I'm currently taking 2 weeks annual leave and making the most of my free time with some extra outings with Ian Farrington of FDS.
After my last 12 or so stalks with Ian (4 Roe Bucks and 1 Fallow Buck taken). Ian and I felt I was ready to go it alone, both agreeing that I was confident with my animal/sex identification. My understanding of what is and what is not a safe shot and my skill with the rifle. I was put in a high seat alone.. Well sort of, Ian was nearby in another high seat keeping an eye on me...
So the wait started. On a ground that holds a large head of Deer I was confident that I would see some and maybe get an opportunity to take one.... I waited and waited, after around 90 minutes a Fallow Doe broke cover and grazed happily below my seat.. This alone made me a happy man, I enjoy watching their behaviour and basically just watching..... The Doe slowly made her way across the large field in front of me.
Light was fading as out of the corner of my eye I saw 2 Deer break cover and move into the field, I slowly raised my binocular's and took a long look at he animals. They were both Fallow Bucks. I ranged them at 125 meters, but they were not hanging around and moved closer to me. This was a different feeling as there was no Ian whispering directions.. I kept my cool and got the rifle into position. I had a great view of both deer with a safe back stop.
I did have to be patient as the animals were close to each other and crossing on occasion. Then one of the bucks stopped to graze while the other took a few steps forward. Both animals stood still and the front Buck presented me with with a perfect broadside view. Although it was getting pretty dark, the rifle scope gave me a clear view of my aim point. With every thing in place I released the safety and squeezed the trigger.. The shot looked perfect, impacting with a loud thump. I reloaded and watched the buck. He took around 10 steps and fell to the ground. I watched the animal closely for several minutes before making the rifle safe, checking for a reference point on the horizon and making my way to the Deer.
Ian met me at the animal with a huge grin and a hand shake. We checked the animal over and looked at my shot placement. A perfect heart and lung shot.
I enjoyed myself a lot. With Ian's mentoring I have grown in confidence and enjoyed this step forward a great deal.. Ive got my next outing booked for the middle of next week..