Well John let me know he had some late availability for some stalking this week so I stuck myself down for an evening as I thought I was due a successful stalk as I had had no success on the first 3 stalks with him. So I got to his house just after 2 and we set off to the ground he had been successful with this week already having had 3 does off it but he assured me there were plenty to still go at.
Anyway we were at the ground just before 3 and set off. It wasn't the best of starts as just as we set off the farmer came along in his tractor moving his cows from one field to another. Anyway once he had passed we set off walking through a stretch of wood and as we got towards the end, john spotted a doe, we both froze and john placed out the sticks and I took a step forward, placing the rifle on the sticks. As my foot touched the ground, placing me behind the sticks there was a very clear 'CRACK' as I stood on a twig that was it, the doe was off like a flash, white rump bounding off into the field. Bugger. I really thought I'd blown it then but alas, we carried on.
We left the wood, and carried up the side of a field to see if we could cut off the roe from the dip she had vanished in to before she got to the woods. It was at this point John once again spotted a roe on the edge of the woodland. Upon closer inspection there were 2 in sight and john identified one of them as a doe. Only one slight problem, they were on next doors land but only just. As we watched a 3rd roe came into sight and John thinks there were 4 but he wasn't sure. As we watched 2 fallow does came into view. John told me there were about 9 does and apparently one buck in the area although he hasn't seen it and hadn't seen the does since harvest so that was nice. However we decided as opposed to waiting to see if they would come onto john's permission we went to another ambush point where he had seen roe over the past few days and we would stand and wait for them to leave the woods as the light was starting to go and the deer should have been on the move any time.
After about 20 mins or half an hour a lone buck appeared about 300 yards away. About another 10 mins passed when I heard something behind where I was facing so I glanced over my right should and there was two does about 150 yards away on the edge of the trees. I whispered to john and he turned around and looked. The front one was clearly a doe so it was on and as it turned out the second was also a doe. They were both slowly working there way towards us and we waited for one to present broad side. The second doe did eventually present for a shot at around 100 yards so I raised the cross hairs to the doe and squeezed the trigger letting off a shot that felt good, had a good report and a good reaction with the doe leaping up and forward. After all this it was to both mine and johns astonishment that she appeared to run almost as if unhit. Adamant it was a good shot we watched back the video john had taken that confirmed a hit and the does reaction. At this point I started to feel a little ill as I knew I had hit a deer, that couldn't be seen and it was getting dark Anyway John had breeze with him so we went and found the strike site that to my horror revealed blood, hair and a bit of green so now I was thinking and john agreed I must have gut shot the doe. Now I felt really really ill indeed. We walked into the wood, breeze leading the way, and nothing was found and by this point I felt awful and was honestly getting ready to give up shooting and sell my rifle and never raise my gun to another deer again leaving never to return. However we walked further down the edge of the wood as we though they had run further down the wood than where we were. As we were walking breeze stopped, senting the air and john said the carcass had to be in there so we headed in and about 20 yards into the wood there was my doe, stone dead. I was so releaved to know I wasn't going to have to give up stalking and had a new best friend in breeze.
Both john and I were confused by this as a gut shot deer wouldn't be dead but there she was and the exit and entry suggested she hadn't been gut shot however the shot was a little low admittedly. Anyway the gralloch revealed a not to poor a shot placement but to my horror John came to the conclusion the bullet had fragmented on hitting the deer's ribcage, exiting possibly sideways hence the oval exit wound hitting 3 ribs. It was the fragmentation that that must have been what caused the bit of semi digested grass to be at the strike site. Either that are a part of the gralloch of a previous deer had been, by pure coincidence dropped there by some carrion. Anyway I am so happy to have grassed my first deer with john and to not have a missing doe on my conscience and it was an interesting start to my stalking in 2011.