I had planned to head over to a new permission of mine in Oxfordshire on Sunday late afternoon and into the evening, but as the weather was pants I was really in two minds. Anyway as it goes, the weather reports seemed to be showing a break in the rain around 6pm till about 9pm, so I thought why not give it a go.
I arrived on site and called the owner to let her know i was there. itís a lovely farm of not more than 120 acres or so, but holds a good number of roe and muntjac. the only problem is, as part of the farm is a livery yard, thereís a lot of coming and going so you have to be quite mindful of where youíre shooting (as I would hope we all are anyway!) and be prepared for people with horses to ruin your afternoon by bumbling through the area where youíre stalkingÖ. Itís just how it is there, and thatís that.
So I set myself up on a ride through an area of young, low to the ground trees where i had seen roe and muntjac before. there really is only one spot on that ride that gives a shot from sticks with a safe back-stop and good visibility, so thatís where I was. By now, the promised clear weather had turned a stinking wet day into a very pleasant evening, so i was happy just to be out really. about an hour in and I heard a crack of twigs and a commotion from the woodland to the right of the ride and just in front of me. seconds later a roe buck sprung out and bolted across the ride and was gone. seconds later he was pursued by another. Neither one stopping to hang about. I waited for a few minutes in case they looped back round (unlikely i know but you never know!) and then the silence was broken again, this time by one of the livery yard tenants going out for an evening ride. We exchanged pleasantries and I took this as my sign to head over to a high-seat on the other side of the farm.
by the time I got into the high seat it was just getting toward that half-light with the sun very low in the sky. this felt promising and no sooner had i got into the high seat than a doe came bounding over from a field in front of me (i didnít call) and mooched about under the high seat before heading off again. A good sign i thought! 20 minutes on and two muntjac appeared. I got the rifle ready, but you know what munties are likeÖ never stop moving and by the time I had found them in the scope, all i saw was the arse of the back one disappearing into the brush 50 yards in front of me. it was only a small section of brush, and i figured, what goes in must come out so set my rifle up focused on the other side of the bushes. 10 minutes later and sure enough out pops one of the pair. itís quartered away from me only 50 yards or so away, and just holds still long enough for me to take her through the neck.
Iím waiting now for the second one to pop outÖ but it doesnít and i figure it must have bolted on the shot, so I decide to get down from the seat and go pick up the muntie. However just as i start to unload before climbing down, i see two roe off to my left. I get the bins out and itís a doe, with a buck close in tow. theyíre about 300 yards away (out of my comfort zone for a shot) but they are definitely moving towards me across the field. well at about 120 yards, the buck stops broadside on and i donít need a second invitation. I take the shot and the 130gr .270 does itís job.
best buck Iíve taken and absolutely chuffed. So glad I didnít stop home because of the weather!