Well now for the third and final chapter of what was one of the greatest and most fun I have had in a week so far.
Having only gotten to 3 hours sleep the night before it was great to have a relative lie in not getting up until 7.30 on wednesday as Mark was busy in the morning putting down his pheasants so a morning stalk was a no go and i really had to reign it in anyway as my cash was fast running out because mark was just too good at putting me in front of the bucks Anyway we went for a wander after breakfast as he wanted to set some new snares around his pen to keep charlie out. After this we went on a trip to bushwear's new depo as after the night before's bullet performance I wanted to switch simply for my peace of mind and as id decided i wouldn't be going to scone I thought i'd pick up what I was after there instead. So a short drive late I was heading home with an even lighter wallet with 3 shields, 4 roe skull mounts and a buttalo call and i was happy with what i had. Back to the B&B for a quick nap and a re zero of the rifle just a couple of clicks up so all was right.
Out we headed to a bit of land where Mark had seen a buck with a big body out at about 500 yards yesterday when the light was starting to go. So we parked up the truck and started to glass the swamp/grass land in front of us. This is when marks years of experience came into its own as he soon spotted a doe and not much later a buck on the edge of a wood that looked promising. He could see it was a 6 pointer and had a big body so we drove around the back of the wood to be able to stalk in on it with the wind in our favour. So we made our way to where we had seen the buck as it had a good point of reference as he was just near a silver birch that was forking. however as we got the tree into sight the deer could not be seen so we glassed the ground again and mark picked him up again so we stalked in slowly and steadily stopping as he lifted his head but he didn't have a clue we were there. We got to within about 70 yards and mark set up the sticks and i slowly lifted the rife resting it on the sticks. Now I was very careful, slowly raising the cross hairs onto the chest and squeezed off a shot and the buck was down with a good lung shot and it was only 8.20. Anyway we did the gralloch I loaded him into the roe sack and we headed back to the truck.
Anyway we were back at the truck and it wasn't even 8.45 and it was a marvellous evening so we went for a quick drink at the pub and then headed on again to see if the big buck we'd seen the night before was still about. Anyway we headed to the ground we had finished on last night and quickly spotted a young 6 pointer and decided to go for a stalk to see if we could get into him or maybe find another buck. On the stalk we bumped a spiker I could have easily shot as he stood about 8 yards off for a couple of mins but we let him be. Just after that we heard a shot go off. Clearly a gun not a gas gun and we decided the keeper must have shot a fox off a cut of freshly cut hay and we carried on to where we'd seen the buck and he was no where to be seen. So back to the truck to see if the borderline medal from the other night was in the same field. Mark soon spotted him in the bottom corner but something (not us as wind was right and there was no way he could have seen us) spooked him but he was next to the field where the shot had gone off so that was not to be so we headed home to get some sleep before my final stalk in the morning.
Anyway It was one of those nights for me, in bed by 11 but not asleep until until nearly one then up again at 2.45 once again. Anyway I had a feeling it was going to be worth it as mark said we were heading to a bit of his personal ground and if we came across some of the real big boys we could strike a deal on them.
It was a really cold and unseasonably so, it must have been low single digits as the ground was hard underfoot. The deer didn't really seem to be moving much and we stalked around the ground and didn't see a beast (quite unusual compared to the previous few outings) Anyway we were going to head to a different bit of ground as the sun was up and the temperature was climbing but mark just felt like checking a small bit of the farm before we left and we bumped a buck but not badly and he started grazing on the veg just short of the wood. So we started the stalk along the side of the hedge he was near to and got to within around 150 yards of him quickly and mark told me to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down as we had been practically jogging in on him. Anyway we closed it to around 100 yards and I got up and rested my rifle on the fence post. It was uneasy and a shot that would have lent itself to a right handed shot easier than a lefty such as myself. Anyway I managed to get steady and lined up the shot, squeezed the trigger and the buck lurched up and ran for the wood and dropped mark said not to worry as he was defiantly down as he could see a massive exit spurting blood. The gralloch revealed a perfect shot just behind the shoulder with almost no heart left and it had clipped the lungs as well. He was a really nice heavy buck with thick beams and nice pearly but only a 5 not a six but in a couple of years mark reckons he'd have made a medal but on this farm its basically a shoot on site as the do so much damage to the crops.
And that was the end of an amazing few days so thanks to mark for a great time and putting me onto the bucks. I'll be back for the does without doubt and hope you keep on nocking them down.
I've now cleaned all 6 heads and bleached them and got 4 ticks in the process and found 3 more before they got bedded in.
Anyway It was a great few days and the amount of deer on the ground is amazing.