On the estate I stalk with my mate, we had the last of four cull days which are held in February and March. During the morning one of the keepers shot a fallow pricket and could not locate it after the shot. We did find pins and blood and the dog had a fair track but to no avail. As there was not much blood and lots of deer movement in the area we gave up and headed for breakfast. We decided to try again with more lads and do a block of wood opposite to where the deer was shot. We had a gun on each flank which are hard tracks and the other guys spread out with dog in the middle, ranging from side to side.
It is fairly open in places and some large bramble thickets on undulating ground, and we moved through the wood at a nice steady pace apart from the keeper who i am sure thought he was still in charge of a beating line! LOL. After only 10 mins my mates lab who has only been used on deer from a pup, located the pricket under a large tree, and gave tongue.
The keeper, vocally, no, very vocally expressed his excitement, they were heading my way. The deer was obviously shot and was still able to give a good account of itself, but after crossing my track, was clearly ready to give up the chase. The lab did manage to grab hold but the pricket was in no mood to tango! The lab held the pricket at bay whilst I got into a safe shooting position. This all happened in the blink of an eye and my adrenalin was seriously in overdrive. I was trying to find a fraction of a second to take a shot and end any further delay in the deer's demise. The dog held at bay and I decided to take a shot. The pricket collapsed and the dog then piled in. I encouraged him to take the throat and he did so with gusto. I cannot tell you the relief felt for the deer and the satisfaction of the dog work on what was a lost deer to anyone without a dog. He is by no means a finished article but like all of us that stalk he is learning by experience. He belongs to my mentor, off of whom I have learned so much and to have use of a dog has been a valuable experience for both of us. I hope this will encourage anyone without use of a dog to consider at least having access to someone that does or encourage you to think of getting one, after all, this dog every other day of the week, is just a pet lab at home.