Well after along period of intermittent success I ventured out at 5am on Wednesday morning to the permission.
An absolutely beautiful morning with just a breath of wind.
Arrived at the permission at 5:40, as I pull in I stopped and put my rifle together and then drove on.
A cracking morning where you can smell and hear the wildlife moving about and getting on with life.
As I'm pulling into the area I clock some movement to my right and there in the plantation is a buck. When I stop he barks and is off - but hopefully not to far. So out I jump and get the rifle out and move up. I spot a doe about 60yds off and watch her move warily for a minute or two but no sign of the buck.
So I duck down and run back to the motor and get the sticks. Back up the track and I'm running up to the junction of two track, all the time looking over to the right to see if there are any signs of the two beasts.
Suddenly I spot the buck (definitely a ninja buck as he appears in the middle of open ground as if by magic). He's at the bottom of a small rise so a good back stop. On to the sticks and bugger he's starting to move. What do I do? Starting to fumble for the buttolo but at takes to long so I pretend to be another buck and bark. Brilliant he stops broadside at about 90yds and looks my way.
Shot on and the bullets away 6am
Oh c**p no indication that he was hit either by sight or sound but he bounds backwards and he's off!
Reload and wait a couple of minutes but there's no sign, so back to the motor and drive up to the spot.
Got out of the motor and move up to the spot Oh Phooeew no sign of a strike but the doe is standing about 40-50yds over the rise and there's signs of the grass being crushed not on a usual track so decide to follow this. (This is where I miss my dog Jasper that got run over and killed back in Feb). 20yds on and there's the first sign of blood on the grass alleluia!
Keep following the track and after another 20yds there's the buck a nice 6ptr maybe just below a bronze.
Shot was good but placement left a wee bit to be desired - just behind the shoulder but it hit a rib on the way in and went diagonally right through the liver and top of the gut
By now, because of the warm damp morning the midgies are out in force, so I recover the beast to the motor and drive on to the main part of the ground hoping for a slight breeze to gralloch it.
I stop at the place where I buried my wee pal Jaspy and pay my respects and tell him of my success this beautiful morning and wish that he was still about.
Back into the motor and drive up another 250yds and get out to see if I can spot a new high seat that's been put up before I gralloch the buck.
For whatever reason I decide to take the rifle and set off.
As I come out of a dip created by the site investigation drilling rig, I'm aware of movement to my right.
I stop and immediately spot the back of a beast that is grazing in a wee dip about 50yds away.
So I start setting up the sticks and just as I put the gun on the sticks they may a clicking sound and the beast looks up.
Great it's another buck and he's quarter on to me going left to right and all I can see is from the base of the neck up.
Shot is on as I'm higher up and looking at the ground behind the buck and the bullets away 6:40am
This time no doubt - solid whump of a definite strike and the buck drops immediately.
Reload, wait a couple of minutes and walk in.
This time it's a 4ptr but decent size nonetheless.
Placement is good through the rhs of the neck and exiting by the left shoulder
So quick jog back to the motor to grab Poppins roe sack and back to the buck.
By the time I get the buck into the sack my eyes are starting to close over from the number of midgie bites I'm getting and that's after the Avon's skin so soft being liberally applied.
A quick stop for a photo and then off home for some piriten and to gralloch and butcher the animals.
Apart from my first buck this is the best outing I've ever had