After watching the weather forecast for a few days prior to setting out on a trip to the syndicate permission I wasnt hopeful given the forecast for gale force winds and heavy rain but if I stayed at home I'd definitely not catch up with anything.
Arriving at 7.30 Monday evening it was straight on with the kit and out for a look around.
Walking up one ride I spotted a doe and a further 100yds on another doe, both heavily pregnant and no bucks in tow yet.
Turning on to another ride I bumped a cracking looking buck and hope to catch up with him next time I'm up.
Stalking on for another 30 mins or so and nothing else spotted so started the return trip to the car.
Just clearing a corner the same buck I'd spotted earlier went bouncing over a crest , you little rascal thinks I.
The last time I was up on the permission, about 4 weeks ago, I'd spotted a nice looking buck in a clearing at the junction of three rides. I.d stalked to within about 200yds of it when he decided something wasnt quite right and wandered off into the forest. After questioning his parentage I'd stood up and begun to walk towards the clearing to stalk one of the rides when he popped out of the wood again to watch me trying to get the rifle on the sticks for a shot then disappear back into the forest. Note to self: Always wait a while before giving up on a deer that's just wandered off without showing any sign of having seen/smelled/heard you.
A few day prior to my visit the syndicate leader had been up and seen the same buck and mentioned what a good beast it appeared so I was gutted not to catch up with him (the buck that is)
Anyway, I digress, back to this visit.
After returning to the digs and demolishing some food it was off to bed with the windows rattling in the wind and the rain hammering down
The following morning was bright sunshine but the wind was still blowing.
After stalking all morning and climbing to the top of the permission (a very steep 1230ft above sea level) all that I'd seen was 11....................does!! Not a buck to be seen anywhere. I'd also spotted some very pregnant very large hinds......time for them later in the season
Descending the hill it was time for some more grub and a think about the evening stalk.
After a snooze to recharge the batteries it was out again with the idea of stalking into the still strong wind down to the clearing were the good buck had been spotted a couple of times.
Stalking the left hand edge of the tree line I slowly made my way up and down the rides contours glassing each section of the stalk ahead. There's a nice ride on the right that has a small hill (more of a grassy knoll really) about half way down so I made my way to the top of that knoll and just sat there looking about for about an hour. Nothing.
The wind no began to drop so I decided to complete my stalk down to the clearing.
Again keeping to the left hand edge of the forest I continued forward when suddenly Bonnie (7 months old and first time out) my GWP stopped with her nose in the air and promptly raised her right foot in a classic point towards the trees on the left. No sign of the deer in the dense 7-8 year old sitka spruce so on it was.
Just reaching the final crest before the clearing a slowly made my way to the top to glass forward.
There is one lone sitka about 20yds out from the main line of the trees and there, just to the right hand side of the tree I can see the very mistakable rear end of a roe deer.
Now at this point I'm only 130yds away and not sure what sex it is as I cant see the head and can only make out the edge of the rear end.
Waiting, the roe disappeared from view only to clear the left hand edge to reveal itself as the very nice buck both the syndicate leader and I had an eye on.
Onto the bipod and, as the buck turns classically side on, I fire. The buck kicks out then runs round to his right into the clearing for about 30yds before dropping to the ground.
I watch him raise his head once then drop still.
After waiting for a few minutes I walk down to the strike point and allow Bonnie to get the scent of the blood. No problem there as she's on to it about 30yds or more before reaching the strike point. She immediately picks up the trail and follows it directly to the fallen buck.............its the one we've been watching for sure........result.
After the grollach and Bonnies treat I load the buck up into the roe sack and start the hike back to the car in the failing light a very happy chappy.