Following a very kind offer from lakey i was invited down to dorset to try my luck for a sika using the callers as although i have shot a few sika i have never had the oppertunity to witness a stag come to the call.
After a restless nights sleep in anticipation of the day ahead i was soon on the road and arrived at our chosen meeting place in plenty of time and after a quick hello i followed lakey to our first location.
Our first port of call for the evening was to stalk a block of undulating woodland which was surrounded by grass fields and some game cover strips so i readied my rifle after a quick briefing on boundaries and likely spots and we started our accent.
Quickly arriving at the wood without puffing and panting to much we slowly opened the gate and began to slowly stalk along the rides and pathways at a slow pace as to not bump any deer that might be just ahead.
The cover comprising off ferns brambles holly and rhodadendrons was very thick in places and with a good carpeting of leaves on the ground and sweet chestnuts falling from above we certainly had to keep our whits about us and was certainly different to the woods i am used to
Our chosen route was twisting and turning deeper into the wood when we came to a clearing with a highseat strategacaly placed to overlook a clearing with a few trees planted in guards which were clearly being swamped by the ferns.
We sat threw a short shower and with nothing coming to the call we hastily headed off to our second location before the deer emerged from the wood but on our aproach we could clearly see 4 prickets and a hind in the neighbouring field.
Making a quick dash across the bottom of lakeys field we took cover under a hedge without disturbing the deer in the neighbouring field [result] only to have an unseen dog bark not five minutes later and have them all make a run for cover back into the wood.
Fortunately we didnt have long to wait before they started to re emerge with first one then five then ten but all on the neighbouring ground and not lakeys but lady luck was shinning on us and lakey spotted a hind entering his ground.
Within what couldnt have been much more than a minute or two i was now looking at 7 or 8 hinds and a nice six point stag quickly followed by another six pointer a pricket and more hinds.
With the deer being about 200 yards away and in line of sight with us a shot off sticks was out of the question as it would have instantly gave away our position and had them all running for cover.
Lakey suggested a shot off the bipod but with the field slightly rising he could soon see my predicament in trying to get a safe backstop and i was not going to take the shot using the wood as a backstop and lakey was in total agreement.
No need to worry he said i will give him a call and see if i can bring him to us and with the first couple of calls i was doubtfull of getting a reaction but with the aproach of the smaller stag towards himself his attitude seemed to changed.
Swithching to a different caller the result was instant and the stag soon came trotting down the field picking up speed as it whent stopping on a ridge at about 100 yards and again with no backstop.
Without either of us saying a word lakey called again and in the blink of an eye the stag is running flat out straight at us and with us both lying prone getting out of the well of a charging stag would have been impossible.
I am now lifting the rifle following the stag thinking BLOODY HELL i am going to get trampled to death here and have i got my will sorted when he spotted my movement and slammed on the brakes at under forty yards [thank christ].
Resumming my cool composure i instantly saw that this time he had a nice backstop and took a shot to the shoulder a shot that i rarely take on my own ground only to see him head off back up the field.
To my amazement he ran all of 80 yards before stopping then stood there for a second or two before collapsing to the floor stone dead and confirming our recent conversation earlier in the day on how pumped up stags or animals on alert often run further than deer at rest.
After performing a quick grallock leaving the cape intact for a project lakey is working we headed back to pauls to prep the stag for the chiller only to realise earlier i had left my camera in my truck that was parked at the farm so lakey took a couple of pics on my phone.
What a fantastic day with excellent company and a day i will always remember even though i dont think a blast to the ticker like that can be good for your blood pressure
Once again another good friend made and what makes this site the number 1
Many thanks lakey and i will see you soon when i can hopefully repay the kind invitation
RICK O SHEA