Hi all, This is my first attempt at writing an article so apologise for the lack of professionalism.
Have a friend who had never stalked in anger ( acompanied me and watched only ) and is keen as mustard . The other day we had been doing some fencing on the shoot and finished earlier than expected, so i asked if he had time for a stalk before getting off home. The reply was a resounding yes , and when i said he would be taking the shot ,should the chance present itself , he beamed and said 'are you sure'.
Now we had previously spent time on the range so i knew he was familiar with the rifle and a very competent shot.
Now the shoot is in a valley and the wind was against us so we drove around to the high side of the valley which would give us the best chance of proceeding undetected.
I explained the plan of attack to Alan and he chambered a round and applied the safety on the scout and shouldered the rifle.
I was pleased to see that Alan had listened to the instructions and we moved as one along the top the wood. The wood comprises of small blocks of mature conifer split up by some dense old coppice. The valley is steep sided with a lot of large rocks which serve as convienient places for Roe to lay up undetected, but the bottom is fairly flat with good visability through the plantation.
We took over an hour to cover 300 yards without seeing or spooking any deer and got to a position where we could sit and watch for a bit.
After about 45 mins without seeing anything we started to stalk back into the wind and took a further 45 mins to cover 150 yds. The sun had been out for about 30 mins and we were approaching an area where i had often seen deer couched in the evening sunshine and today was no different.
I spotted a nice Buck sat on a small plateau about 80 yds ahead and slightly above us, he had not seen us and we watched him for about 5 mins before we saw he had a Doe with him. We had to stalk into a better position as there was some scrub between us and him and couldn't get a clean line on him so very slowly manouvered to a clump of trees which gave us a bit of cover. I set up the sticks and Alan got into position, rested the rifle on the sticks then panicked as he could not see him through the scope.
I swear i could hear his heart beating and thought the Buck would too.
I told Alan to take a few deep breaths and take his time as the Buck was still not aware we were there.
The way he was sat only provided a neck shot which was not an option with the doe sat behind him so Alan made good use of the wait to compose himself and appreciate the situation he was in. After what seemed an age the buck stood up and had one last look around before Alan placed his shot perfectly in the engine room and the buck dropped on the spot. The Doe jumped up and stood looking in our direction for a few seconds before making a hasty retreat up the valley.
Before we moved Alan reloaded and put the safety on then walked up to the Buck, we checked he was dead , Alan unloaded and stood the rifle on the bipod and just stood there with a massive smile on his face admiring the Buck.
I went through the gralloch with him then suggested that as he shot it he should carry it back to the vehicle.
When home we put it on the scales and he came out at 44lbs clean.
Alan has now applied for a variation as he only has rimfire at present and another stalker is born.