I'm lucky in that all the ground that I shoot over is within about a 30 min drive, with the closest being less than ten minutes away.
Just over a week ago I got a text from a mate with whom I share a bit a ground. He said that he was planning to go out that evening as it was nice and asked if I fancied going. The wife said I could go so I agreed to meet up just before 7pm and we decided that we would take the high seats at either end on the ground and try and bounce any groups of fallow we saw between us.
Well it was such a nice afternoon that I let the time get away from me and having had an early tea with my little one I eventually arrived about 5 to 7. Only to find an empty Landrover parked in the farm yard.
Sorted myself out and got my sticks together and decided on a stalk to my seat.
After travelling down a track at the side of a hedge that marks a deep ditch between two field I noticed something laying at the side of the track in a gap in the hedge.
It was a pair a bins. Not just any bins, but my mates bins. Now I had been out that morning and knew that he hadn't been down here recently so it twigged that he must have put them there as a message to me.
I knelt down and eventually heard a faint wistle. My mate was laying on the other side of the hedge having crawled into the ditch and out into a field of wheat. He quietly explained that he was watching a group of about 8 fallow and there were at least 2 bucks in the group. Howevet they were all laying down and he didn't have a shot.
It was agreed that I would work my way up my side and see if I could get into a better possition. The worst that could happen is that the group would get up and my mate would get a shot.
So off I set. I negotiated the first two breaks in the hedge. and got to a point that I knew I would be able to get a shot from. The problem was that I needed to be on the other side of the next gap in order to have a shot. Down on my belly and off I set. moving as slowly as I could. No good, two of the does must have recognised me as when I turned my head I could see them both looking straight at me a walking towards me. The wind was in my favour but they hadn't got through to the end of March by being stupid. One stamped her foot in protest and another doe stood up.
Just then the crack of my mates moderated 30.06 reported that the plan had work to a point. I looked into the field to see the group running off to the cover of the trees and the familure sight of a fallow laying dead in the field. As I walked out to congradulate my mate the grin on his face said it all. He was very happy. 120m head shot. Neither of us usually go for head or neck shots as we don't get penalised by our local game keeper who stills pays good money provided the deer are clean and just takes a bit off if he can't use the shoulders.
I gave him my knife, as his was in the car and set off to have the last hour of light in the high seat.
As luck would have it I was rewarded with a nice Muntjac buck which stood still for ages for me and was cleanly taken at 165m.
We both agreed that it was a cracking end to a season which saw us only one Muntjac short of our agreed cull plan (we stick the fallow season for both species just so that we can have a rest and spend some time with the other halfs / get things ready for the day olds).