Me and my shooting buddy Dale got a rare opportunity to get into a highseat on one of my perms last night as it overlooks a field that has recently been too overgrown but the vegetation has been knocked back enough to see in various places. It was also a chance to see how effective a thermal imager is spotting deer from a highseat which we haven't tried before.
We got settled in about 6.30pm and within about 10mins Dale had spotted a heat source through his thermal along an adjacent field about 200yds away. Now those of you that think a thermal imager makes life super easy are wrong. Even though he could see a heat source, it was not a given that it was an animal of any sort as tree stumps, fence posts, etc, will retain enough heat to show up on the screen. Within a few minutes though it was clear to see it was a muntjac that was closely followed by a 2nd! Again, even though we knew they were there, it took another few minutes until they became visible through the binos due to bushes, grass, etc, in the distance between us and them.
It turned out to be a doe followed by a buck, both of whom were just meandering through the vegetation. It took a while before the doe broke away and moved into a spot in the field where the ground cover was getting low enough for a safe shot. I got set with the cross hairs on her waiting for a broadside shot and bam, a complete miss!! WTF I thought as she hopped along a hedgeline, head bobbing up and down looking about to see what had made such a loud bang!! She carried on quartering round but never presented another shot before dissappearing over a ditch!
Whislt cursing myself and trying to figure out what had gone wrong, Dale pointed out that the buck was now going in the same direction that the doe had gone so again I got set, waiting for it to stop still as it was a bit more agitated and noticeably more wary than the doe had been before the bang!! I gave a shout to stop it about 100yds away and although not an ideal broadside shot it dropped on the spot with the round entering front right, taking out the top of the heart, part of a lung and exiting further back. I was half expecting a messy old gralloch but the round only nicked the rumen so was perfectly fine!
I decided to put a board out and check the zero as we had plenty of light and although slightly low and left it still didn't explain the clean miss on the doe. I can only assume that the round either hit a teasel stem or something else or I just didn't follow through properly on the shot?!?
After the gralloch we swapped rifles for a mooch about with the NV kit on my .22WMR and his hmr and bagged a dozen rabbits before calling it a night at the respectable hour of 10pm!!
It was nice to feel the warm sun on our faces sitting in the highseat without getting numb fingers and toes!!