Had my third buck of the year the other evening after I think about 10 blanks. The bucks on my permission obviously hadn't been reading the rules and have been conspicuous in their ability to be on the wrong side of a hedge, standing behind a horse or in front of a house.
Had a good stalk a couple of weeks ago.
Left the car in the corner of the field as usual - scanned the field of wheat and then pottered down the hill on the grass track - grass now 2 feet tall. Had only been walking five mins when spotted a movement in the grass 100 yds ahead. A fox sitting down facing away from me. Take a couple of steps sideways, onto the sticks and fox lies down for a sleep!
Couple of clicks of the tongue - sits bolt upright looking straight at me - an it didn't know what hit it - and at the shot a buck jumps up from the wheat where it had been lieing up ten yards from the fox - and bounds neatly and gracefully over the fence. b...................r
carry on along the track around the corner - next little grassy field - big dog fox sauntering along - not really shootable- quite far, in longish grass and no good backstop. And there over the hedge not on my permission is a nice uck standing broadside on in the open at 130 yds. I have about half an hour of shooting light left.
I try a couple fo squeeks on the buttalo - will he come up here into a shootable position? His ears definately ***** up and he does trot a littel bit towards me - but then with a look of - oh I really can't be bothered to go and see what she wants he lies down.
Reasonably staisfied at at least a fox for my efforts decide to go up to the other end of the farm where I know there are a couple of foxes that need sorting, plus wonder if there is a shootable buck.
Walking up throught the hayfield - only half cut because of the the weather see "bucky" - a nice roe buck that is semi tame - he had been found on the roadside caught up in a fence and the farmer's son released him at the request of the police. He had a bit of a gash on his hind leg - but looking at him closely from 30 yds see that it has all healed up nicely - he has a good head and is so trusting that I ma not going to shoot him, despite having had lots of opportunities to do so.
Nearly dark now so walk up to the edge of the glen field. Get to my favourite telegraph pole where I have a good view of the field and it gives me a bit of cover and a stable shot position.
Couple fo squeeks and lets see what happens. Ten minutes later I am being munched and am just about to give up and go home - and it is pretty gloomy.
Whats that down in the corner - soemthing quite big and dark is creeping in - too dark for a fox - is it a badger or a big tabby cat - look through the Zeiss bino's - no its a buck creeping forward with its head very low.
It keeps coming - by this stage am following him through the rifle scope - he'll do - he turns broadside - up his leg, slightly back and just over third way up the body, relax and see him jump as he is hit - perfect heart / lung shot. He does run towards the fence and a patch of nettles.
He was about 80 yds at the shot next to a patch of docks.
I know he is hit well and won't be far. I go straight to the patch of docks. Plant my stalking sticks. Get my head torch out and there in the light of the torch is a good patch of frothy blood and hair - heart / lung shot.
It's now dark - walk across to the fence line and the nettles expecting to find him there - no such luck and at that point the torch fails. I did look just over the fence but he wasn't there.
Rather than tramping around in the dark, do the twenty minute walk back to the car and another torch. Felt pretty miserable - had I really hit him well - is he there, will I find him or shall I come back in the morning. It is a hot and humid night so any meat will be spoilt if left ungralloched by the morning.
Bring the car up as close as I can. Get the spare torch and go back to my sticks - good plan to leave them standing where it had been shot as it would have been difficult in torch light to follow up.
And start following the blood trail into the wood - fortunately it is pretty clear in the wood - but the wood slopes steeply downwards. I track from blood spot to blood spot to blood spot - I can't afford to go too fast and miss the next spot. After about 10 minutes I am now 40 yds into the wood - there he is lieing head down hill perfectly shot through the chest and well bled out.
Dragged him back up - cleaned him and loaded him into car. Finished butchering him by 2am, as we were off to the North of Scotland first thing in the morning - his fillets tasted wonderful a couple of days later fried up on the side of a highland loch with a bottle of red wine whilst fishing for little brown trout.