I booked a day with Moses this week, see stalking available section. And thought I would share details of what was a memorable day for me.
The morning stalk was difficult going with the wind appearing to follow our backs whichever direction we turned, managed to locate Fallow on two occasions but no shot was available. Numbers of Muntjac were seen but were not on my chosen quarry list.
Moving on a ride just outside of some woodland, we spotted 3 Roe, 1 doe and 2 young bucks, grazing on some set aside, wind coming from the correct quarter. Trevor gave me the nod on the Doe and suggested that I move forward alone, and when happy to take the shot. With the group moving slowly along a depression I decided a muddy belly crawl for a few hundred yards to the crest of a ridge should give me a clear shot.
Stopping every few yards, I could see ears bobbing over the horizon, the roe were moving towards me I was sure they would get to the ridge before me and that would be me exposed. Sure enough the doe's head popped up and suspiciously eyed the shape of a muddy sweating and slightly out of condition shape hugging the ground at about 150 yards. After hiding my face in the ground for a short while I lifted and was relieved to see her back with head down again bucks slightly behind her.
I decided that I had to make it to the crest and went for broke, slowly crawling forward. I made it to what I thought was as close as I could and rifle on pod, trigger set, lined up. I could still only see the top half of the torso so waited for her to move. Again she was looking directly at me and only 100 yards away, still no shot. What was probably only a few minutes then appeared to stretch as she alternately grazed and checked my shape out, moving slowly all the time. A change of direction and she started to rise out of the depression. At last, I could clearly see her body at 80 yards. Safety off and she turned to present, one last check behind that all was safe and released. She wandered a few yards and dropped.
My first Roe in the bag. Very pleased. Gralloch confirmed that the shot placement had taken the heart.
Following a big fry up and a nice kip in the sun for a few hours I returned for the PM stalk.
After quick chat and more coffee, 4am starts don't agree with me to well, we headed off to where Trevor thought the Fallow would be exiting cover in an attempt to ambush a suitable animal.
Driving towards the spot we spotted a group of 20 or so bucks sheltering in the lea of the wind about half a mile away, damn it, they were out earlier that expected. There would be no way to stalk through the open ground toward them so we decided to attempt to get behind them, a long stalk up a hedge line to get behind them. The hedge line sits on a bank of an old rail line with low cover along with a few oaks, elder, hawthorn and plenty of nettles..
With a large Oak taken as a landmark, the bank covered the early part of the stalk, the only concern being excessive noise and the resident Muntjac alarming the Fallow if disturbed. Slowly getting on the ridge to check the Fallow were still comfortable and in position, A muntjac was feeding 100 yards down the ridge, and two Roe had appeared between us and the Fallow. The muntjac got suspicious and trotted off, but no alarm was called luckily, a change of plan was needed as the Roe would surely make us passing within 25 yards. Back down the bank and progress further, hopefully with the 12foot high bank between us the wind should taking our scent over their heads, and we would get up on the ridge where we thought the Fallow were, this would take us to within 40 yards of them if our estimation was correct. Rising up the ridge very slowly avoiding the carpet of windfall twigs amongst the nettles and budding growth of elder and hawthorn Trevor could see one Fallow through the cover. To make as little disturbance as possible, I again moved forward with the nod to take a suitable young buck if comfortable with a clear shot.
The route over the ridge was through loose cover and careful and patient footfall was needed to avoid alerting the herd. At the downward slope I could just make out two bucks which had now got to their feet and were slowly milling around grazing a little further away than we had expected. Committed to the decent now I picked zig zag line which gave me what I thought was the best cover. Halfway down the ridge, I became conscious of the butterflies in stomach and why I enjoy this sport so much, I stopped behind a trunk and had a smile to myself as I watched the deer which had no idea I was there. Very satisfying, however the job was not finished, I now had to get into a firing position which meant negotiating a rabbit fence with very thick nettle cover both sides. Looking around I saw that a friendly muntjac had made a run through the nettle and lifted the rabbit fence just enough for me to crawl through. Down on my front again and a crawl through the nettles to the gap. I had to slowly move a dead branch that had partially blocked the gap and squeeze through to the edge of the nettle. Bipod down scope covers up and with my moderator poking through the edge of the stinging cover I had view of the whole herd at around 130 yards. With plenty of time I selected a young buck and settled down for the shot. He dropped after an aimless wander of 30 yards. Job done. Shot had taken lungs.
For those interested .243win Pro hunter with factory PPU 90gr.
A memorable day for me with two satisfying and fruitful stalks with a stalker who showed great patience and trust in my judgment.