Well, im sitting here, writing up my stalking trip and struggling to stay awake..
After work yesterday, i decided to drive up to my patch in order to stalk Friday AM and possibly PM if things didnt go as planned..
I finished work at around 2200 and after a brief visit to Mr McDonalds, was well on my way to Dumfries and Galloway. Due to my late arrival, i thought it was pointless to book into my normal accomodation for less than 6 hours in it! I arrive at my patch at 0100 and after unravelling my sleeping bag, made best of sports seats in my car. I cant say it was a great nights sleep but after 5 hours of trying to get comfortable, it was time to get up.. Sunrise was at 0705 and i got up at 0600, i got changed and sorted my gear out, had time for a quick cup of coffee out of a lukewarm flask and it was getting light enough to stalk (probably about 0640).
I had taken the 7mm08, my current go-for rifle.. its all i seem to use at the moment! After about 5 minutes of walking, i spied a deer in a block of woodland grazing. I cant say it was difficult ,but i got from about 150yds to 80yds with ease due to the lay of the land. After getting set up, i sat and watched, it was obvious that it was a youngster, but with no real knobbles, i had to wait for it to turn to ensure it was a doe. It did and it was, it then turned side on and i opted for a chest shot, of which it dropped on the spot.
Upon inspection of the shot, it was obvious that the 139gn SST had done a lot of damage, the entry had clipped a rib and created a 4'' entry and exit hole. No wonder it dropped to the spot!
Anyhoo, i stalked on and down the lane towards the end of my beat, where i saw another deer, i again couldnt identify immediately what sex it was so got sat down on the track verge to observe. After a few minutes, i could see it was a doe and at about 130yds, but with no way of getting closer without detection. I set up the rifle and in doing so, could hear a vehicle coming down the track. I hoped that it would drive straight past and probably not disturb the deer, however it didnt! It was the local school bus driven by a guy off the estate who pulled over and when i ignored him (hoping he would drive on so i could shoot my deer) opened the window and shouted at me 'good morning'.. I gave a pleasant reply, not quite the same as what i was thinking as the doe bounced off into the distance!
After this and reaching the end of my patch i thought i would beat feet to the car, being down wind and going over the same ground thought i wouldnt see anything.
How wrong i was!
About 500yds before reaching the car, i spotted a doe in one of the glades, feeding away quite happily.. She was about 300yds away and a large grass field stood between me and her, the wind was light but she was downwind. I decided i had nothing to lose and managed to scale the fence, catching my crotch on it making that awful twang. Does head rose and looked, i froze for an age (probably a minute) before she carried on feeding. I dumped the sticks and my bum bag and using a slight rise on the grass field, got to within 120yds on my hands and knees initially and then on my belly (only slightly lower than hands and knees! haha..) She reacted to the shot and went about 15yds before falling over. Again, upon inspection, the round had completely disintegrated the heart and caused a fair bit of damage to the carcass.
After sorting the deer out and loading up the car, i got to see the bus driver again for a proper chat.. I also stopped for a top breakfast on the way home and was on my way only 10 hours after arriving..
Im pooped now sat here but wouldnt change a thing!
Thoughts for the day were
1) How much quieter Scotland is compared to similar places in North Yorkshire
2) Audis are meant to be driven, not slept in!
3) Must learn not to expect sympathy about long days when ive been stalking!
4) SSTs are like hand grenades, think im going to go back to interbonds...
Good night all!