an inappropriate word from my mouth as I reloaded. I should also apologize to my poor guide as he had not seen the deer emerge from his position yet (for once I spotted a deer before him) and was not expecting a shot :-). I did not see the deer run out from cover anywhere and after waiting for a while decided that a closer look was warranted. Luckily enough the deer had not gone far and had fallen just after 2 steps behind the shrubs (with half a hearth and exploded lungs it would not have gone that far in hindsight). And there you go, a second buck that appeared from where the first one came and in the end it fell almost at the same spot even! I would like to assume they were battling over the territory or something rather than a random coincidence but whatever it was,....

    That fox had a feast that night for sure!

    And I slept like a baby for the first time in 3 nights...

    Many thanks to my guide for a wonderfull weekend stalking, and for his patience and knowledge.

  2. #2
    Very nice write-up and congratulations, sounds like you had a more than worthwhile trip.

  3. #3
    Enjoyed reading that Martin , it payed off to be patient in the end , its strange how things work out we stalked all the area i thought we might see a boar at dusk but saw nothing , 3 days later in a different area with a client we walked right on to 2 out in a field
    Good weekend thou
    Thanks again
    Zeiss Pro Stalker and Agent for Starlght Night Vision

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