Let me tell you about the 1st of May 2009 not only was it my 35th birthday, but it was one of the best day’s deer staking I have had yet. Firstly I have to go back to a previous time off in April.The ground that I would be stalking was divided in to three blocks I had already been to two blocks and nothing, it had been a long morning and time was ticking.
It was about 0900hrs as I went in to the third wood, I could hear what I thought was a buck calling so a snuck up the hill keeping my eyes pealed. But I couldn’t find him then another call this time from the far right and then another time from right in front of me. Then a call from the same place to my right, there was not one but two and both were medal class heads, at this all hell broke loose and they started chasing each other not fighting but challenging trying to dare the other to commit. I was lucky and a shot presented its self one buck dropped and the other just stood there looking at his rival, to shoot the other or let him go.
Well I let him go for another day. This brings us to the 1st of May, I got up real early around 0200hrs it was a clear night and sun rise would be at 0400 but good light at 0330. I set off driving with a good feeling; it wasn’t long before that feeling turned in to fact. I was about 20 miles from my lease when the deer started to show. First a doe here a buck there and the closer I got the denser they seamed to be. I was getting real excited now this could be the day of days. I knew were I was going; back up the hill to see if I could find the buck that I let go last time. On the way to the lease I have to drive through a wood that I have the shooting writes for, the road cuts right through the centre of the wood, as I started to pass the wood I could see two does grazing at the road side. After glassing them for ten minuets I kept on driving.
I would drop of the truck about half way up the hill just before the woods got to bad; when I got there it was as if time had stopped. I looked back down the hill and across the glen to see the tips of first light breaking the backs of the next Valleys Munroe’s the mist snaking its way down to the river. It was a magical view.
“No time to waist I’ve got to ready and started up the hill”, the wind was just right a slight draft the light was coming fast and it looked like the perfect day. As I got to the same area of the wood that I shot the for mentioned buck, I really slowed it down and at about 270 yards there was a doe, now well out of season. She was walking slightly towards me in a arc going up the hill to where I was, then she did some thing. She turned and looked back over her right shoulder looking down the track she just came; it was almost like she was looking for some thing lost, was she looking for a buck?
I dropped to one knee trying find some thing to hide behind. I started to glass over the ground with my binoculars’ I looked once then again. it was time to move trying to make as much ground as possible but still not disturbing the doe. All I could think was if she sees me then it’s all over.
I got to a small ridge that would give me a slight elevation the doe was now about 120 and closing moving parallel to me. I took a good look at her now and she was looking over her back every ten steps or so then there he was, a two year old. Not the buck I was after but hay.
He was tacking her like a blood hound hot on her trail he was walking right towards me stopping some times just to look up and then head down and on he came now about 60 yards when he turned a full 90 degrees and headed up the hill. And he started to behave like a teenager that was doing some thing wrong looking over his back and acting funny. At that he stood between two trees and the .243 spat out a 85 grain federal and he dropped right there and then.
Now I like to wait after the shot for a sensible couple of minuets just in case, but I knew the shot was good, if fact I knew that he was supper. In that first 30 of 40 seconds the more I thought about it I started to think he was acting strange not quite right I wonder, so I picked up my binos and there he was. another buck was chasing up the trail that the two year old had just came, this old boy was not so daft ever time he stopped he was looking dead at me I couldn’t move. This went on for what felt like ten hours then he stopped. Rubbed a tree giving me a good hart shot at about ten yards short of the first, it was too good to waist and in an instant I had let rip and the buck cart wheeled around and tumbled down the hill coming to a slow stop out of view at 30 yards. Again I sat and waited and you won’t believe what happen next.
I found two dead bucks, I cleaned them out and picked up both in the roe sack that I had and off I went back to the truck, as happy as I could be. Once back I loaded them in to the truck had a coffee and realised the time it was only 04:50, now there’s a moment in time when you know things just cant get any better, so do I head back home in time to get back into bed or do I wonder back up the hill? Well you know it would have been a crime to go home that early. Back up the hill I went thinking that life is great, I didn’t get 200 yards in when I said to heck with it, a soft bed and warm wife would feel real good right now, I turned on my heals and started heading back only to see another buck about 50 yards up the hill he stopped I stopped I pulled up and he fell down. Now to have three bucks in one morning I know this sounds like a tall story but I do not lie, I was there.
At that I went back to the truck sat down had another coffee looked at the sky thanked the good lord for such a wonderful morning and started to head for home, I slammed a AC DC cd in window down arm hanging out the warm spring air blowing through the truck and three bucks to boot. On the way back I had to drive on the road that cuts through the other wood that I have, I slowed down where I had seen the two does but nothing they had moved on. I planted the foot trying to make good time and home for breakfast, I might not get a warm wife in a soft bed, but hay three bucks and breakfast that sounds like a start to a good day to me. When bang out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark figure in the out skirts of the wood about 250 yards. I hit the brakes and stopped. Pulled out the binos and a buck.
Reversing the truck back up the road to park now that was tricky. Do you know that a truck will only go so fast in reverse? I swerved over to the road side pulled out my rifle and started to get in the trees, the trees where just the wrong age thick and dense perfect for deer but no good to me.
At about 200 yards he seen me stood broad side but didn’t move, I got another 15 yards on him now I knew he had seen me and he stared to do the head bobbing thing. I tried to get down in prone but the grass was to tall, I tried to shoot off my sticks but the trees where in the way, tried to kneel but a branch was blocking I just could not get a good view of him. He was now getting ready to run you know when they look like a spring about to go off. The only option I had was to stand out in the open and take the shot. So I did it I took a step out into the open pulled up the rifle looked through the scope put the cross hairs on his chest and bang. He ran to the right away from the trees, turned on him self and ran back disappearing in to the trees. I sat down and waited, once I was happy I went forward.
One drop then two then some lung the shot was good, again I sat down. “Give him time” I said to my self “if he’s in the trees laid up you will never find him again if he get up”, after 10 minutes I looked into the trees and he was only 4 yard away from where I sat down. What a day four bucks, I loaded up went home to a late breakfast a slightly ruffed room temperature wife and a hand full of presents. Life is good.