A friend's first fallow buck.
The culmination of at least 6 attempts over 2 years, each ruined by some quirk of bad luck or bad judgement. But it all finally came together last Friday morning. Beautiful clear, warm late summer morning. Herd of big fallow spotted on hillside from the car. Half an hour of agonisingly slow crawling through an open field. Got to a fence line. Deer only 80 yards away. Painfully slow shifting of position to try to get a shot, but grass too thick to shoot through, fence too unstable to rest on. Sticks left 50 yards behind. Friend crawled back to get them. A single clink of sticks on stone, and the herd melted over the brow of the hill. Bitter disappointment. I stomped off to car to get my own sticks and make a plan. Stomping back with no attempt at stealth, look up to see herd back in field. Drop to floor. Inch forward on belly - so flat that cow pats and clumps of daisies seem like good cover. Get back to fence. No shot - deer skylined. Over next hour, inch desperately slowly to edge of field, and over fence into next field, then up the hill behind a low stone wall. Get to within 50 yards. Deer still skylined. Much further and wind will be full behind us. Edge inch by inch further up the slope behind the wall, constantly checking wind and shot angle. Finally get angle where lead deer has wall behind it. 30 yards from deer at most. The nearest are starting to twitch and look toward us. Friend shaking with excitment. Maneouvres rifle glacially slowly onto wall, narrowly avoiding strand of loose wire. Lead deer swings broadside for just a second. She took the shot, and he fell where he stood. One of the most exciting and rewarding stalks I've ever undertaken. About 2 hours of manoeuvering, never more than 100 metres from the herd, and for much of the time in full view. A stunning first beast. Shame about the asymmetric head!