Last night I was stalking along a woodland track. There was very, very little wind and so noise was a problem. It was necessary to move ever so carefully and quietly. After a little while I noticed that out front of me on the other side of the track was a hare. He appeared unaware of me and the last thing I wanted was for him to go running down the track in a panic alerting any deer who were still lurking inside the treeline that something was up. So, I watched him for a while and carefully worked to within about 20 yards of him. I was amazed that he didn't hear me but I was being careful.
After watching for a while longer, in the hope that he might go on his way, a sika popped her head up from the undregrowth about 10 yards behind my little hare friend. She looked around and I caught a brief glimpse of what appeared to be a calf with her before both deer disappeared, though they didn't look alarmed. A stag calf would do my job just fine so I got into what I considered good cover and got the rifle ready just in case and then sat and watched. Nothing moved, apart from the hare, and all was quiet.
I probably stayed in position for 10 minutes, maybe twice that, with not a sign of movement and I concluded that the sika had gone back into the trees behind where I had spotted them. It was time to move forwards as dusk was approaching and I hadn't yet reached the spot where I'd hoped to intercept a sika stag I had my eye on. I stood up and carefully moved out of the cover, taking care to exhibit maximum stealth at all times, and heard a noise on the other side of the track. There were the sika heading into the trees having spotted me move. All this time the hare sat feeding and looking around himself. I can only conclude that the sika got down behind the undergrowth and moved into a vantage point to better observe me and, of course, when I moved the game was up with them and off they went.
It was interesting to observe just how much more cunning the deer were than the hare in the sense that I'm pretty sure they spotted something was not right when they popped their heads up and they then stalked me to see just exactly what was going on. Throughout all of this the hare neither saw, heard or smelled me. A most entertaining evening even if there were no deer in the freezer to show for it.