I had a rare day off work and I was out on the land before sunrise.

The rut has been going on for almost three weeks her and I was hoping for a shot at a "hanger on" one of the lads looking to nip in and cut out a hind or two now that the big boys are getting a bit tired.

I stalked carefully and sat patiently in several hot spots and not a deer did I see. A few roars before dawn then - nothing.

Discouraged and hungry I went home for abite and to do some logs, finding myself locked out; I decided to go out again for an hour or two. The wind was flukey and from the SSE never easy for me but I set off into it and within 5 minutes spotted a young stags head looking out from a stand of rhodies. I set up for a shot off the sticks but he didn't re-appear.

I then moved forward cautiously, before deciding to go prone and set up again just in case, I could see a bit of movement behind the screen of brush. Within a few seconds he stepped out and turned to have a good look at me but prone on the ground with the dog laid down he couldn't quite place me. Trouble was I had no shot I couldn't elevate the barrel high enough prone to get a shot and a yearling hind was now doubling him! After a second or two he moved right, turned broadside and I took the shot.

A fine young stag, in great condition, but a narrow head and not one of the ones I had marked for keeping, in fact I hadn't seen him before.

I was and still am delighted althought there was an irony there after my mornings experience - sometimes it's just your luck!

He did get revenge of sorts, hence the keds refernce, I have never seen deer with so many. During lardering I was very careful, but I was picking them out my (admittedly thinning) hair all day and a few from other areas! Thankfully my lovely wife didn't find any!

A good day all the same!