Hello all ,not long back Beowulf mentioned a what if thread of stories and experiences I thought I would share with you this little tail.
I am lucky enough to live close to my parents and see them nearly every day, my father is more like my best friend and I have followed him with his love of fishing and shooting .he is my main partner when I go out lamping shooting etc. even at the still youngish age of 66 he is still very fit and I try incorporate walking the dogs with him every day . As he and my mother are retired this is also a godsend with the child care side
He has never owned a centre fire rifle (army lent him one for a few yrs some time back) but concentrated on shotgun stuff and working dogs. Since I got into the 17hmr and pest control then the .243 and stalking he has got the bug as well. He now has a FAC for the .17hmr and goes out with it but does not want to get the 243 on his ticket .He has shot deer in the past but that was when he was in his twenties with a shot gun and single ball ammo.
I have spent many happy hours in a hide pigeon shooting ,lamping , shooting rabbits with him, he has stalked with me and thought this was out of the world. Since loosing the land I had I havn’t been able to take him on my last couple of outings as I can only go alone as I am the guest I have almost begged the guy but its one only . I have offered to pay for him to have a stalk but he wont go he wants to see me stalk the deer and I want to see him stalk. I tend to do most of the shooting .
He loves to help out when I reload and tries his best to understand the ballistics and velocities and what comes with that aspect of shooting . He loves to partake when I go zeroing and I now try to have regular days out to take him and we set target out to 300+m and compare groupings and the like. I have even made some deer targets that we practice on. His eyes are not what they were and he is ok up to 170m
Last week a I was approached by a new comer to the village (only live here 8 yrs) who has been having problems with foxes taking his chickens. They live a mile or so outside the village with no close neighbours . The land around them is common on one side (no no for shooting) fields covered in reeds on the other (poor visibility) and they have a massive garden . I did not want to use the garden even though the people were more than willing for me to shoot from the upstairs window if wanted .
I like to not be seen or heard (hard sometimes with he 243) I don’t know why I just do, funny enough my father is the same . We checked the area out nearby the house where the guy said he had seen the foxes and found with an area 20ft x 2ft that we could bate up , we have been dropping off rabbits to the area and they have started to go so we decided to go out last Monday evening and get the fox.
The day was great nice and warm to begin with and cooled down nice for the evening, we got in position about 7.10pm and had a great couple of hours just watching the wildlife and enjoying each others company quietly chatting . There are a the odd red kite our way not and it was great watching them
The bait was about 280m from where we were I had decided that I was not going to shoot but get my father to do it. The rifle is a Sako 85 varmint laminate stainless T8 mod S&B 8x56 IR scope with a harris bi-pod ,the rifle is zeroed for 200m and at the distance from the bait if you aim for the top of the foxes back and the 75gr v max will be almost spot on its chest
I put the rifle in position bi-pod down so all you would have to do is lay down look through scope and your on target.
At 9.05pm the fox appeared it was still quite light and you could see it clearly with the naked eye , the fox was straight at the bait that we wired to a post. I then told my father I was not going to shoot ,he was . He protested that it was to far for him and his eyes were not good enough but I insisted .
My father got into position with the rifle, he slowed is breathing down then took a big breath and held I don’t know why had copied him I was half watching him and half on the fox. I was terrified and nervous for him I was praying he would hit the fox as this is the longest live target he has shot at . It seemed like an age of nothing then there was the crack of the rifle I was concentrating that much I jumped.
I watched the bullet hit the fox who collapsed to the floor, there was then the distinctive “thwack” of the impact noise echoing back , I was elated for my father who appeared proud as punch . We decided not to go to the fox just yet and give it a bit more time just in case there are any more about. We chatted quietly with my father over the moon at his shot and I felt very proud of him almost a role reversal.
At 9.20pm as the light was fading out came the second fox a great big dog fox. I switched on the IR on the scope and told my father to get the second one , he again protested but I was adamant. Down he went again slowed his breathing the held the breath , I again had copied his breathing but was a bit more relaxed.
The crack of the rifle seemed louder but it always does when it gets dark , in that split second I took my eye off the fox and lost it. I then heard the very definite “thwack “ and knew the fox was dead as the 75gr v max does not take prisoners .
We were both like excited school kids we packed up and went to check my father shooting , both foxes shot through chest and both never heard the crack of the rifle. I could see light on in the house that requested or services so put a rope on the foxes and dragged to the house , the gentleman was over the moon and thanked me , I told him my father shot them both and in the falling light showed him the distance. The bloke was amazed and was very grateful . We said our good bys to the gent and mad our way home a nice slow walk with us both chattering away like magpies .
I had a fantastic evening with my father who was over the moon with his shooting as I was.
I hope you enjoyed this little story i dont know why but thought i would share it with you …….neil