Was going to write this up as soon after the event as possible but family stuff got in the way. Will crack it now before it becomes a hazy memory. Went out with Tom, who takes me out (stalking!) every time I'm back on leave, at 1930 and headed up north slightly to ground he has permission on. We drove up onto his permission and stopped the rover where we had a great view of the land we were about to stalk. Immediately we saw 2 bucks about 600m away in the middle distance. They were half heartedly squaring up to each other, it was a warm night so I could sympathise with them. The bigger of the two then started to make his way straight towards us using the track we were on! i set up the sticks with Toms Remington 770 .243 and waited letting the buck make his way to us. He obliged by coming to within 40m of us and turning broadside on! Got him between the crosshairs and down he went. Gave it a couple of minutes and checked him. Stone dead. It was 2015. An obviously extremely happy me cracked on with the gralloch and into the back of the rover with the buck. We carried on over towards the next field where we spotted another (quite large) buck. He appeared to have pinged us as he went hareing for the belt of trees further down from us - however on looking into the trees I saw a doe with young and another young buck scatter. The older buck then made his way down the fenceline towards us again! Again I readied the sticks and rifle, he moved even closer than the last one - in to about 20m - but there was no safe shot. He started to move away and I set up again on a ridge by the fenceline watching the bucks rapidly retreating rump as Tom tried to get his attention by whistling and clapping to no avail. Could possibly have taken a shot freehand but decided against it. Better safe than sorry etc. So he lived to rut another day! Continued down the track and there was yet another buck standing side on on the other side of the track framed, conveniently, in an open gate about 200m from our current position. We stalked up towards him and got to within about 90m where I started to set up. Literally on taking aim he was spooked and off he went. Didn't stop until he reached the other end of the field(these are largish fields) 600m away where there was another buck! As the light was fading we called it a day there. Had the chance of 3 managed to get 1. Very happy though. Freezer is now full of venison and I'm eating like a king!
Waiting now to hear if my FAC application is successful. Was helped hugely by a couple of blokes of the Site. So, hopefully not premature!,huge thanks to KevinF and IanF (no relations I think..!?) who prepared me with what to expect from the FLO and gave sound advice to me.
Sorry no pictures - neither of us had cameras/phones with us to take them with. Bad admin really.
All the best