Friday 29/Apr was to be my last day on the fallow as I didnít have a chiller for fallow if I managed to shoot anything on the Saturday so didnít want to be stuck with anything over the weekend. Anyway I set out on a long drive to a farm where I have seen a group of fallow does with the odd prickett. My intention was to try to get one last buck.
After about 2hrs waiting up over a field that I had previous success on I decided to go on for a stalk round to see if there anything about elsewhere. After about 1hr with a breeze in my face my dog started to get excited. She is a young cocker which I have been training mainly to help find anything that ran into cover after a shot. She normally gets excited if she sees any deer or if I start preparing for a shot, this time she had her nose in the air and was the first time I was certain that she had scented something before seeing it. We were about 70 yards from a wooded corner in the field where I had seen deer in the past. Anyway I moved on slowly and eventually spotted a fallow moving through the woods fairly quickly so I thought it might have seen me. Anyway I continued on and then spotted two fallow stood in the trees, a prickett and a doe. The doe looked like she had seen me move and was watching for any give away signs so I slowly got the rifle up on the sticks and managed to get the cross hairs on the neck of the prickett. I took the shot and he dropped on the spot at about 40 yards. I did the gralloch loaded it up in the truck by which time it was about 6pm.
I decided that I would try another farm where I had seen the odd fallow in the past so got there about 7pm, set myself up waiting in a hedge with a view over a 3 winter barley fields bordering the forest. After about an hour a young roe buck came running across the top of the field, looking back behind him. I assumed that there was another buck about as I had seen two in the same field at the end of the doe season; one was a larger more mature buck and the other a young yearling buck. Although I was there mainly for a possible fallow buck I had planned taking the younger roe buck if the opportunity arose. So I took the shot from a prone position at about 190 yards and it dropped after a short run of about 10 yards. Off I went to retrieve the young buck, carried out the gralloch and then packed it into the Roe sack.
I started heading back to the truck and for some unknown reason decided to have one last look into the field next to the one I had shot the roe buck in and at first scan round saw nothing and then just as I was going to put the bins away spotted something coming out of the boundary scrub at the top of the field by the forest. It was a fallow deer but with the low light was difficult to see if it was a doe or a buck, then another popped out which was easier to identify as a buck. Anyway after a couple of minutes I was happy that both were bucks so got down prone again and got ready for a shot off the bipod. I took the shot and he dropped on the spot. The other moved away and then started to nervously graze near the first buck so I got ready again and took a shot on the second. It dropped on the spot and then got up again and took off, it ran about 40 yards into the middle of the barley field where it dropped again. Both shots were at about 210 yards which I would only really take when shooting off the bipod.
I picked my rifle up and moved up to the deer with the dog and after a quick look at the first and then quick search for the second in the barley which by then was high enough to make it reasonably difficult to spot the second buck. Both were a reasonable size and I decided to go and get my truck and bring it a bit closer to save a bit of dragging. This was my first mistake of the day. After walking back to the truck and inspecting the ground on the way back I didnít foresee any issues going to collect the deer. Unfortunately when I got in the truck I decided to take a different route back to the deer than the one that I had walked (mistake number 2). Anyway as I turned in through a gateway from one field to where the deer were I grounded the truck. By this time it was about 9:45pm. I tried to dog it out with a fencing post (the right tool for the job Ėnot). After about 45 mins I had managed to get myself deeper into the s?*t. It was now 10:30 and was too late to go to the farmer and ask for a tow out. My wife was out with some friends and had a few drinks so was over the legal drink drive limit. She had asked me if I could pick her up from the pub that night on my way home from stalking and I had said that I would, so I now had another two problems, the first was that I couldnít pick her up and the second was that she couldnít come and collect me. I was too far from home to call somebody to come and collect me so decided to camp out for the night in the truck. I texted my wife and she said she would stay with some friends for the night. By this time my phone battery was displaying a ďBattery Critically LowĒ warning.
I unloaded the 4 deer and hung them outside as the temperature was already about 4 deg C. Got back in the truck, dug out anything that might help keep me warm and tried to sleep. The dog must have been wondering what the hell was going on. Anyway I was awake early (about 5am) and things didnít seem so bad the next morning even though nothing had really changed other than it was now getting bright. I had decided to wait until about 9am before I could go and knock on the farmerís door, but fortunately at about 7am I heard a tractor engine start up in the farm. So I packed up the deer again and set off to the farm which was about a half a mile away. I explained what had happened to the farmer and he came up and towed me out. I managed to get back home for about 8:30 for one of the nicest breakfasts (coffee and toast) I have ever had.
I have learned a few lessons from this,
Buy a phone charger adaptor for my truck.
Dragging is easier in the long run.