I was telling a friend about my poor fortune this year, regards deer. I seem to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I must have been out a dozen times and only had one successful visit to my bit of ground. We are shooting Fallow prickets, and all I seem to see are does and their followers from this year. I did as I said have one fortunate encounter with a pricket about a month ago, but even that had to be taken hastily, and at a range which I later paced out as too long in my opinion. Isn't hindsight great?
I went out again last night with worsening weather expected at seven o'clock, just as the deer were about to start moving. I started out for a clearing in the woods which is a favourite of mine, as it is a "T" junction of rides which gives a good view in three directions. On my way to the chosen spot, I bumped into a mall munty doe and a Fallow doe, neither was an option and my spirits were preparing themselves for another blank outing.
I arrived at the high seat and climbed up. Glassing around there was just nothing apart from two irritating squirrels clattering about in trees either side of the ride in front of me. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't ignore them and at each twig snap I was obliged to check with the monocular to see what had caused the noise. It was inevitably never a deer. The pheasants started their daily migration back to the pen wood, and the sky, already grey, grew darker and heavy with rain. A few spots started to fall on my rifle and I felt pretty glum about my prospects.
I was about to climb back down and go for a wander when a lone pricket walked out into the ride. As quickly and smoothly as I could I got the cross hairs on him and squeezed off the shot. He dropped instantly about fifty yards out. As I reloaded, in the edge of my vision I saw another movement from under the tree canopy. It was another deer pronking away up the hill. I wished now I had waited just a moment or two longer to see if that too was a pricket. I need not have feared, as it seems another small group of deer were a few moments behind, and they now drifted across the ride, ignoring totally the dead animal, which must have been clear for them to see. I watched them all individually and saw that they were all females, of mixed ages. Lastly emerged a lone pricket. He was I guess the same one I saw pronking away earlier. He was stood at about seventy yards, head bent back scratching his own rump. On this estate the rule is, I am only to head shoot, and wrecking the rump was not in my plan. I gave a whistle and he straightened up nicely. Second shot struck true and he was down.
Another round was already waiting in case of the need for a follow up shot, but was not required.
I could hardly believe my luck. After so many blank outings I now had two deer on the grass. I was thinking about who I would give the fresh livers to when a third pricket strolled out only ten yards from the seat. He was so close in fact that I had to wind down the scope to see him clearly. The third shot found it's mark and I just sat grinning like a Cheshire cat. I have once shot two deer inside ten minutes, but never three in no more than five.
I dropped of the livers to a very appreciative Italian friend, I must go back for the wine another time when I'm not driving!
The deer are all spoken for by family and friends, so all three animals will come away with me for my freezer or those close to me. I enjoy that aspect as much as the shooting.
So next time you are waiting for a bus or a deer to step out bear this in mind, they do all tend to come together.
P.S. I just noticed this is post 501 for me. So glad it was on such a lucky note.