Well, I got back home yesterday from another fantastic weekend with Malcolm , Andy and Terry, at Malcolms ground down in Dorset, shooting Sika.
Andy and me arrived on Friday after being mithered all the way down as to where we were and how long were we going to be, (They`d mither a nest of rats they would).
So, arrived at Terry`s we did, eventually, had a quick sandwich and a pot of tea, (I have to say, I missed the door stops this time Terry mate) and out we went to Malcs ground.
On the ground I opted to sit in a highseat, one I had been in before, and if I`m honest my motives were more than waiting for deer, I was knackered and fancied a rest, and as we were quite early on the ground I would maybe get an hour before deer started moving.
Malcolm, Andy and Terry went off further up the land where Terry was sent to the other side of a woodland, so that was 2 sides covered, with Andy going off with Malcolm.
After a while I spotted a couple of Roe over a gorse hedge along a track that we had not long since walked past. I could make out that one was a little buck so decided to climb down and stalk into them. Having reached them I was trying to get into a good position and rest on the sticks, but this wasn’t easy as the wind was quite strong. Both deer were on the move all the time and sometimes running around, so keeping an eye on them through little gaps in the hedge made it a little difficult, needless to say all of a sudden they were gone. It went through my mind that with the wind eddying around they may have picked up my wind, it also went through my mind that they may have just laid down. I had a look round for a while but decided to return to the seat and on the way disturbed a Sika hind and calf which were laid up in the bull rushes within 100mtrs of the seat.
Back in the seat and after about 15-20 mins I spotted the 2 roe again, my instincts were right, they had just laid down, so, down the highseat again and back to stalk into them. On getting to the Gorse hedge again both the Roe had made their way further out into the field and were feeding on the edge of some bull rushes.
I decided to go to the top of the track and enter the field from the opposite corner from where they were feeding as not only was this the quietist way to get to them, it also put me well down wind. As the field had been cut with laid bull rushes I had to crawl over half the field trying to keep as low as possible stopping every now and again to make sure they were still there. As I could actually see the buck I didn`t want to get any closer as I didn`t know where the doe had laid down and didn`t want to spook her and then the Buck.
I was just about to get myself comfy for a shot and it laid down again. All I could see was it`s ears and antlers sticking up in the grass. I knew I was in for a wait so got myself ready and comfy. With the sticks all set up and rifle leant ready I sat and waited. As those that have waited for deer to stand with testify, it can be a long wait. 30 minutes later the doe stood up to his right and started to feed. I knew then that it wouldn`t be long before the buck stood so readied myself with the rifle in my shoulder. As soon as the buck stood i took aim at the engine room and pulled the trigger and down he went, with the doe making an exit to the other end of the field. A quick reload and safety on, I sat for a few minutes just to make sure he wasn`t getting up. I walked over to him, did the touch eye reflex test and then bled and then gralloched him, dragged him back over the field and hung him on the gate.
I got back into the highseat and after a while heard a crack form across the fields. I Called Malcolm to find out that Andy hade shot his first Sika stag, I was made up for him. It was now dark so we went to fetch the quad to collect the deer.
Saturday morning drew a blank with a few Sika seen, but none were stags.
Saturday afternoon we were out again and had a change around with Andy going in the highseat that I had been in, me going to where Terry had been on the Friday afternoon, Terry going to the top of the ground and Malcolm stalking on his own.
In the position I was in, it gave me a good vantage point to see deer, but also spot deer for Terry which I did on a few occasions but all turned out to be hinds. I told him about a group I could see that had come out of the wood he was sitting nearby, by a phone call. When I came off the phone I then spotted one to his right. Watching it I heard a crack and the deer started to run for about 50-60 yards and fell, ( bloody 308s).
Malcolm rang me to ask if I could see him across the field, which I could, he said there were about 15-20 Sika had come out of the wood opposite from me and said he could see a good stag. A few minutes later he had steadily walked across the field and got to as far as he dared. Bang, 10 seconds later, bang. He called me to ask if I would give him a hand to get the stag out of the wood near the river. This stag had taken 2 shot, ran for maybe 100 yards and jumped a fence before collapsing in the wood.
Sunday morning drew a blank again but we were all happy as we`d had one each.
I would like to thank Malcolm again, forever the top man, Terry for putting us up for the weekend, cheers buddy and Andy for being my passenger and also providing the laughs as usual, can`t wait for Scotland.
I have to say that if you are considering booking any stalking, then you would not go wrong with booking any stalking on any of malcolms ground.