It may come as a bit of surprise to some on here, but as a full time deer manager/stalker/guide (whatever title you want to attach) I very rarely get to grass deer myself, as I am nearly always guiding clients. In fact last year I took two deer to my own rifle, one Fallow pricket for meat, and a Roe Buck with 3 legs, both from the same high seat.
As yet after more years stalking than I care to remember I have only taken one medal head of the UK species, and that is a Muntjac from Boughton Estate in Northants where my friend Roy Green was the keeper on the estate. In the past couple of years I have given some thought to try and grass a medal head of some if not all of the U.K. species for myself, although I have not gone out of my way to try to achieve this, but have left it until the right opportunity might present itself.
Such an opportunity might now be on the cards for a very nice Roe Buck on my area in West Sussex, and I thought it might be fun/interesting to put a write up together and see how things progress on this particular beast. Having spoke to a couple of close friends they are of the mind that I should treat myself and try for the buck, and so I have decided to try and get a shot at him this weekend before my two clients arrive to take a cull buck.
Before anyone claims that shooting good bucks is an heinous crime, I have at least 3 medal bucks showing at present so taking one of my ground is not going to make any difference.
The buck in question I have seen 4 times over a period of about 6 weeks, always in the same area, the last two times was two mornings running last weekend. Each time he has a doe or two in attendance, and he is coming out of a very large wood on the edge of the 2,500 acre estate I manage. My main problem is he is always on a field that has the wood at the far northern end, and the field has a large dip in the middle, with the ground rising up to the edge of the wood. The buck is never far from the wood edge and this weekend we got within about 120yds from him before several pigeons spoiled the whole thing. This was just to check him out, not to shoot him. From what I have seen of him he appears to have a very strong head, dark with good white tips and a good length which hopefully will put him in the medal class.
The western and eastern edges of the field are bordered by thick hedges and in particular on the eastern side by a long copse of very thick undergrowth called Badgers Copse. This leads up to and joins the wood the buck is coming from, furthermore the field narrows at the top and stalking along either edge even with a good breeze in your favour, any deer can always see you coming.
Having surveyed the area, and knowing it as well as I do, I am planning on waiting him out on the eastern side and slightly down from the wood edge in the hope that the westerly wind predicted for this next few days will hold so as not to wind the wood. Of course he may well come from behind me or to near to my side, wind or see me and it will be game over. Either way it is the only way I can see to try and catch him out, as he is a canny beast and knows every trick in the book.
I will let you know what happens.