I had been trying to swap, earn or buy a day on the munties to tick that box for ages and Dusk til dawn came out and offered me the chance. It has to be said that I was tempted by the 'I can do you a day on the munties for £120' from someone else.
So the day came and I found myself heading down to Thetford from Scotland at midnight on Thursday like a little excited novice on his first stalking adventure. It's at those times that you rekindle feelings from our younger years, the excitement and anticipation that fades as we become often complacent about the stalking we get used to over time. Heading south on the A1 I started looking hard hoping to see a Muntjac . It went like this, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, muntrabbit, hare, roadkill rabbit and on and on I went.
Finally I arrived down at Mundford after a little detour or two I arrived to meet Paul just turning up and right on time. We loaded up and headed over to a local perm. A step out of the vehicle and right away there was a roe in the field out to our side and a fair few hares knocking about too. We wasted little time and got straight into it. Stalking down a hedge line looking across a nice open field I found myself in a different world of stalking surrounded by rabbits, hares and a cheeky charlie in the corner of the field. This all was one thing but then having a fat load of highly vocal geese and turkeys taking the piss from behind us was just crazy. I was finding it hard to keep a straight face and the stalkers glare had no chance of holding as the smiles were creeping out.
We worked our way round and then across while glassing seeing endless rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, muntrabbit, hare, rabbit and over the field to the wood we went. Into cover now and 50 or so meters across we had the most picturesque ride with a lovely grassy floor presented itself with pheasants, rabbits and a partridge all in view. Then Paul with the better view clocked two munties feeding on the fringe of the ride in the early morning light. I stalked forward and found myself 100 or so meters on the edge of some bushes looking down at the two tiny deer working in and out of the fringe of the ride. They wandered about for a without presenting a firm chance and eventually headed off through the wood. We stayed put for the moment knowing that the deer spotted could just as easily come back out but fairly soon out of the trees popped a young doe.
This time the little deer was in a good position and although always on the move she gave me the chance I needed and I squeezed off a round just as she stepped. It knocked her down hitting a bit high and back but she only just struggled into the tree line where we got her. Big success in less than about an hour!
Paul sent me back looking down another ride while he sorted out the muntie doe. This ride was a lot tighter an honestly I didnít think much of it until after about 10 minutes when an immature buck started wandering in and out of the fringe on the right about 40 meters away. Paul was coming over to meet up with me and with a quick wave he stayed back and was able to see the little buck. Then as quickly as you could hope for he turned broadside in the ride and I aimed and let the round go and down he went with no movement at all. The day soon got hot and actually two hot so we ended up mostly taking it easy we me getting a tour round the area and plans were set for the next morning with a little lamping later at night.
The following morning saw a lovely start and back to the same spot where I had my doe. The morning start with the grassy ride was without a doubt the most attractive pitch I had ever had to wait for deer. In the other ride where I got the young buck we had Rubin a friend of Paul with a .270 meaning business. It wasnít long before a buck started shouting his head off and he sounded like he was in the field we had stalked over just earlier. Paul went to check and he quickly spotted the deer on the edge of the open ground in a lovely position so waved me over. In a position to the side of a big tree I lined up and the muntie was giving it large with tail up in the air on every bark. I could see he was an antlered buck and from a lovely comfortable position sent the shot diagonally across the field and the buck was down and out. With a little bit of observation he was clearly sorted and back to my pitch I went while Paul went to sort the buck.
In the next hour or so we saw about 5 more but right in front out of the blue to finish another buck crashed out of the trees at about 30 yards and wasting no time I got in the aim, flicked off the safety and let go to watch the little bugger belt off into the trees. H e had turned sharply just as I was letting go and you canít call them back once theyíre gone. And that was it! We called time on the morning and headed back to collect the buck that I hadnít seen apart from through the scope and boy was I pleased!
I really can say that muntie bashing is a whole different kind of stalking to what us lads from Jockland are used to and bloody hell the Thetford area is flat and easy walking. I feel really lucky to have met Paul and Rubin and had any eyes opened to the contrasts of north and south UK stalking. If you havenít had a go at munties you need to get it on your to do list. Many thanks to Paul and fingers crossed youíll enjoy your time up here as much as I enjoyed it down there, nice one mate.