At the beginning of the year I decided to try my hand a deer stalking, as it was one of the few shooting disciplines I had not tried. I was recommended by a friend to contact Colin, also known as the Solway Stalker, which I did and arranged a trip up to New Abbey in Dumfries and Galloway. On my first trip I was greeted with a warm welcome from Colin, and Kevin who helps when more than one person needs taking out. Both are experienced stalkers and managed to get both Stephen another novice stalker and I a roe each.
This weekend I have just been up for another chance on Roe, this time bucks, I felt compelled to write a quick review, as I had such a great time and managed to get two bucks, one of which is already mounted and taking pride of place in the lounge.
Following a three hour drive Ian; (Crimson Bullseye) and I arrived at the Maybe Hotel in New Abbey, a very pleasant hotel in lovely grounds, with very reasonable rates of £40 per night for B&B. After booking in we had a short drive into to the village where we met Colin and Kevin; once introductions had been made we were straight out.
Following a drive around a recently re planted area, Colin Spotted a Roe Buck some distance in to the clear fell, we pulled up a distance down the road and tracked back to where we hoped the buck would still be. Thankfully the buck was still there, just below the sky line allowing a seventy yard shot from sticks to be taken, which proved that more practice is needed with them as the transition to stick was not as fluid as it should be. I thought the shot connected well, despite that the walk up was a tense one as the deer dashed over the skyline. The shot had been a good one and found its mark as the buck lay dead just beyond the brow. The rest of the evening entailed taking in some lovely countryside whilst looking for deer, unfortunately the deer saw us first. We spent thirty minutes observing a doe, in the hope buck would be in the area, sadly it wasnít to be the case.
We returned to the hotel for a few beers with Ian, Colin and Kevin followed by a four am start, with Kevin. Kevin took me up to an area I have not stalked before, as we entered a field walking up to the area we were about to stalk charley crossed the field come distance away, Kevin called him in, I could not resist dropping him with my new 308 it dropped him in his tracks, at a distance of 60yards.
After carefully walking up to an area of clear fell scouring the woodland for Roe we sat in the shade of the wood and observed the clear fell. After half an hour we spotted a Roe buck crossing the open ground approximately six hundred yards away, then adrenaline started to flow as I followed Kevinís lead crossing some very, difficult ground. Using the odd tree for cover we managed to get within a distance I was happy to take the shot; I sat down and crossed the stick at shallow angle. I settled the cross hairs approx. 6 inches high allowing the bullet to drop onto the heart as Kevin gave me the range of 220 yards. The shot rang out into the still morning air; the buck jumped high, stumbled a few yards and dropped. Despite this he still took some finding in the brush; however on finding it I was delighted to find a lovely six point buck, which ended a fantastic morning.
I went out in the evening with Colin, which despite his best efforts was fruitless, though whilst waiting for the evening stalk Kevin kindly prepared my buck for a European mount, he obviously realised how pleased I was with the head and did not want me loosing it to the fox as I did last time I buried it in the garden.
A truly fantastic weekend and I cant wait to go back again.