I recently had Terry ( aka pheasant sniper 1) out for an evening on the bucks, so last night Terry kindly offered to take me out on his ground to return the favour. Well I got to Terry's house at about 6.35pm and after a short car trip, we were inching our way to the highseat at about 7.10pm.
The highseat Terry had selected was a very substantially built affair, in a large ash tree with a large platform complete with two garden chairs and a shooting rail all around, overlooking some delightful grass fields surrounded by woods. I am used to small cramped seats so it was a pleasure to stretch out and relax whilst waiting for the deer to show.The midges were there in force however!
We didnt have to wait long as after about 20 minutes, a Doe and fawn appeared on the edge of the wood in front of the highseat at about 350 yds, and proceeded to feed out into the grass field. The fawn was full of beans, jumping and running about in the long grass. The Doe was relaxed but typically alert, and seemed to be looking back into the wood alot, so I thought there may well be some more deer waiting to emerge out onto the fields. After about half an hour, another deer walked out into the field a little to the right of the first two, and again started to feed in the long grass.
Well we both studied this deer through the binos hoping that it was a buck. It was around 300 yds from the seat and feeding in the long grass, so it took some time to get a positive ID. We both recognised something different about this deer compared to the doe, and I felt sure that I had seen bumps on the forehead indicating a small buck. Well we stared and stared through our binos until our eyes hurt, and neither of us could decide what we were looking at. Obviously in the long grass, it wasnt easy to get a good enough, long enough look at the animal to get that positive ,definite ID that we wanted.
We watched the deer for about a hour, and although we both could see an unevenness of the forehead, and pointy behind, indicating a buck but neither of us could decide for sure, and with the evening pressing on we had about threequarters of an hour of useable light left,The midges were begining to get on our nerves, so we agreed to stalk in to the animal to get the positive ID we needed.
Out of the highseat and stood on the adge of the long grass field, the distance of 300 yds seemed longer than ever, and with three pairs of eyes to outwit, we started our stalk. We made the first 50 or so yds with a crouched walk, but then decided to crawl through the grass as we were in full view of the deer. The mosquitos were murderous in the long grass and they decended on us without mercy, however we eventually got to within 120 yds and were then busted by the doe as we crouched to check with binos. She stood there, fawn next to her and stared at us non-stop until she decided we were trouble and then ran back to the wood. We still hadn't got the ID on the other animal, that by now was looking up and following the doe and fawn running through the grass to its right. I momentarily took my eyes off the second animal and watched the doe. When I turned back the suspected buck had disappeared,all turned to s**t or so I though,but luckily Terry had kept his eyes on the correct animal, and had seen it lay down next to the wood after running a little way to the left.
Well it was getting darker and we both though we would walk towards where the animal was in the hope it would get up. we hadnt gone 20 yds when the animal got up and resumed feeding through the long grass. We both got a better look at it this time and I decided it was definitely a very small button buck.Terry still wasnt 100% sure, however I felt that everything I had seen suggested YOUNG BUCK at me, so I decided on taking the shot. We got up and put the rifle on the sticks,ready for the shot.The Buck was at about 100 yds. The mossies sensing they didnt have much longer were biting non-stop, which made concentrating on the job in hand a little difficult, however eventually the animal walked into some slighly shorter grass giving me the oportunity of a shot. The shot rang out from my .243 and the animal ran about 15 yds before collapsing 20 yds from the woods edge.
A short walk and we were staring down at a small button buck. I breathed a sigh of relief as although we were both pretty confident in our identification, there is always a slight doubt when the signs are that slight. The hard antler "buttons" on the forehead were about half an inch high, on very short pedicles, so there was next to no visible antler growth to go on.
A short drag across the field and a quick gralloch, meant that we were back at terry's house for 10.15pm.
I would just like to say a big thankyou to Terry for a wonderful evening. A good challenging stalk, combined with great company, it doesnt get much better than that, and the buck will make great eating I reckon - a melt in the mouth job.
Thanks again mate