I just thought I'd share a great day out with the folks at Deercare yesterday afternoon. Being based in South Essex, my main fare is Fallow, Fallow and more Fallow so a friend recommended I call them for an outing in Hertforshire after some Muntjac. I had shot a few does in my time but never a buck, so I thought why not?
We agreed to meet nice and early not far from Hatfield. The dreaded M25 wasn't too bad but the blowing gale didn't bode too well for the rest of the afternoon so I was praying for any rain to hold off and not hoping for too much really. On arrival I met Jordan and another one of his team, Tibo. The ground consisted of a big block of forestry, mixed broadleaves with conifer stands as well as arable and woodland edges. Despite the wind that was still blowing pretty strong, I was getting excited. Quick check of zero on one side of the farm and we left Tibo to stalk one side of the ground while we drove to the main block of wood for a stalk. Not half an hour into our stalk, came across a small group of Fallow bucks, with two looking pretty impressive. Not on the menu but still lovely to see. Bumped a Muntjac doe not long agter crossing the ride not 40 yards ahead of us. With the lack of cold weather, the bracken cover was still high, could do with a frost. But I was not to be denied. Suddenly Jordan stopped me and pointed ahead. What? Where? Panicking slightly before I see it ahead about 80 yards away. Big buck, not a care in the world. I shoulder the rifle on the sticks, trying to slow my breath and contain my excitement. Take the shot, the buck drops right where he is. Reload, keep it in the scope. No movement. Well happy, I wonder how I managed such a stable shot. Turns out Jordan was applying some very light pressure on my shoulder which stabilized my shot without me even noticing. You learn things everyday. Congratulations all around, I'm over the moon, I go ahead and start the gralloch with Jordan's instruction. As a DSC2 AW it was good to get some pointers as I might be looking to take that on at some point.
Back to the truck for a quick drive to the other side of the farm to see how Tibo got on. A Fallow doe from the high seat. By then it's pretty dark and I have to think about the drive back home, thankfully it's a short spin to the A1 and M25 and while very close to the hustle and bustle of one of the World's biggest metropolis, it certainly was a world away.
Great experience, had a great time and now I have a nice set of antlers to put on the wall. Quite an old buck, tusks were pretty knackered but a lovely set of antlers.
Good bunch of people, will definitely be back.