Well, had a call off a very good friend on Thursday afternoon, asking if I fancied to try for a buck that evening, knowing the ground is about an hour and half away with no traffic I had to think long and hard as that means an hour and half back plus the stalking. Now I get up at 4.30am everyday for work and I'm usually in bed by 9pm (sad I know) and knowing full well I'm going to be nasty tired the following morning it took about 3 seconds for me to make that decision, I'm going.
I arrived at Daves house around 6pm, quick chat and we're off, got to the ground around 7.30pm, parked up in one of the fields, kitted up and we're out stalking within 5mins, first impressions my heart sunk, cover crops everywhere I looked, thinking to myself there's no way we're going see, let alone get a buck this evening. Scanned the area for around 10mins, nothing, then we checked the next field to our left, we can't see the field as there's a thick tree line bordering the edge. We get to the field, there's no crops, we start scanning the hedge line, bingo, Buck lying down about 200yards away straight in front of us facing away from us, now the field is about 400yards x200 yards, sloping downwards, the the buck is on the far side of the halfway line, and the wind is blowing left to right and the field has several silage bales at various locations around the field.
The plan, follow the edge of the field using the thick hedgline as cover, wind blowing our scent away from the buck, stopping every twenty or so paces to check he hasn't seen us. We finally reach our intended stopping point on the hedgline checking the buck again, he's only got his eyes closed. Now we use one of the silage bales as a blind, stalking very quietly towards him, checking every couple of steps that he hasn't seen or heard us, now he's awake so the heart is starting to beat, we get to the bale, I calm myself down, no rush he doesn't know we are there 68 yards away.
I get my sticks ready, my rifle is on the sticks I'm looking down the scope he hasn't a care in the world, I can take the neck shot but there's a bit of foliage in the way, I'm 90% certain that it wouldn't affect the shot but I decide not to take it, my heart is now beating as if I've just run a marathon, still no movement from him I give him five minutes or so but no movement, I try a doe call, nothing but a slight turn of the head, I try a fawn call, nothing, so I try a bark his eyes open wide, I try it again he turns his head, one more aggressive bark and he's on his feet, BANG he's down. A quick reload, we give it a few minutes all is good and with no visual further movement we start our approach from downwind,we get to the buck check there's no movement following my touching of the eye with my sticks. My breathing comes back to normal, I carry the buck to a secluded spot of the field, carry out the gralloch.
Couple of pics, in the roe sack and make our way back to the vehicle. Tried for another on another area of the farm, a few bucks around but the light beat us in the end, got home around midnight, but very happy indeed. Big thanks to Dave.