I have only been out a couple of times so far due to problems with the truck and other commitments and those trips had proved fruitless, seeing only 1 hind. This particular day the weather was much improved ( no mist ) and the wind had turned to the northwest. I had my mate Stuart with me who i am mentoring and this was to be his first encounter with a red.
We arrived about 6.40am and after checking we had the essentials we started off towards a plateau that the deer cross to get back to the forest, the lay of the land tends to act as a funnel channelling the deer across the plateau.
As we made our way down the hill through the gorse and bracken, glassing every few steps , we spotted a few wild ponies but nothing else. We stopped about 40 feet from the bottom of the hill above a Hawthorn bush and settled in position amongst the bracken where we could cover the area. As our eyes grew accustomed to the light we could just make out 3 hinds and a dark stag making there way back to the forest but apart from only just being able to see them the were on a mission and no shot was on.
The light improved fast and it was only about 5 minutes before we saw 3 more hinds appear on the plateau and they were about half way across when a stag appeared. He had a trot on as if trying to catch them up but stopped when i gave him a call but was not in the ideal position for a shot ( quartering towards me at about 95 yards ), he looked for a few seconds then set off after the hinds again. I gave him another call and he stopped and looked presenting a perfect broadside target, i squeezed the trigger and the stag threw back his head and collapsed on the spot. Stuart said he's down mate and was in a hurry to get to him but after a few seconds he got up staggered a few yards to his left then went down again, gave a few kicks got up briefly then down for good.
We made our way to where he laid and took a second to admire a beautiful creature, a nice wide head with 8 points. Performing the gralloch showed the shot had missed the heart but destroyed both lungs . The extraction was a bit of a circus due to the fact the quad we borrowed had very little air in the front tyres but we got him out in the end.