A couple of weeks ago I had a short break with the family at Ian Farrington's place just north of Axminster in Devon. His hunting lodge is kitted out with all mod cons, including tons of hunting videos and DVDs and it was perfect for myself, wife and 4 month old daughter.
Before the first stalk we checked the zero of my rifle and Ian gave me some extremely helpful advise on how to use the sticks and shoot from a variety of positions. Then we were off for an evening stalk. The ground we went to was varied and intimate. Rolling hills criss crossed with hedges, small fields and copses. Perfect for deer and quite different to the relatively flat large fields and big woods of Surrey and West Sussex where I do most of my stalking. Anyway, we saw 2 bucks, 3 does and 3 fawns and although after a long stalk we managed to get close to one of the bucks, it slipped through a hedge.
The next morning I was out of bed at 3:15 for a 3:45 start! We were on the ground shortly after and 3 paces out of the truck Ian saw the back of a buck that had caught our wind. We moved across the road for a quick look at the field below and there was another buck near the far hedge, with a doe and fawn feeding in the middle of the field. Ian wanted to stalk the top field first so we worked our way along the edge of the field to a small, overgrown quarry. There at the far corner was another doe feeding. We carried on up the top of the quarry wall and Ian stopped to have another look at the doe. “I am staring at the doe trying to turn her into a buck...and I think I have succeeded” he said to me!?!? And he was right! The deer had two small bumps on its head! On hands and knees now, we backtracked and I got in position to take a shot. At 80 metres and kneeling with the sticks it was a straight forward shot and the animal dropped on the spot. It was 5:30 and after a quick gralloch I was back at the lodge for a liver and kidney breakfast and some sleep. Perfection!!!
I am sure a lot of you know Ian (http:www.farringtonds.com) but for those that don't he a true professional and I would recommend him with no hesitation.
Oh and here is a photo of the tiny buck.