Last week I was coming home from work after a night shift and happened to see a deer in a bit of woodland at the side of the road. On impulse I pulled in at the next house and asked if he knew who owned the land. He did and gave me directions to the farm, so I summoned up as much confidence as I could and went knocking.
The owner was obviously a bit wary at first, but as we talked he seemed to warm to the idea of someone coming on to his land to shoot his deer. He said he'd have a word with his keeper and text me his number so I could have a word with him, but said it shouldn't be a problem. Well, I met up with the keeper today and we spent about an hour and a half driving round while he pointed out the boudaries. The good omen was that even on the drive round we saw two roe does.
Once he'd dropped me off back at the farm I asked if he had any objection to me going out straight away. Mainly I wanted just to confirm to myself the lie of the land but would take my rifle just in case.
I went to the area where I'd seen the deer on my way from work and started to stalk through the area. Almost immediately I put up a roe doe from her bed and she made a hasty exit. About 10 or 15 minutes later I was just glassing the plantation I was about to go through when I saw a roe buck walking slowly through it. He looked to be an old boy, carrying his head low and sporting 6 points. I put the 243 on the sticks and waited 'til he was just coming to a bit of a gap and made a squeek between pursed lips. He stopped immediately, and as he did I shot him. The range was quite short and the shot went right where I wanted it to, dropping the buck in his tracks. As soon as I'd confirmed that the buck was down and out I texted the keeper to ask him if he wanted the animal or the money from the game dealer. He rang me back straight away laughing his head off. He'd only left me about an hour ago and I'd already shot my first deer on his land.
The buck weighed in at the game dealers at just a shade over 18 kilos. Not a bad start to what I hope will be a long term arrangement.
To say I'm chuffed would be an understatement.