I have a small area of about 200 acres in West Sussex, which is Roe heaven, and on an annual basis I take about 6 to 8 Roe Bucks a year off the ground, as the immediate areas around the farm are not stalked.
Last Monday evening I decided to go have a look to see if the rut was in, as it was rather late last season, and appeared to be going the same way this year.
I took a very good friend of mine (George) who stalks for me, and Todd my Bavarian. We arrived about 7pm and immedialty spotted a buck on the edge of a small wood across a large field. The wind was blowing south/south west so it meant a long walk round the field at time sin view of the buck. The buck appeared to be settled and layed down, and although I could see no doe with it, I assumed by its behaviour and settled manner that it had one nearby.
This proved to be the case. After a stalk around the wooded field edge we got in to position, but as the headland was so overgrown we could not make out the buck anywhere. Sticks up rifle ready and dog sitting I proceeded to use the Buttolo call to see if the buck would show himself. During this wait we could see another Buck in the next field making his way down the edge of the wood, and I made a mental note of his position in the hope we might make his aquaintance later.
A few minutes and no show so we proceeded a few more yards very carefully and set up again. From this point I could just make out the end of the wood, where a large gap takes one into the next field. I called again, and a movement caught my eye some 100yds away. It was the buck and it had a doe in tow with it. At first he did not seem interested, but on the second attempt to call him with the Butolo, he came bounding through the chest high set aside, looking for business.
At about 40yds he stopped and turned almost broadside, and the crack from the bullet breaking the sound barrier from the T8 was the last noise the buck heard. It lept in the air fell over and in its death throws ran to the wood edge about 20yds away. We waited a few minutes and then I put Todd onto the trail and he found it instantly just laying inside a bramble bush stone dead.
Once in the Roe sack, we gathered ourselves together and after a firm handshake as it was the best Roe Buck George had taken, we moved towards the next field to see if we could catch up with the other buck we saw earlier. On the way we were stopped in our tracks by a lone doe which was feeding on the edge of the wood. But after ascertaining that she was on her own we moved on.
We were almost paralell to the wood were we had last seen the other buck when George suddenly spotted it laying down about 150yds away. It had seen us but was unconcerned, and we sank to our knees and glassed the deer to see how we could get at him.
There was no hope of stalking him, we were out in the open and the wind was wrong to stalk him from the wood, if indeed he had stayed where he was. He was a poor head and small, so I wanted to take him out if at all possible.
I decided to take a shot from where I sat, (now I do not take shots like this everyday on a Roe, and for the life of me I cannot remember the last time I did) I readjusted the tripod I had until it was the right height for me sitting down. Cranked the Leoupold VXL right up, and had a clear view of the head and the neck of the beast. George spotted for me, and the 120 grain 25.06 bullet went just over his antlers, and he never moved. The next shot took him square right in the middle of the neck and killed him instantly. On command Todd was across the field and found the deer and grabbed it, although it was dead.
This Buck had been suffering, it had a huge abcess on its lower jaw, and although his stomach had food in it, it was underweight and had a very poor head. So i was glad to have put him out of the pain he must have been in.
Rifle unloaded, dog sitting we proceeded with the bleed and gralloch, and had nearly completed this process when a further Buck jumped through the hedge from where we had just shot from and turned into the wood. I grabbed the Butolo call and gave him a couple of pheeps, and he came storming back out of the wood and was half way across the wheat field while I was still trying to reload the rifle.
George was insisiting I should take him off his shoulder, and Todd was sitting and looking at me ( the look on the dogs face was funny) and I hate to think what he was thinking. He was looking at me and the deer running across the field then looking back at me thinking HURRY UP ABD SHOOT IT.
Two bullets in the rifle I swung the rifle onto my knee, the buck had stopped momentarily, but with another quiet pheep on the call he came on like a steam train.
At about 35yds he stopped as he had noticed we were not what he expected us to be. Bad mistake! he dropped with another neck shot where he stood, and Todd was there before I could crank the empty out.
George couldnt believe it, and even I had to admit it had been a red letter evening. 3 bucks in 75 minutes. Not to be repeated by us two again for a long time I shouldnt think, but a memory all the same shared with a good friend, who i have shared many great moments with.
We had no camera, and the photo taken is today after they have been hanging in the chiller, so please excuse the quality of the photo and the rather ungraceful way the 3 deer are arranged.