Invite down to Martins this evening and to a place near the Mendips that he has .Cracking evening with sunshine and a bit of breeze that obliged by blowing the right way for a change. Arrived at 1800 ,parked up and headed out to the small fields on the boundary that were covered in freshly spread slurry!
I made a mental note that we wouldnt see anything here but just as well i never said anything because approaching the boundary i stopped dead to watch not one but five does single file away through the hedge .No buck attending so no worries there .Good ,however to see them this end of the ground for a change .Onwards into the wind this time along a green lane ,glassing back up the fields as we went ,expecting at every turn to see deer but we had to wait til we got up the far end before bumping another two does lead along a hedge back.They ran to the lane and over the boundary and away .Peered through the next hedge to see two more does unspooked but filing through a gap.Nine does no buck so far ?
Martin suggested we stand and wait for a while overlooking a nice patch of sunshine and we didnt have long to wait .An old doe came through a gap in the hedge followed by a yearling doe and another deer which ,although it had all the doe characteristics the ass patch was that of a buck but no antlers .I studied it for a long time whilst it grazed along the hedge .The young doe came out into the field and we watched her for long enough to realise the legs were getting numb.
The scenario was decided for us when i spotted a deer coming out on the slope above us followed by another and four more,all does .Glassing these i picked out the head of a buck in some holly bushes ,waiting i think for the light to fade before venturing out . He looked a big animal but how big was to be revealed later .With disappearing light ,the time was now to stalk in on him as he was skylined and still a good way off.We first had to persuade the trio in front of us that downhill was the prefered route ,something we managed with a bit of deft footwork.A stalk along and up a hedgerow was in order to get a better look with does in full view all the time .Seven sets of eyes on us but we made the corner of the L shaped field to glass the buck who was by now sat down but on the ridge of the slope .We watched for another age with little hope of me getting the shot when he got up and slowly walked down the slope at an angle to take him amongst the does ,skylined now and then but not stopping .We ourelves were skylind to the deer as there is another ,steeper slpoe behind us and he paused to take us in his gaze for a while before deciding we were OK and moved on going uphill now .the time really was getting on and i knew any whistle would spook the lot so i waited onsticks for that moment .it came ,i fired and he raced back to the wood from whence he came .I knew the shot was good but he went out of view quickly .Martin went to where he was shot while i made my way to where he disappeared .A rustle in the hedge took me to a fast expiring buck ,a true monster of the species .The bullet had unfortunately took a bad path.Instead of straight through the chest cavity it had hit a rib and travelled down and back to exit beneath the stomach and had passed through the left side back leg ,its a wonder he made ground at all as the lungs were nothing but mush .The neck was the biggest ive seen on a roe and even gralloched he was a true lump.Antler wise he was a six but not matching his bulk ,going back a little maybe .Definately master of what he surveyed .The reason for the abundance on Martins ground became clear when we saw the sheep next door against the wood where the deer usually are out grazing. evenings .Martin took the kit back to his truck whilst i struggled the beast to a collection point .
Next morning after head and legging him he weighed a staggering 58 pound 7 ounces .