After spending a couple of weeks trying to catch up with a huge buck on one of my permissions I was beginning to think Iíd missed him this year.
Last night I decided to spend a couple of hours looking around an area I hadnít seen him in before but had seen a doe with twin kids the day before.
After parking behind a small copse of trees I let the monster of destruction (bonnie the GWP) out of the back of the truck and gave her a few mins to run around and get rid of at least some of the boundless energy she has.
Sticks, binoís, musket and roe sack on and it was down to business. The change in the dog once she sees that gun go onto my shoulder is amazing, its like pressing a giant sensible switch with her.
We made our way across a grassy area to a couple of small humps in the ground about 40yds before the start of some pretty thick scrub.
After letting everything settle for 20mins I started on the butalo giving a squeak every second or so for about 5 minutes.
Nothing moved initially but I kept glassing the scrub and eventually spotted some movement near some gorse. Looking closely it was a buck but not the monster buck I was after!!! Hmm, what to do thinks I? Take this smaller but still very nice buck or wait and see if the big boy showed up or take this one and let the big boy pass on his levis to his progeny or as the big boy might start going back next year wait for him and leave the younger one. Decision made, shoot them both and let God sort them out. Only kidding, decided to take the one in front of me on the basis that there is brilliant feeding on the ground and the big chap is a stunning animal and, at least for now, Iím not chasing medal heads so Iíll leave him to have his merry way.
Decision made unfortunately the buck in front had read a different book and made its way behind some gorse to the right and out of sight. I waited and gave a couple more squeaks on the butalo to see him reappear about 130yds away heading away from me. I gave him a bark and he turned side on and the Tikka gave its own bark. He ran in a half circle and dropped in the rough area. After a few mins I put the harness on Bonnie and moved forward to the strike. No sign of any strike at all and I'm thinking 'Did I miss it? Worse...have I wounded it!' After moving to the right and further down the rough area the wind now came from our back and the dog immediately obviously detected the scent and took me straight to the dead buck, on inspection the top of the heart was taken clean out.
48lb larder weight with loads of fat around the kidneys. First deer off my own permission and Iím thrilled to bits to have caught up with this chap: