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Thread: A simple and basic "beginners" mistake!

  1. #1

    A simple and basic "beginners" mistake!

    I've not long got back in from a great stalk on one of my permissions and came back empty handed due to a very basic mistake on my part - A mistake that I should have known better than to have made!
    I spotted the doe in the woods on my way up to the permission and stopped to check her out through the binoculars. She was definitely one of the older ones that I have been wanting to get a chance to cull out all through the winter.
    I carried on up in the 4X4 to where I usually park the motor and got my rifle set up and my boots on. What wind there was was just right, blowing from the area of woods where the doe was straight into my face. Perfect I thought! I started making my way down into the woods at a snails pace stopping every few yards to check that there weren't any other deer near me which might bump or spook and give the game away.
    Eventually I spotted the doe a few yards from where I had initially seen her - She had her head down and was still happily grazing, totally unaware that I was there and that she was now in mortal danger! At this time I was about 70 yards from her and had a perfectly safe backstop along with a good clear line of sight with nothing to obstruct he bullets trajectory! Noting could have been better for me I thought, this really had been a text book stalk!
    I very slowly and steadily got my rifle set up on the sticks and started concentrating on my breathing. Then made the fatal mistake!
    I tried to adjust my stance a little and didn't look down at where I was moving my feet to and stepped on a dry stick about an inch in diameter. The stick broke in two with a fair old crack! The doe straight away heard the stick break, spotted me and was off like me scolded whippet. All I could do was wish her well and curse myself for making such a silly mistake!
    The lesson I have learned this? In future I need to watch where I am putting my big clumsy old feet in future, but then again I do wonder how many other stalkers have allowed themselves to make the same little mistake which has cost the a deer after such a pleasurable stalk?

    Edited to say that it was a ROE doe I was after!
    Last edited by FrenchieBoy; 15-03-2016 at 14:08.

  2. #2
    Bad luck, and not necessarily a beginners mistake!
    Deer stalking and fly fishing opportunities in Devon

  3. #3
    Every day is a school day, we've all done similar and most of us will do 'em again (although we may not admit 'em)

  4. #4
    would't call it a beginners cock up, if the truth were told it happens to the best ! you will do it again as the best will as well , we all think were grass hopper but sadly its mostly in our minds so don't bash yourself up

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by paul o' View Post
    would't call it a beginners cock up, if the truth were told it happens to the best ! you will do it again as the best will as well , we all think were grass hopper but sadly its mostly in our minds so don't bash yourself up
    Not really beating myself up about it, just making mental notes on what I need to be more aware of to improve myself in the future and wondering if I was the only clumsy plonker that has lost a chance of an fairly easy shot through being a bit heavy footed/careless and not concentration enough on what I was doing. Basically highlighting a silly mistake that cost me the chance of another deer for the larder and wondering how many others have made the same sort of silly mistake.
    We all know the well worn saying "S**t happens"!

  6. #6
    I've had the same result with the careless release of a Butler Creek cover. I don't bother with them anymore.

  7. #7
    Until we get wings this is always going to happen!

    I took a wierd high risk approach the other evening, rather than walk along a hedge under trees with lots of debris on the deck, i moved to the middle of the grass field, then when i got to a "brow" dropped to the deck and crawlled slowly on totally open ground to get where i wanted to be. I knew my quarry was over the horizon, they became aware but not scared of my presence, fading and flat light helped.... Job done!

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I think you'll find even those who've been stalking for many years still make this kind of mistake. I know I certainly have.

    It's always a balance between time spent looking down finding somewhere to quietly place your feet, and looking up to keep an eye on the deer - and more than likely seeing one you missed originally!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #9
    Not a mistake at all, just bad luck. Every now and then you have to take your lumps or else it isn't fun. If you were a veritable Ninja of the Woods, ghosting up to every living creature and killing as your decided, with no luck involved - then it would become pointless. Might as well stand in a feedlot and shoot beef.

    I enjoy the occasional error (as long as it doesn't pour out in torrents for days at a time).

    I once had a old clipping in German, the essence of it was "all skill if for naught when an angel pisses down the barrel of your musket". I liked that sentiment, and still do. Much more pleasant to repeat than "Shift Happens"

  10. #10
    Look on the bright get to stalk her again...:-)

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