The other week I went out in the early morning on one of my permissions. Almost whenever I have to leave the house early to go stalking I pour oil on the troubled waters by taking the dog with me. He's never had any formal training, but he's company, can hold and even kill a roe (hard to believe when you see the size of him) and the fact that the missus doesn't have to deal with him and the wee lad on her own scores me a couple of VERY minor brownie points.
When I arrived it was a gorgeous morning and I started to stalk around a couple of blocks of woodland. They were almost all completely choked with bracken, so were mostly inacessible. Anyway, I'd been going for about 45 minutes when it started to rain quite heavilly. This'll be one of the showers it forecast then. About 100m away there was a small hut, so I made for that to wait out the rain, give the dog his breakfast and have a coffee from the flask. As I sat there, drinking coffee and wishing I'd not packed in the fags, I realised it had stopped raining so I fastened the bum bag on again, put the flask back in the day sack and set off to a forestry block about 50m away that I could see had no bracken. Once inside the gloom of the wood I started to move more slowly, stopping to glass frequently, as because the trees were quite tightly spaced almost every step revealed a bit of ground you couldn't see before.
I'd just completed one of my 3 step "bursts" and stopped, looked around with the naked eye, then had a more careful scan with the binos and completed the process with another look around with the Mk1 eyeball. I took a half step and Sinbad froze on the end of his lead. I won't say he went on point, but he was definately sending me a message. Having not seen anything on my skan I was half tempted to ignore him and carry on, but instead I put the rifle over my sticks and went to perform a sort of side shuffle to look around the tree he seemed to be looking at. Before I could, a muntjac doe stepped out from behind the tree and stood 3/4 on to me with her head down sniffing at something on the ground. A body shot at this angle would have raked her stem to stern so, seeing as she was only about 20 yds away I went for a high neck shot. The shot was good and she dropped like a sack of the proverbial. As I worked the bolt to reload bugger me if a buck didn't step out from behind another tree and just stand there looking at the felled doe. He was perfectly broadside on to me and it seemed rude not to poke a 100 grainer through his shoulders. So I did. He too fell straight down without so much as a twitch. In literally less than 5 seconds I'd shot 2 deer, I was well chuffed, both with myself and the dog. I made a bit of a fuss of him and went over to the deer to let him have a sniff/bite/tug and to do the gralloch. Just to say well done, I gave Sinbad the gristly bits from the tops of the hearts, and the buck's testiballs. For some reason he won't touch raw liver or kidneys. Not that I mind, I'm quite partial to a bit of liver myself, so more for me! I then dragged both animals to the edge of the wood and went to get the car. At that point I called it a day and set off on the hour long journey home via the game dealers. I was back in the house with hands washed and the kettle on before 10a.m. Here's the result of that day's stalk. Sinbad can be seen in my gallery.