Travelled over to Wiltshire yesterday evening on the kind invitation of Tim (foxdropper) for an evening stalk on one of his permissions.
We stopped off on route at a chicken farm were the owner had reported a fox cub lurking around the pens. As soon as we drove around the back of the sheds we saw a fox slink off into the hedge but it definitely wasn’t a cub so Tim said “we’ll call back on the way home & see if we can get it”.
Arriving at the ground we set off only to find cattle in the first 3 fields so no chance there but Tim was hoping the farmer had left the upper fields empty which proved correct so we set off along a hedge row spotting ears in the middle of the field which was over knee height long grass. After that initial sighting we never picked them up again so moved off to an adjacent grass field where after a cautious stalk up a hedgerow we saw a good buck at the far end which promptly disappeared through a gap, after a couple of minutes it reappeared through the gap & moved on up the field hugging the hedge line as were we!
It disappeared & we thought it had gone through again so decided to set up the sticks & be ready & wait it out. After 20 minutes or so no sight of it on our side so Tim shimmied under the wire to see if it was browsing in the next door field...............no such luck. It must have laid up so from the other field Tim indicated with sign language he would creep up the hedge line & see if it was there so hopefully moving it back across to me.
A tense 10 minutes ensured when suddenly hey presto it appeared about 150 yards away looking back where Tim would have been, it hadn’t been on the far side of the hedge all along but laid up on our side but hidden by a dip in the field. He looked great in the evening sunlight, his coat was a deep russet & he had a good 6 point head.
I was ready behind the scope but he was spooked now & bounded off to my left, I tracked him hoping he would stop & look back (as they do) but no this one ran up to the adjacent fence, ducked down & ran up the bank to disappear for good. Bugger!
Not to worry it was a bonus to see such a beast on a glorious evening; we walked up the field & found his bed alongside the hedge. On the way back to the truck we saw one more but a doe. On the way to Tim’s we stopped off at the chicken farm but after a concentrated calling session no fox but we did have the amazing experience of spotting 2 roe buck in the lamp which promptly ran full tilt straight for us only stopping 5 yards from the truck. Tim & I have never had this happen to us before, sure we’ve spotted deer when out lamping & have driven pretty close to them but for these two young bucks to run right up to us was amazing & was a great end to the evening.
Thanks to Tim for the invite, no worries that we didn’t get anything it was a pleasure to be out with you mate, hope to return the compliment soon.