Friday 26th September 08
Fog early, sunny and warm, no wind, 20°c.
Once home from work I quickly mowed the lawn then made my way to my bit of ground where I had seen a few roe earlier in the week. The spring rape in the willows field has been harvested and the ground ploughed and sown (that's how fast they work on my bit and to find stubble for more than a week is a bonus). I made my way out to the edge of the orchard game patch and saw my doe and her kids by the central track and at the far end of the stubble field a doe and buck about 600 yards away.
I had to go back round the orchard and into the willows field and made my way quickly to the far end of the new plantation. Once there I slowed to stalking speed which allowed me to catch my breath and cool down a little. On peering round the last stalks of maize of the adjoining game patch, I saw nothing. I scanned the field with my binoculars and could just make out a pair of ears of the doe lying by the central track but nothing more. I stood there for ten minutes casually looking round and suddenly there was a female kid out from the maize, about 35 yards from me. To my surprise she saw my shape but started walking toward me. She stopped at about twenty yards and was obviously concerned and was raising and lowering her head to make out what I was. A couple of minutes went by and she stamped her feet a couple of times, then moved off into the field and started grazing. A doe then came out forty yards away, followed by another small one about a hundred yards off and I took this to be her other kid. However, her second kid followed her and I slowly raised my binoculars to have a look at them. I was able to make out thin antlers on the furthest one when it moved its head and was feeding. He was very small with a slender neck and I am sure he was not the one I spied when at the other end of the field. I wondered if he was perhaps this years animal, he was so small.
The doe and two kids got up from the trackside and over the next five minutes made their way toward the group in front of me. The youngsters met one another and started skipping and jumping around, a wonderful sight. The light was gradually going, I had six deer within about forty yards of me (all the wrong sex)and was not able to raise my rifle for fear of clearing the field. I stayed until the light went, decided to leave things as they were and slowly retreated behind the screen and made my quietly back round to the car.