I was out today chasing sika and while I came back empty handed it was a nice day to be out and it was also an interesting day.
In the afternoon I managed to see three stags, one young one, one that looked like an older stag who was going back and didn't have much height to his head and one pretty young one with a great head in terms of height though I think he only had 6 points. He is going to be a really great 8 pointer if the poachers give him the chance. Now, you might wonder why I didn't shoot them but they were all on the sky line and attempts to get into a position for a safe shot didn't work out well for me. No matter how sneaky I was it would appear that the sika were rather more sneaky.
In the evening I worked my way out of some forestry towards an area of grass in the knowledge that it provided a safe shot should something appear on it. Unfortunately as I worked my way towards the open ground the wind dropped and every footstep seemed to make a sound on the forest floor, which was almost in darkness by this stage and had a wide collection of booby trapped sticks, branches and other traps for the unwary stalker. Then I spotted three hinds out in front but it was clear they knew that something was not quite right. It was also clear that, try as they might, they couldn't see me and weren't sure what was going on. I'm pretty confident they heard me. We played a game of chess for a while with the lead hind very nervous and never taking her eyes off where she thought I was lurking. I managed to get into a position to get the rifle up and the cross hairs on a shoulder however it was just so dark that I knew any shot would mean a long follow up, I've never had a sika run less than 30 or 40 yards. I also knew that they would run into the thick cover just to their side and it dropped down into a swampy thicket that may well be infested with crocodiles. In the dark I decided I wasn't messing with any crocodiles.
So, the hind lived to fight another day. I sat and watched them for another 15 minutes or so and while two of them started to feed and seemed to have lost all interest in me at no point did the lead hind ever take her eyes off where she thought I was lurking. All told I would say she watched me, to the exclusion of everything else, for about half an hour.
You can say what you like about sika but they aren't half sneaky.