Part Two of the BIG THANKYOU.
After another excellent days stalking on the Wednesday and last day stalking with Dave we all made our way back to the B&B for a few drinks and dinner and a good old chat.
We had arranged to meet up with some friends who also have ground in the Wiklow mountains and yes you can say we are both glutton for punishment as after a few phone calls we had arranged three more days stalking on the hill.
Dom and Jim turned up at the B&B Thursday morning we all sat down to a full english or do i mean a full irish breakfast and discussed the plans for the next three days, as the weather was giving winds gusting at 50mph it looked like we were in for a rough time we kitted up and headed out to the hill Adam went off with Dom and i went with Jim, the reason i paired up with Jim is that he is 67yrs old and told us he likes to stalk slow and i have stalked with Dom before and it is like trying to keep up with a rolling stone.
This was a mistake if i am half as fit as Jim at 67 i would be a very proud man he spent Monday and Tuesday stalking the hill had Wednesday off and planned on stalking the next 3 days with us.
We arrived at the place we were going to start from and by this time the wind was blowing strong we set off and stalked along a deep byrne glassing the side of the hill that was protected from the wind luck was again on my side a sika hind and calf stood up out of the heather we managed to get into them set the crosshairs and away it was a clean miss Jim said reload the deer had not moved i reloaded and let another one fly hit dropped the hind on the spot reloaded set crosshairs on the follower and straight down after watching for a few minutes we made our way over to the deer two nice clean shots hind was shot in the shoulder and the follower was heart and lungs just behind the shoulder after retreving them which was not as easy as it sounds as we had a stream that was in full flood to cross ,all done and left them to be retreived on the way back we moved on up the byrne no more than a hundred metres it was like dejavu on the same bank another hind and calf was glassed they could not have heared the last shots as the wind was in our favour that is the only explanation for them still being there Adam says it wasnt that its because i am such a lucky BASKET. anyway back behind the rifle it was almost an exact replay of the last two beasts but without the miss, Two clean shots and two more deer to drag back we had not been away from the car for more than an hour at this point, so we went over gralloched the two deer dragged them back to the first two, picked them up and headed back to the car we gave Adam a ring to see how he was getting on he had spent the last two hours on his stomach stalking into a medal sika stag but to no avail as under no circumstances could they get the beast to stand up for a clean shot as they let their presence known the stag just dropped into the byrne went 400 metres and reappeared looking at them better luck next time. We all met up headed back to the glenmalure for a shower , food and as Dom likes a drink or two we had a feeling it was going to be a late night as we met up with a few more lads in the pub who were also stalking( i think one of the lads is on this site) and as i am sure you are all familiar with these sessions you know what the outcome was.. Early start Friday morning on the ground and ready to go by 6:30am i sat and worked my way through a few cups of tea waiting for dawn to break 7:30 soon came round and i was out of the car and glassing the open hill as luck would have it i glassed four beasts about 800 metres from where we were, two good sika stags and two very big hybrid stags one was only showing very little signs of sika in him so we decided to stalk into them for a better look with the wind right and an hour later we were within 200 metres we glassed the animals again and decided to have ago at one of the sika stags as the hybrids were a better stamp than we thought they were so we left them for another day we continued on with the stalk up the byrne and within 50 meters the wind nipped in behind us and gave us up, they were up and running and did not stop untill they were skylined so that was the end of that. We reglassed the hill and we were spoilt for choice, there were groups of animals, we glassed a group of young hybrid stags and a stag holding hinds. Jim decided if we could get into the hybrid that was holding the hinds we could try and take him out and hope one of the bigger stags we just stalked would move in with the hinds so at this point we know we have a marathon stalk ahead of us we doubled back to keep the wind in our favour and got into a deep byrne and followed it up for about 2 km i crawled up to the top of the byrne knowing we were not too far away at this point, how we had not bumped any hinds on the way up i do not know as the ground was fantastic,(i put it down to great stalking) i glassed and found the stag lay down in the heather just showing off his head gear at this point Jim stayed where he was and i moved in for the last 100yds. i am now 150 metres away looking down the scope on the bipod at a set of antlers dispite all my shouting and whistling this stag would not move i knew the only way to get him to show himself was to alarm the hinds so i quickly sat up and waved my arm and the hinds were up and whistling at which point he sat up to see what the comotion was about i placed the crosshairs on the base of his neck and that was it he did not even move i reloaded and watched him for a few minutes to see if there was any movement but all was still. Jim moved up to congratulate me as he had watched the whole thing unfold and found the way i got his attention quite amusing, we approached the animal a few pictures and then gralloched him. On looking back to where the car was Dom and Adam had arrived the only reason we could make them out at that distance is Dom flashed the lights of the car at which point we now knew the pull back was going to be a long one we set off and with a few breaks and two hours passed we were back to the car by 3:30pm a few more pics at the car and a quick chat revealed that Adam had also managed a nice hybrid stag so a good day had been had by all. Me and Adam now had a "long drive to tipperery" to meet up for some fallow stalking in the morning, That will be in part three as my head is now hurting and spell check is about to fail on me.
All the Best Trevor and Adam