The following is a report by my Cousin "C", I'll call her CC. from now on for ease. As we both had a view of how things went, I will jump from me to her now and again, hopefuly to paint a bigger picture of what was going on:-
Just to give some sort of beginning to the following report some details, I belong to a group of game shooting girls called The Dorset Game Birds, each year we have an anniversary meeting and clay shoot, picnic etc, but last year it was decided we would organize rifle shooting for the girls to try. I was hooked but, things prevented me from doing anymore until this years meeting when we shot rifles again, this time I was determined to learn more or even go stalking with someone.
Luckily for me my dearest OLDER cousin is a keen rifle shot and very kindly put me in touch with a friend of his who was happy to take me out (stalking that is).
Thatís how I found myself just outside Amesbury on a beautiful sunny Saturday this August. The boys set up a target for me and must have been happy with my .22 shooting because for the next target they let me use the 6.5 x 55 and that went well too, much easier once I worked out my breathing (itís ok Iím blonde so breathing takes some thinking).
CC, used my .22 rf and put a quite respectable group on the target, despite windy conditions. We loaded a couple of rounds into the 6.5 x 55 estate rifle that if all went well CC would be using later on that evening. I wanted to check my rifles zero so I went first. First bullet in the bull, second one I pulled two inches left. Third was somewhere in between. Next CC shot,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
two touching holes in the bull! (Never take a woman stalking, they are just SO competative!). Very happy with CCs shooting skills we waited for the appointed hour to set forth.
Happy with my target shooting we then had to wait Ďtill evening to venture out, dearest cousin was stalking as well as another guy, they were dropped off and left to stalk alone. Peter, who was given the task of trying to find me an animal, accompanied me. I had no expectations of the evening and having walked along the top hedge of the 1st field we saw a number of fallow across the small valley (near where we had left the dearest cousin but they were moving not settled at all).
Debussed and walked up the side of a fairly steep field with a wood running along the top edge. On reaching the edge of the wood I spied three fallow already out in the field about 300yds ahead of me. I slowly made my way along, and saw them joined by a huge buck. As I drew nearer the enormity of his head started to dawn on me. I had carte blanche on fallow, and I must confess I was wondering where I was going to hang this huge trophy. As if the buck could read my thoughts the group now some nine or ten beasts ambled over a rise and out of sight. The wind was good for me so I made haste towards the ridge. About eighty yards to go I caught sight of movement 400yds to my left. The bu^$%gers had given me the slip and were now down where I had started out from, heading towards where I thought CC might have been.
We saw a roebuck & doe ahead but they moved before we had a chance to get too close.
We got to the next hedge and made our way slowly down towards the road at the bottom only to see the fallow from the far side moving off in a hurry back up the other side of the valley and into the woods.
The light by now was fading fast but we turned and followed the track uphill and just spotted a doe as we came the end of the hedge line, she stood still but had seen us and looked set to run for the hills any second, just behind her and looking somewhat more settled was a buck.
Peter crept forward slowly beckoning me to do the same, I felt awkward trying to creep low & slow with a rifle, keeping an eye on Peter and the buck, but all went ok and though the buck was looking our way he stayed put. Peter lay down across the path and signalled me to crawl along till I was level with him. I settled myself and got the buck in the scope. Every thing seemed to be really slow, I was sure he would be off before I could get ready, but I got him in the scope, got the cross hairs up the front leg, about a third up the body, found the safety, took a few steady breaths and squeezed the trigger, remembering my instructions I kept looking through the scope and saw him drop instantly.
Having been pheasant shooting for a couple of years I was surprised how different I felt on seeing this buck on the ground, Iím not girly about these things but I did think he was a beautiful animal and I had been lucky and privileged to have had this experience
Many thanks to Terry, Peter and of course Dearest Cousin Mark