Coming ever closer to the end of another season, I came to the decision I would take my chances on a few days stalking with John Robson down in yorkshire. Which at this point I was still on my duck with John, after a few outings and seeing plenty of deer and recent activity, just never seemed to get the chance of getting right onto a buck, but I was sure things this time round would change!
The rut was pretty much over with the odd buck still following does, but other than that most were heading back to their original territories to start and bulk up for the winter.
We started with an evening stalk on some ground which has been good for John, and was looking very promising when we arrived nice and warm, not much wind and plenty of activity. We got settled into the edge of the wood amongst some bracken in anticpation of the nearing approach of dusk, getting dark earlier each night. The light started to fade and was just shouting deer.
Bingo, a doe and follower appeared out of the fodder beat crop and moving up the field towards the wood, to far away for a chance but their moving! We chose to stay in wait of any others, but nothing came of it apart from a couple of badgers (one huge one)
The next morning came and the alarm set for 4:30 for a 5:00am meet, we're still in august at this point and this was a cold morning, fleeces and coats on ready to go, and was still a little cold! Arrived at the destination with odd bits of ground frost dotted about the stubble fields, as we pulled up, there was already a sighting of a deer trotting off into a bit of wood, oblivious to our presence we snook behind the wood and waited, checking each corner carefully, we concluded he had beaten us round and was away into the main woodland. We spotted a fox on the stubble, unfortunately an unsafe backstop stopped the shot, the fox picked up something and ran back into the wood, pleased with its find. We entered the woodland also with a few cracks of dry twigs , we slowly stalked our way around the bushes and rides and came to a plateau in which the deer use to sunbathe. I turned around and saw a doe appear out of nowhere along with a young doe follower. We were spotted as we were standing out like sore thumbs on this plateau, so me moved of by this time it was about 8:00. We decided to move of this bit and try somewhere else, next destination. Arrived on the stubble field and quietly moved down into the wood with an old railway line running through, creating a chance of a passing buck, we patiently waited but of no avail, so moved along the line right up until the end, where the woodland ride meets the wheat field, with a bit of stubble on the edge where the combine had made a start. We stopped in our tracks, up with the binos, it's a buck, it's a buck! On the sticks, on the sticks! Up on the sticks, safety off and bang (very impressed with the moderator John) perfect heart shot, textbook kick of the back legs and the buck made away, only making it about 20-30yards before collapsing dead. We must have walked past the beast about 2 or 3 times, before we found him in amonst the trees, the beauties of a dog!
Quick gralloch check of the condition etc. and to begin with the drag uphill towards the pick-up. At this point I'm a happy chappy and finally broke my duck with John, who has put alot of effort into getting me onto one, in which I'm very gratefull for!
The next couple of outings were again, looking promising as we had been seeing many deer mostly does with followers, but no more bucks. Nevertheless a very enjoyable few days stalking once again, and won't be forgotten
Many Thanks John!