Went out this morning to our Forest as the forecast was for light rain instead of the monsoon experienced earlier in the weekend, and turned out beautiful. Started stalk at 4.05am and spent next 45 mins spying a herd of approx 35+ red hinds and calves in the adjacent farmers common grazing. 4 stags were present in the adjacent field with cattle to their west preventing them going further. The wind was not favourable at first coming from the north/north west and winded the bottom part of the hill face spooking some of the herd. Eventually after watching them for ages, the wind swung round coming from the west which meant it was going length wise through forest and allowing me to stalk anything towards the far end.
Set off back up fire break and along the access track which goes 1/2 way into forest. Thought to myself these new Lacross boots are awful noisey on the path! So slowed slightly in case any deer were in woods in front. Nearing the end of the track, thought I saw a flash in the chest high bracken, no seeing things, then again. Got bins on to a small set of antlers in velvet- damn how do I get near this as all sides apart from inshot covered in bracken, only one attempt. Edged forward and stag steps out into inshot. I froze on the spot, stag looks at me and then carries on feeding. I take a couple of steps back to be shielded by the whin bush, mount the rifle on the sticks and step forward. Staggie standing broadside/quartered, only one shot on, step forward and bang. Staggie turns and runs 30 yrds through bracken.
After the obligatory 5-10 mins, edge slowly forward and pick up the blood trail and find him lying stone dead in the midst of the bracken. 8 (potentially 10) points in velvet and full stomach. Performed the gralloch in a swarm of midges with no bites to my protected bits, however, my eyelids and lower back are bitten silly. Short pull up on to the track hike back to car, filed dressing and off to the Gamey. Job done.