On Tuesday night at just before 18.00 I arrived at John Robson's house for my 1st stalk. I am a total novice to stalking and was both excited and a bit nervous. When I say nervous, I mean in the way I didnt want to balls up the shot, thats if we were lucky enough to indeed get a shot. John from the off puts you at your ease and his coaching is 'to the point' and easily taken in, and he doesnt mind you asking daft beginner's questions and will explain any and all stalking terms/jargon.
Once on the ground he made me familiar with his rifle and scope and I fired a couple of shots at a deer silhouette put in front of a **** heap. He was happy my with shooting and weapon handling so decided to start the stalking so I closely followed John and his GSP bitch up a ride. As we went John pointed out slots on the ground and said different beast of differrent sizes were moving through the area and pointed out the damage they were doing as we went. After a while we climbed into a high seat but after only a few mins John wasnt happy with the position as the surrounding trees had limited the arcs of fire so we moved and onto the next ride, moving very slowly and stopping to glass every now and then when all of a sudden a young buzzard dropped onto the ground about 30 yards in front of us and just looked at us. The GSP was totally focused on the buzzard and just didnt take her eyes off it. Meanwhile John videoed the whole thing and we just kept moving forward very slowly until when we got very close the bird just turned its back on us and just walked into thicker cover.
We continued our stalk until John caught a glimpse of a yearling 4 pointer about 140 yards away on the edge of a cereal field. John set up the sticks and I mounted the rifle on them and knocked off the safety as per the drill. John confirmed it as a shootable beast and said wait for the classic side on heart & lung shot. The animal all time was moving towards us but in & then out of cover but never long enough to get the shot that we were after. The whole process took 4-6 mins but the longer it took and closer it got to us, the more harder my ticker was beating. Eventually he was only 30 yards from us, decided to go into a trot and at this point John said "neck shoot it" and he slowed it up briefly with a sort of barking noise and then said "now" at which point I fired and he folded like a deckchair. All the time this was going on the scope was set at x8 mag and the beast looked enormous but we still managed a clean kill. After the shot I couldnt keep my hands still and John said my breathing was all over the place but I was fine whilst taking the shot! On closer inspection of the beast - I thought - what a beauty!
I learned a massive amount from John in that couple of hours, such as shooting off sticks, tracking, pace, how to bleed, how to gralloch, food hygiene plus much much more and I can't praise him enough. I have rebooked with him and can't wait! John has put the short films with the buzzard episode and the roe on YouTube.