With just about three weeks to the end of the Buck season, I made a call to Driffield nr Hull and spoke to John about the possibility of an early stalk. Plans were made and I arose from my slumbers at 3:30am for my 2 hour drive to meet John from YDS.
I arrived, parked my car, exchanged pleasantries and was then driven to the ground over which we were to stalk. We stepped from the vehicle standing for several minutes examining the mist covered hedgerows and gently rising uplands through binoculars for any sign of a Buck, a Doe casually made her way down the side of the hill toward cover about 400 yards from us before effortlessly jumping a 5 foot fence into the rough ground beyond and vanishing.
We slowly walked up the hill and when we reached the top found a footpath, we crept along the edge of the pathway for about a mile listening to the dawn chorus and raucous quacking from lake brimming with ducks, pheasant and partridge darted from underfoot and those damned wood pigeon making as much noise as they possibly could as they hastily vacated their tree top roosts, unconcerned hares casually wandered away as if they knew they were not the target of our endeavors, we spotted several other Doe’s and their offspring before reaching a small copse, where John spied two Bucks sparring in the fields about 800 yards away, they were in the company of five Doe’s and so the stalk was on.
Taking note of wind direction we moved around the hill and down into some dense undergrowth, cautiously making our way toward the duelists who showed no sign of alarm at our approach, we then crawled along the edge of a waterway until finally we were in a position to see where the deer had been, the deer had gone through a hawthorn hedge and out into a field on the far side, the wind had changed direction and was in danger of giving the game away, so we waited for about ten minutes in the hope that one of the Bucks would reappear, one did, about 700 yards down the field accompanied by the Does.
The decision was made to move passed the hedge and then have another look for the second Buck, who had seemingly vanished, so we decided to try again for the first Buck, this meant a very long walk round open fields before getting into a position where the approach would have been covered, so we set off and as we did so John saw a Doe standing against a sheep fence staring straight at us, we watched one another for a few minutes before she made off and then a Buck was spotted on the headland about 500 yards directly behind where the Doe had stood, he was chasing a young Doe and this became the new target, we made our way into some rough ground and crawled through the grass some 350 yards until we reached a wire fence, the Buck was totally pre-occupied with the Doe and had continued moving toward us.
The two were now about 200 yards from us, he took a few more steps stopped and looked directly at us, the doe continued to jump and run about in front of him, but he was busy studying the fence line, head moving side to side and scenting the air, something was wrong and he knew it, he just couldn’t see us, he very slowly moved toward us all time turning to show more and more of his ribcage, John wanted a full broadside and so I waited, the Buck continued walking, never standing still, in the tense few seconds that passed I thought he was going to run and gently squeezed the trigger and he fell dead on the spot, a fine six pointer, about three years old, weighing in at 44 pounds dressed out.
A great mornings sport, plenty of deer on the ground and good company.